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Hi everyone! With Jaanu arriving on the 11th, we are getting more excited by the day. He will be 9 wks, so right in the all-important socialization period. We don't have friends or family locally, and my mother has asthma, so we have to be extremely careful about letting people into our home. I will enroll him in a few puppy socials (no more than 10 puppies at a time, everyone must provide vaccination records, and there are trainers supervising), and would like to take him to places to people watch (off the ground). Does anyone have other suggestions for how to socialize Jaanu as effectively as possible during these times? Thanks!
 

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I'd print out a socialization checklist and start working on exposing Jaanu to things in a positive way, with lots of treats and play.

When it comes to new sights and sounds, exposure from a distance can sometimes be better anyway. For example, he can hang out with you in a parking lot and watch shoppers come and go from big box stores. At home, he can try walking on different textures, interacting with toys that light up and dance and make noise, solve little puzzles you create for him, etc. Just focus on encouraging his curiosity, building his confidence, and strengthening your bond. Make him think the world is just the coolest, safest, most fun place EVER.

Some of the things we did in our puppy classes you could also easily do at home: Try on funny hats and masks. Do mock exams on a table. Tap his little toes and nails while you relax in front of the TV. Play the sound of fireworks while he's relaxing with a chew.

Just always watch for signs of stress and be sure to end on a positive note.

And be sure to give him ample alone time for sleep and self-soothing. Otherwise you might inadvertently plant the seed of separation anxiety,
 

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I took ours to the airport, and rigged some people I knew slightly to come and make a fuss over the puppies, giving them treats. I think you could still do that using a lead to stay 6 feet away from others


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Simply taking the puppy for a walk will give a lot of stimulation. All of my guys were reluctant to step out of the front yard at first. At 200 feet from the house they would firmly set the parking brake. I spent a lot of time working them past this hesitation and building confidence. Luring them by tossing a favorite toy just past the point where they wanted to stop often helped. Bringing my spouse along, so the whole pack was going out, also helped.
 
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