White German shepherd dogs are considered to be among the easiest dogs to train, making them particularly suitable for families with pets and children. Once you have chosen your pet, have taken him home and introduced him to your family, one of your next steps is to learn how to “socialize” your dog.
Experts consider that the most important socialization period for a puppy begins at around three weeks of age and lasts until around twelve weeks. The period during which a puppy is most influenced by socialization is supposedly between six and eight weeks of age. Regardless of how old your puppy is when you get him, you may well have little or no knowledge of his previous life.
Socializing your dog includes various things – getting him used to other dogs as well as other people and also everyday sights, sounds and smells. And you shouldn’t find it too difficult to find friends and neighbors who want to come over to admire your new puppy! Try to bring your puppy home when you can establish a routine and spend some time training him.
Socializing is important as it can help to prevent serious behavioral problems in your German shepherd such as aggression, timidity and shyness. A dog that has been exposed to other animals such as cats and horses is better able to interpret their intentions, potentially avoiding a conflict. And a dog that has been thoroughly socialized is less likely to have behavioral problems in the future with other dogs or children.
The importance of socialization is such that it can make up an estimated 60% of a dog’s character and temperament. Some trainers even advise that a puppy should meet 100 strangers and visit 50 new places – all before he is three months old. You may not be able to do all that – but it illustrates how important it is to thoroughly socialize your puppy.
If you find socialization difficult, you can actually take your puppy to socialization classes – ask at your local vets for details. Try to avoid taking your puppy to training classes that put an emphasis on “punishment” techniques. Simply the act of taking your puppy to the vets is a form of socialization – and it also helps him prepare for future visits.
Socializing your puppy correctly can take time and patience – but the end results are well worth it and you will understand why white German shepherds are such a delight to own and train.