One of your most important jobs as a new puppy owner is to socialize your puppy at an early age. He needs to know how to get along with the people and other animals in your household.
Certain dog breeds have reputations as being vicious or aggressive and some by nature are more territorial and protective, but any dog not socialized from an early age will be a problem.
From birth to 8 weeks of age, when the pups go to their new homes, it is the breeders responsibility to socialize all the puppies in the litter. They should be held and handled from birth, but even more after the have opened their eyes. As they get older, they should be introduced to more people. They become more playful, curious and bold with each passing week.
When you get your new puppy home, he will need to explore and become familiar with his new environment. After he has had a few days to get settled, he should be introduced to family, friends, playmates and neighbors that he will encounter every day. This is especially important if you have a breed that is more protective of his family and property, which he considers his territory.
If puppy is not properly socialized, he will display aggressive or unfriendly behavior to anyone that comes near him or his property. Other problems can develop as well, for example, a dog that is tied up outside all day may bark constantly for attention. Dogs left home alone with no attention or play, may become destructive. One of the biggest concerns for dogs that are not socialized, is the dog getting loose and attacking someone in the neighborhood or attacking other pets.
It is also important to introduce your puppy to other animals he will be in contact with, whether it is other family pets or neighborhood pets. Once again, the breeds that are naturally more territorial will need special attention in socializing with other animals. Starting early with your puppy is the key to teaching him to get along in your world. Dogs are naturally social animals and puppies love to meet new playmates, so it should be a fun and enjoyable experience to share with your puppy.