October 21, 2016

Periods of Pet Socialization

Debbie Martin, LVT, VTS (Behavior), animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, co-owner of Team Education in Animal Behavior, explains pet socialization.

By American Veterinarian Editorial Staff


Debbie Martin, LVT, VTS (Behavior), animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, co-owner of Team Education in Animal Behavior, explains pet socialization.
 
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability).

“Some people when they talk about socialization, they’re talking about the socialization periods of a specific species. So, for dogs, that’s from about 3 to 12 weeks of age, it’s really tailoring off at 12, maybe up to 16 weeks of age, but by 12 weeks, a lot of the socialization we do is closed. With cats, it’s about 2 weeks to maybe 7 to 10 weeks of age, perhaps some people suggest maybe even up to 14 weeks of age, because that’s when we see less interest in play with other cats.

I think when we talk about socialization in a lay term, we’re talking about exposing dogs and cats to things that they are going to have to experience throughout their li[ves] and hoping that they’ll be comfortable with them. When I’m discussing socialization, socialization can be considered [as] interactions with this particular species, but it can also be the environments, or what we call localization, becoming familiar with different environments and being comfortable with them, whether it be surfaces, sounds, different types of people, [and] different types of animals.”
 

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