I am always advocating for socializing dogs as early as two months old. I can understand that someone new to dogs might not fully understand the need to socialize or the terrible consequences of NOT socializing a puppy. But a BREEDER???This past week I had the sad and troubling experience of a person bringing a young 9-month-old puppy to a group agility class with the intention of “socializing” it. This puppy looked so scared and upset and repeatedly lunged aggressively at all the other dogs in class. He also lunged at me when I tried to approach him in a very friendly and non threatening manner! Upon questioning the owner I found out that this puppy had been kept by the breeder until two months ago when this naive person bought it! What is worse, the breeder told her all the dog needed was to practice his “social skills”.
This poor dog needs some serious and intensive behavior modification rehabilitation. What worries me even more is that the owner truly believed there was nothing wrong with this puppy and that her repeated exposure to other dogs would magically “cure” him. When the dog lunged at me she wholeheartedly reassured me: “He is fine around children! I take her to school and the kids can pet him”. Chills run down my spine… you have to be kidding me! This puppy is a time bomb and this inexperienced person is putting innocent children and dogs at risk.
This greedy breeder, who only cares about selling dogs and not the welfare of the puppies she brings into this world, is the reason why we have all this punitive breed and breeder regulations! This irresponsible breeder is the reason radical groups like PETA exist!
If you are getting a dog from a breeder please make sure it has been properly socialized and ask to meet the sire and dam. The only way to stop irresponsible breeders is let them deal with the maladjusted dogs they breed and not allow them to dump them on good people.
Don’t buy puppies from Flea market vendors, the internet or backyard breeders. You will just be promoting more suffering. There are enough dogs in shelters and there is enough cruelty towards all the poor animals that have to be euthanized because of behavior problems.
When you get a puppy: SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE, SOCIALIZE the instant that puppy comes into your life!