How does it help the dogs?
Socialization is a big part of PWP’s mission. It begins from the moment we get the dogs at 8 weeks old. It can something as small as walking over a pothole or as big as taking a trip to the movie theater. It means exposing dogs to different sounds, experiences, toys and even floors.
It is meant to get the puppies used to situations that they might encounter after they are placed with their human. A service dog is meant to allow for more independence, so it is important for the dog to not be afraid of anything in the outside world. Serpell (1996) found that more you expose a dog to, especially in the critical period between 2.5 and 13 weeks, the less likely a dog is to show fear responses. The dogs even come to class with some of our members.
Batt, L., Batt, M., Baguley, J., & Mcgreevy, P. (2008). The effects of structured sessions for juvenile training and socialization on guide dog success and puppy-raiser participation. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 3(5), 199–206. doi: 10.1016/j.jveb.2008.05.001