By Dr. Jess Trimble
Congrats and welcome to the world of puppy parenting!
One of the most important developmental stages of your puppy’s life is the socialization period, which happens from 7 weeks to 4 months of age. What happens during this period will affect their personality and interactions with people, pets and things in his/her environment. The purpose of socialization is to introduce and get your pup use to the sights, sounds, smells and interactions of their various surroundings in a positive manner. The end goal is for your dog to be confident, happy and well-mannered. Improper socializing or a lack of socialization can result in behavioral problems later in life.
Puppy socials allow your pup to interact with other people and puppies in a supervised and controlled environment, often with a trainer or two to reinforce positive behaviors and discourage detrimental ones. They’re also great for getting that energetic pupper ready for a sound sleep. Below you’ll find a list of local organizations that host awesome puppy socials across the Bay Area. Please check with each organization before attending for various requirements such as updated vaccination records, pre-registration, etc.
SF Puppy Prep (COVID-19 NOTICE: Puppy Socials are CANCELLED until further notice)
- Socials are designed for pups 9-18 weeks of age
- Every Tuesday: 7:15-8:15pm, Friday: 6:00-7:00pm, and Sunday: 10:30-11:30am
- Socials are designed for pups no older than 18 weeks of age and their person or two (you can check out their adolescent class for older pups).
- Every Wednesday: 7:30-8:30pm and Saturday: 12:30-1:30pm (with a few exceptions)
Bravo!Pup (Oakland & El Cerrito)
- Socials are designed for pups 9 to 16 weeks of age
- Every Monday (5:15pm – 6pm) and Wednesday and Friday (6:00pm – 6:45pm)
South Bay & Peninsula
Peninsula Humane Society (San Mateo)
- Socials are designed for pups 6 months of age and younger
- Every Tuesday 6:15-7:15pm (hours very with seasonality)
Wag Hotels (Santa Clara, Redwood City, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento)
- Offers free puppy socialization groups at their various locations – times vary by location so check online first!