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Puppy Love: The Importance of Socializing Our Dogs at an Early Stage

Puppy Love: The Importance of Socializing Our Dogs at an Early Stage

Ruchi Joshi
  • Puppies need to be exposed to people, other puppies and dogs, social situations, and car rides early and often.

This blog has been long in making! I am a dog passionate; dogs make me happy and people who love dogs are my people. If someone had told me when I was younger, that I would be so crazy about dogs, I wouldn’t have believed them — while growing up in India, I was terrified of dogs. It’s only when we moved to Boston with our 6-year-old Golden Phoebe and I got to spend more time with dog lovers around me that I started to really get to know dogs better. 

One of the biggest mistakes most dog owners do, and I did unfortunately too with Phoebe, was not socializing our dogs at an early stage. Phoebe didn’t know how to interact with other dogs, she would just want to be with us, her humans. Dogs that haven’t been properly socialized develop lifelong psychological problems such as fearfulness, anxiety and separation anxiety that are not desired traits of a family pet but also really hard on the dog too. Poorly socialized dogs are fearful of unusual or new circumstances and are frequently engaged in stressful situations because of this. 

Ruchi, left, with her Golden Nessie and Purvi with her Sheepadoodle Oreo.

Good health includes early socialization. The age window for socialization is 3-12 weeks of age. Puppies need to be exposed to people, other puppies and dogs, social situations, and car rides early and often. According to PetMed, a prudent recommendation is 7 new social situations each week until 12-16 weeks of age. 

I made it my mission to not make this mistake with my second Golden Nessie. Living in a dog loving community really helped too and not only Nessie benefitted by socialization but I benefitted too by getting to know other dog-loving neighbors, understanding dogs more and hence being a better dog parent. And then of course Covid hit.

There were two things that went up during the Covid times — depression rates and puppy purchases! As travel outside our cities became difficult, our dependence on our own communities increased. We were all looking for a way to make us feel better, something that made us forget what’s happening around but instead focus on soft, cuddly things that made us forget everything for a while. Roads were soon filled with pitter patter of tiny four-legged creatures with twirling tails and big happy smiles on their faces. 

Covid had created a happy problem, an influx of wonderful puppies and loving but slightly hassled, unprepared first-time dog owners caught off guard with insufficient access to information about dog care. Sometime in October, as I was walking my then 5-year-old Golden Nessie, Purvi and I met. Purvi has an adorable Sheepadoodle Oreo. Purvi had never wanted a dog but having Oreo had changed everything. She had earlier been worried about how much work dogs are but Oreo’s unconditional love and the joy he brought into the family was unparalleled. His energy and love had converted her into a dog lover

 I still remember we started chatting about the new puppies we kept seeing popping up everywhere and how soon they will need to meet puppies their own age to socialize! During Covid times, what a tough task though that was! Being an entrepreneur, Purvi immediately saw an opportunity for a larger global impact. How incredible it would be if we created something together that could help puppy owners be better dog owners and dog lovers. We started chatting and …. rest as they say is history!

Covid times, wearing masks, sitting on outdoor tables, brainstorming for hours and hours. Our office headquarters became the benches outside Starbucks in downtown village. We already had a thriving dog community in our neighborhood, and we had seen the benefits of it. She and I wanted to recreate it for everyone by providing a platform for global impact. And that’s how theDogHood was conceived. 

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theDogHood has a simple vision — to create a better world for dogs and their owners. We want to create a location-based online community of warm, supportive, loving, like-minded individuals with the common goal of creating a circle of love and support for each dog and their owners locally and eventually globally. Our first launch is theDogHood.com. The website not only has lots of informative puppy care and training videos to support all puppy/dog owners but also an online blog called — Hoomans of theDogHood. At theDogHood we want to celebrate the unbreakable, unique bond that people share with their dogs. Each of the stories featured here will touch your heart. 

Our next big launch is theDogHood App and our goal is to connect all the Hoomans of the world so they could celebrate, share and support each other through the beautiful journey of life with their four-legged bundles of joy — their dogs. 


Ruchi Joshi is a dog passionate. Taking dog pictures and understanding their different personalities is her hobby & calling. She is a community organizer, who loves to organize dog-focused events and get-togethers to create a better social life for dogs and their owners.

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