The process of socialization, which helps your dog behave properly around strangers, ideally begins during the first few weeks of life. A puppy should be introduced to as many people as possible during the first few weeks of her life. Of course, each of those experiences should be a positive one that instills a level of comfort within the puppy when dealing with strangers. The people to whom the dog is introduced should be do/animal lovers, so that they can interact with her, and even feed her a treat or two in order for the puppy to warm up to strangers, and enjoy meeting new people. This will lead to having an adult dog that is not afraid of strangers, and much less likely to bite out of fear.

It is also important to note that the more people she meets the better, and not the same people over and over.

Training: Aside from general interactions with your puppy, if possible the guests to your home should take part in training sessions with your puppy. This will help teach your puppy to be comfortable with a variety of people.

Children: Like puppies, children are rambunctious, hyper, and unpredictable, and an adult dog that has not been properly socialized with children as a puppy will be quite taken aback by children’s behavior. It is also important to teach your children about how to behave around dogs, so as to not traumatize the puppy as it is being socialized. If you are a puppy owner without children of your own, or friends or family who have children, then that is a challenge for socialization. If you have friends that have children then it would be helpful to invite them over to meet and greet your puppy, and it would be perfect if the children are from a household that already has a dog, or at least another pet.

Strangers: Even though socialization during puppyhood is necessary in order to develop a well-rounded adult, the process should continue during adulthood as well. Your adult dog should meet strangers on a regular basis, whether at the park, during a walk, or any other outings. The continued exposure to strangers will ensure that your adult dog remains well socialized.

Physical Play: Puppies are cute, there is no question about that; and we, as owners, as well as friends, family and strangers, may feel the desire to handle a cute puppy in a manner that is more suitable for a teddy bear. Some puppies will enjoy this, others will not, so it is important to take note of how your puppy reacts to this type of play. If you, your children, or a guest is teasing or roughhousing with your puppy, the best way to test whether or not she is enjoying the play is to stop the play, and move away from the puppy. If the puppy follows happily, then that is a good indication that she was enjoying that type of play, and wants more. If, on the other hand, she seems relieved and stays away, then that is a clear sign that she was not enjoying the rough play.

In all cases, the thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your puppy’s encounters with every type of person is positive, so that she does not develop a negative association with any particular category of people.