First, a note on dog parks and safety. Unfortunately, many older pups do not respond well to ‘puppy energy’ and your puppy may be too young or inexperienced to understand the cues they are receiving from the older dogs when they are being too high energy with a dog that is not interested in engaging in play. This could lead to a nip, bite or worse. If you must use a dog park based on your individual situation, do your best to go early in the morning or late at night when there are less pups.
Every community will be a little different when it comes to socialization options but a quick search online should reveal some puppy meet-up groups like Puppy Power Hour at BFF where you can safely socialize your pup for FREE with other new pupper parents.
Another great way to socialize your puppy is to visit family and friends as often as possible to give your pup exposure to new people and new environments. If any of those friends or family also have a puppy in the home, or a friendly older pup, then that would be a wonderful bonus!
If you can’t find a free puppy socialization or maybe visiting friends and family isn’t a realistic option for you, some training companies will offer a paid version of the free puppy socials where you can socialize your pup for a fee.
However you choose to socialize your pup, finding a way to safely expose them to as many new people, puppers and environments as possible will encourage them to be a well-balanced, fear-free pupper for many years to come!