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Studzinska, Viktoria, 2023. En enkätstudie om tidiga erfarenheter hos hundvalpar. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Socialization is a very important process in a dog’s life. Some describes several different developmental stages that dogs go through, this paper will focus on the socialization period during 3 to 12 weeks of age. Puppies between 3 and 12 weeks should socialize with other dogs, humans, children, and experience different environments. This is due to it being important for their social and cognitive development as well as ensuring that they get the best possible conditions for their adult life. It has been shown that a lack of socialization as puppies results in adult dogs displaying more aggressive and fearful behaviors, which our society view as problematic. Dogs displaying these behaviors may also have an increased likelihood of euthanasia. Therefore, to improve animal welfare and animal protection it is important that dogs are given the best possible conditions to grow into safe and secure individuals. According to Swedish legislation, puppies must remain at the breeder until at least 8 weeks of age. Therefore, the breeders should begin the socialization process when the puppies are 3 weeks of age and continue it until they are 8 weeks old when the new owner takes over. In this study, a questionnaire was published on social media and sent to Swedish breeders in order to investigate how breeders socialize and work with the puppies during the socialization period. Breeders were asked if they used different techniques depending on breed and breed group, as well as what expectations they have on the parental dogs and the pups. The result showed that the Swedish breeders do work with socialization in several different ways. Most of the Swedish breeders in this study offered puppies new toys, different beddings, new environments to explore, and the puppies are exposed to social interaction with guests (with children in different ages if possible) and other dogs than the bitch. Most breeders recommend puppy owners to let the puppy socialize with other dogs. However, some breeders recommend to wait with social interactions with other dogs until the puppy is 12 weeks old. This is despite the previous research showing that it is very important that puppies socialize with other dogs during this period. To prevent problem behaviors such as aggression towards other dogs and humans it is vital that dogs get to experience social interactions with dogs and humans at an early age. In conclusion, the Swedish breeders in this study seem to use proper socialization practices during the time period when the puppies are with the breeder. But it is important to spread the knowledge about socialization to prevent problem behaviors.

Main title:En enkätstudie om tidiga erfarenheter hos hundvalpar
Authors:Studzinska, Viktoria
Supervisor:Skånberg, Lena
Examiner:Andersson, Maria
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK005 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:socialiseringsperiod, hund, valp, erfarenhet, djurvälfärd, djurskydd
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Deposited On:04 Jul 2023 10:10
Metadata Last Modified:05 Jul 2023 01:01

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