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Learn About The Biology of Socialization with Dr. Jessica Hekman

  • Wednesday, October 28, 2015
  • 8:00 PM
  • Friday, October 28, 2022
  • 9:00 PM
  • Recorded Webinar


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presented by Dr. Jessica Hekman


We've known for years how important it is to socialize puppies (and, in fact, animals of all mammalian species) at a young age in order to prevent behavior problems such as fearfulness and aggression from cropping up later. In this webinar, we will learn about how the canine socialization period was discovered, and we'll review the current state of knowledge about its timing. In the meat of the talk, we'll discuss some recent research findings about exactly what is going on in the brain which is different in puppies in their socialization window compared to older dogs outside the socialization window. We'll talk about differences in the puppy stress response and where those differences originate; we'll also talk about studies that have used a critical period of eye development to learn about neural wiring differences in the socialization period, and what implications those have for puppies. Finally, we will discuss appropriate ways of balancing a puppy's need for socialization with the dangers of exposing a puppy to other dogs before its immune system is mature.

Webinar Objectives

  • Describe the timing of the canine socialization window and the methods used to discover it
  • Describe two mechanisms which are known to function differently in the mammalian brain during the socialization period
  • Suggest approaches to satisfying a puppy's need for socialization with the dangers of exposing a puppy to other dogs prior to the end of its puppy vaccine series

About The Presenter

Jessica Perry Hekman, DVM, MS is fascinated by dog brains. She is a PhD student at the University of Illinois, training in a genomics lab which studies a population of tame foxes. Her interests include the stress response in mammals, canine behavior, shelter medicine, and animal welfare. You may learn more about Jessica at www.dogzombie.com.
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