Here is a good link on the critical socialization period for dogs from Dog Star Daily. A quote that stands out to me is, “being accepting and friendly to people is the most important requirement of any companion dog.” This is why, with Shiba Inu, who mature quickly in comparison to other breeds (potty trained by 6 weeks), I would like to see them in their new home by 8 weeks of age. With a breed that tends to be aloof, ask yourselves if it is more important for them to spend an extra two weeks with their littermates bonding with dogs, or meeting new people and learning that humans are fun and safe?
After having more experience in rescue, and those of you in rescue will have heard this too probably, the one thing that will sign a dogs’ euthanasia release is bites to people. Attacking other dogs can be managed with seperation, and even then it doesn’t always work, but human biting in this day and age especially, isn’t going to be well tolerated legally.
There are puppy play groups and play dates in training centers, day care, friends dogs, current dogs, and so on that will help with keeping puppy current on appropriate dog interactions. However, I think it is more important to get the dog into a home where they will be well socialized with people as early as possible. This is not to say that the breed doesn’t have issues with dog aggression as well, because they certainly can, but my first preference would be to help the dog along with being a good pet able to live with people, over being a good pack dog, although I definately desire both of these things in my dogs.
What are your opinions?