Socialising your puppy is a key stage in their development. By experiencing a range of different objects, smells, people and other dogs, it allows your puppy to become more comfortable and relaxed as well as reducing the risk of developing anxiety.
As soon as your puppy enters the world it is learning. During the early weeks they are understanding who’s boss (their mum) and how to interact with others (their siblings). This is why this time with their mum is so crucial so they can learn the foundations of becoming a happy puppy.
You can ask your breeder what your puppy has been exposed to during the early weeks. Household appliances, the car, children etc are always good to be introduced early on.
Socialisation doesn’t stop once you have picked up your puppy, it’s only just begun! See our golden rules for socialisation below.
Too many new things in one go could overwhelm puppy. Keep new/different experiences limited to 1 or 2 a day and short and sweet.
Remember to reward good behaviour so your puppy comes to feel relaxed around the new object/place you are introducing.
If your four-legged friend seems anxious, afraid or overexcited calmly remove them from the situation and reassure them.
Be sure to tick all of the socialisation opportunities off the list, this gives your puppy the best chance to grow into a friendly and outgoing dog.
TOP TIP: Search ‘puppy socialisation chart’ on the internet and you can download a tick list of scenarios to introduce your puppy to.
Playing different sounds through your smart speaker is a great and easy way to introduce your puppy to new experiences. Try ‘storm’ and ‘firework sounds’ to begin with, remembering to reward calm behaviour.
Even before your puppy is fully vaccinated they can experience the great outdoors via a sensory walk. You can either carry your pup or take them out in a carrier making sure to keep them secure and off the ground. For example taking them to the local park or the supermarket car park allows them to take in the new sights and sounds. Remember to keep them close and off the ground.
Practise alone time with your puppy. Start off with short times building up slowly. Allowing them to get used to spending time on their own early on, will benefit you both in the long run. For more tips on leaving your dog read our article.