What is one of the most important elements needed to be able to sell a puppy for a quality price? If you are a follower of this column, which is a series of articles created for breeders, by various educated breeders, you have probably gained a wealth of knowledge by this time. Various topics have been touched on, and a lot of topics could still be talked about, but one of the most important factors to being able to sell your puppies for a good price, is simply this: Socialize your dogs and puppies!
Anyone that is educated on puppies (including potential customers) will be able tell whether a puppy is socialized, by looking at the pictures. Even if you do not advertise online, the personality of the puppies will be obvious to the customer when they come to pick one out or take it home. No one wants a shy or unsocialized puppy, plus a timid puppy shouts the term “puppy mill” to a customer. Remember, you have 6 seconds to make a first impression! The first glimpse the potential buyer gets of your puppies when they come to your home will certainly leave an impression. If the puppies come running up to complete strangers, that is an immediate assurance to the buyer, and they will almost never go home without being the owner of a new life companion.
Having well-socialized puppies will take a bit of dedication, which will need to start with your adult dogs. The parents’ demeanor will be passed down to their puppies. A shy, nervous, or unconfident female that has an unhappy life, will have a harder time raising a litter of well-socialized puppies. If you have an adult dog that lacks socialization, you can help them overcome the fear of humans with daily handling and getting them to come to you in the kennel. Start by throwing them a treat every time you step in the kennel or feed her. If they won’t eat it, try a meat treat or coat it with Cheese Wiz, if they still do not respond, smear the Cheese Whiz on their nose to get them started. Once they are responding and you are doing this on a regular basis, they will gain confidence and will start running to the door every time you step into the room. Ideally, when you step in your kennel all the dogs will be there begging for attention. Certain breeds will naturally be more social than others, however, if you are only handling your dogs or puppies to administer veterinarian duties, they will likely not be socialized. Consider adding an exercise yard to your kennel, and allot some time on a regular basis to be with your dogs and puppies as they romp and play.
Proper puppy socialization will start at a very young age. You will not harm your puppies by gently handing them for a few moments, at a few days of age. A well-socialized puppy should come to its master as soon as it can walk properly. Continue spending some time with them every day until they find their permanent home. The results will be better-socialized puppies, higher quality photos, superior prices, and most importantly, happier buyers! Good Luck!