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Knowledge for Life

A review of Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson

The greatest gift my parents gave me was a love of reading and a thirst for knowledge. It was a gift given out of love, knowing that it had the potential to benefit not only me but those around me. I believe it was the greatest gift I have ever received. It has nurtured my life-long love of learning, a character trait essential for any professional.

What we have learned about dogs and cats in the last 30 years is amazing, and if you haven’t been keeping up, you are out of date as much of what we thought we knew has been proven incomplete or wrong.

At the end of the year, I often write about my favorite dog book of that year. In 2021, one of the books I highlighted was Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson. The book contains knowledge essential to anyone who works with puppies, has a puppy, or is contemplating getting a puppy. It is available as a paperback or in multiple e-book formats.

The Basics of Puppy Socialization

The concept of puppy socialization was extensively researched at Maine’s own Jackson Laboratory for 20 years, culminating in the publication of Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog by Scott and Fuller in 1965.

Yet, 56 years later, too many in the dog world still do not understand the essential basics of puppy socialization.

For example, it has a specific endpoint (12 to 16 weeks of age), is as important as vaccinations, doesn’t happen by accident but requires careful planning, involves meeting more than the neighbors and their dog, means creating a positive association with new things, requires you to advocate for what is best for your puppy, and is essential for normal social development.

Behavior Problems

As a canine behavior consultant, I assist people with dogs with deep-seated anxiety and often anti-social behavior that is likely the result of inappropriate or inadequate socialization during the critical period. This debilitating mental illness might have been prevented had the person caring for the dog had a better understanding of puppy socialization.

Reading and following the precepts in Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It might prevent you from ever needing the services of a canine behavior consultant or veterinary behaviorist.

Rogers and Anderson’s book will teach those who read it what they need to know to socialize their puppy, thus helping them have a great life together.

In addition to the easy-to-read text and beautiful photographs, the book includes links to over 50 online videos. Note, I found that it is easiest to access those videos and other online resources from one of the e-book editions.

I am so impressed by Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It that I am:

  1. Making it required reading for all my Green Acres Kennel Shop staff.
  2. Incorporating it into the curriculum for my online Puppy Headstart class.
  3. Am including copies for all students in that class as of January 1.
  4. Am gifting the book to several veterinary colleagues so that they may share it with their staff after reading it themselves.

About Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It

  • Authors: Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson
  • Published by: Bright Friends Productions (2021)
  • Pages: 246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1943634095

Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, Maine. He is a Bach Foundation registered animal practitioner (BFRAP), certified dog behavior consultant (CDBC), associate certified cat behavior consultant (ACCBC) and a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and also produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show on The Pulse AM620 WZON. He writes about pets on his blog and is co-chairman of PPG’s Advocacy Committee.

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