Year of the NEADS Dog Month 1 – Socialization

Puppy on Red Block-h

We’re welcoming the Year of the Dog with our own Year of the NEADS Dog, in which we highlight the transition our Service Dogs in Training make during their first year with us. Today, we start where all the pups start – at The Laura J. Niles Early Learning Center.

Most puppies arrive at the NEADS Early Learning Center when they’re around 8 weeks old, and they can spend several weeks on campus. During that time, our staff works on socialization, exposing and familiarizing pups to sights, sounds, textures, and building confidence. This can include walking on different surfaces (a wire gate, the top to a sandbox); watching umbrellas open; listening to different noises (the sounds of a blender or a hairdryer, maracas); and investigating new toys (baby toys that make noise, light up, and move). 

Enrichment activities, like the ball pit, playing and popping bubbles, and finding hidden treats in a toy, help with motor coordination, are stress relievers, and brings variety into the day’s routine.

And, of course, the puppies have plenty of time to play and receive lots of attention from our staff and volunteers.

Here’s a glimpse at some socialization exercises. Oh, if all learning could be so fun!

Follow our Year of the NEADS Dog series here.