What does it mean when a breeder says they socialize their puppies? Why should you care? This article gives a good overview, but basically, socialization is about teaching young puppies that things happen in the world and it's okay. While socialization needs to be continued once the puppies go to their new homes, much can be done in the first couple months of a puppy's life to get them started on the right path.
Temperament in dogs is a combination of genetics and enviroment. As the article points out, the mother's temperament is also important. Fortunately, the vast majority of samoyeds have very strong maternal instincts.
We start out doing Early Nuerological Stimulation when the puppies are just days old. We introduce new scents everyday (gentle ones like fresh basil or lavendar, nothing harsh.) Puppies are weighed twice daily and handled from the time they are born. We sleep next to them for the first few weeks and are just in the next room for the entire time they are at our home.
Once the puppies ears open we start a constant stream of different sounds. Initially music like soft classical, jazz, etc... building up over the weeks to thunderstorms, city noises, crying babies and crowds.. I'll run youtube videos taken at agility trials, and lots of action movies (Twister is great for sirens and wind, Transformers has lots of weird metallic noises, etc.)
When the puppies are a few weeks old they are moved to a larger pen with many different toys, surfaces, and a litterbox (puppies will use a litter pan if it is available and this makes housebreaking so much easier because they learn to go in one place - plus we use equine pellets that smell like grass, so when they start going outdoors, the grass smell is familiar.
Individual playtime with people:
Group playtime with a "bottle pool":
The puppies spend a good portion of the day outside the pen too, both inside the house and outside (supervised) in the yard. The big pen is set up in the open family/kitchen area so the puppies experience all the normal parts of life - doors closing, dishwasher running, vacuuming and so on. I also have several dog saavy friends that come and visit.
Once the puppies are a bit older still, (and mom approves) they are allowed to play and interact with the other adult dogs in our household. Grooming lessons also start early - puppy nail trimming starts when they are very young to keep mom from getting scratched, and their education continues with things like combing and brushing, teeth checks, ear checks, and bathing and blow drying.
Clicker training and basic manners are introduced (sit, down, loose leash walking, etc)
This does not mean that a 10 week old puppy goes to their new home completely trained and housebroken (wouldn't that be nice though if it was possible!) but it does mean the foundation work has been done so that when their new family contiues training, the puppy has a head start. Continued training and socialization is imperative to ensure your puppy grows up to be a happy, healthy, well mannered adult.