The First Fear Imprint in labrador puppies

The Socialisation period for a pup is from weeks 6 - 24. During this time there is a fear imprint period from weeks 8 - 11. And during this time, any traumatic, painful or frightening experiences can have lasting impact on your pup and its ability to confidently relate to people and other dogs. More so than if they occurred at any other time. Unhelpful timidity is often the result of a lack of socialisation. And these dogs regularly become 'fear biters'.


To become acceptable companions, pups must be socialised. Socialisation is not in itself training. It is the essential exposure to the outside world. I think of socialisation as exposure to People, Vehicles / Traffic & other Dogs. They need to interact with you, your family, and other people in as many different settings as possible. If they are not exposed to other (immunised) dogs during the Socialization Period, the pup can develop 'dog to dog aggression'. Dogs that are denied socialization during this critical period regularly become unpredictable because they are fearful and this leads to aggressive behaviour. It is during this time, that your dog needs to have positive experiences with people and other dogs. These experiences build confidence and help deal with undesirable timidity. Therefore, you need to socialize and teach your puppy how to interact with people and other dogs in a positive, non-punitive manner. You should gradually introduce your puppy to new experiences, environments, and varieties of people.

If you have not socialised you dog, in most cases, it is not to late to start. The easy answer is to take your pup with you 'everywhere'.