Puppy Places – Where to Socialize Your Puppy


Early experiences between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks are crucial to a puppy’s emotional development. Puppies need to meet dogs they have never met; people of all age and ethnicities; and environmental challenges, like automatic doors at shopping plazas, dust blowers, and the loud activity of an outdoor cafe.

Ideas for Places to Take Your Puppy:

* Non-restricted neighborhoods at popular walk times (7-9AM, 4:30-6:30PM) – visiting neighborhoods other than your own multiplies your puppy’s exposure to new people, places and things.

* PetSmart, Petco, Pet Supermarket, Woof Gang Bakery and other pet retailers.

* Local farmers’ markets (see www.localfoodsouthflorida.org for markets near us or in your area).

* Only designated outdoor areas of dining establishments – it’s the law (if table service is not offered, bring a friend to go inside and order). Information on dog friendly restaurants is available at www.dogfriendly.com, www.bringfido.com, and www.tripswithpets.com.

* Pedestrian (outdoor) malls such as CityPlace.

* Dog parks such as Lilac Park in Palm Beach Gardens (please note: some public parks other than dog parks do not allow dogs other than service dogs).

* Jupiter (Juno) Beach.

* Outdoor festivals such as CityPlace’s Free Family Fun Fest (Sunday 3/9/14)

* Peggy Adams Rescue League Barry Crown Walk for the Animals (Saturday 3/8/14), Downtown at the Gardens.

* South Florida Pet Expo (Saturday 3/15/14), South Florida Fairgrounds.


• Use a fixed-length lead rather than a flexi-lead when socializing your dog

• Bring treats

• Bring a small dish for water if you will be out for an extended period of time

• Bring your own waste bags

• Attend to your puppy’s stress level. Some outdoor events or people (e.g., a large group of children) may overwhelm sensitive youngsters. Do not allow interactions with inappropriate dogs or people.

–Alison Tanner

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