Why is it so important to socialise a puppy? Why not just let them be and get used to other people and dogs in their own time?
Why the big fuss?
Well. Let’s look at the whole picture.
Let’s pretend that today is the day when you decide to buy your new puppy.
As a dog owner, you will want the best for your puppy and helping her to socialise is the first step towards a happy pooch.
As tempting as it may be to protect your young dog from the noisy hustle-bustle of the outside environment and let her ‘come around in her own time,’ knowing how to socialise a puppy will not only make for a confident, well-rounded dog but also a happy owner.
And that’s important too.
8 Tips On How To Socialise A Puppy (Quickly & Easily)
The best time to introduce your new puppy to the world of humans, places and other animals is between eight to twelve weeks.
A puppy won’t leave her mother until at least eight weeks old so as soon as you have her, begin the socialisation process.
By slowly introducing her to new things every day, you will soon find that the shy little pup that you brought home will become an inquisitive and happy dog.
Here are 8 tips on how to socialise your new puppy (without her even realising it!)
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#1 Visiting The Vet
Your new puppy will have his first round of vaccination injections at around six weeks.
Taking him to the vet is going to be his first experience of socialisation so let’s make it a positive one!
We have all seen the dog who has to be dragged into the vets! Make sure your puppy feels relaxed at the vets by holding him, stroking him and letting him have a good smell and look around at his environment, this way, a trip to the vets will never be a big drama for your adult dog.
#2 Daily Walks
After she has had her second vaccination (usually at around eight weeks old), your new puppy can go on daily walks.
Make sure you buy your dog a well-fitting collar and a lead specially designed for a puppy.
Keep the lead short for now until she has learned all of her basic training commands.
Walking daily will become yours and your dogs favourite time of day. It is now that your new puppy can smell different smells, meet new dogs and hear unfamiliar sounds.
#3 Change Your Dog’s Routine
When socialising your new puppy make sure that you mix things up a little. Don’t take her to the same park every day or the stretch of sand on the local beach; mix things up!
Puppies will need to explore everywhere in order to become familiar with places.
If you live near a railway take her to stand on the busy platform, let her enjoy a walk around the local skate park or take her for daily outings to the local cafe where she will be spoiled rotten (who doesn’t love to pet a puppy?!)
#4 Travel With Your Puppy
As I mentioned above, it is very important to get your new puppy used o different modes of transport if you are wanting to be able to travel with her in the future. Cars, trains and buses are all great ways of getting your new puppy ready for the big wide world of adventures. Invest in a puppy crate so that your new member of the family is safe when travelling in the car.
#5 Handling By Different Members Of The Family
If you bought your dog mainly for the kids make sure that they handle their new puppy frequently.
Obviously, be sure to air caution around clumsy toddlers who want to squeeze their new toy as hard as they can – especially if the breed that you have chosen is a big gentle giant such as the Bernese Dog.
Why not let the children brush the puppy – this is a job that all gentle children enjoy.
Having lots of family members pick up the new puppy is a fabulous way of getting her used to strangers and helping her to feel relaxed and confident in her socialisation. Same goes for if you are in a dog-friendly cafe, let people pet her.
If you have to leave your adult dog with a dog sitter later in life this crucial part of the socialisation process will pay dividends.
#6 Meeting Other Pets
Whether you live on a farm, or you have a cat who resides down the street make sure that you introduce your new puppy to all of his new friends.
We have 5 sheep and the first thing we did with our new puppy was to let her spend daily time with them, now, as an adult dog, she has never regarded the sheep as anything different than herself.
Yes, the grumpy cat makes take a swipe at this new intruder, fear not. Let them become used to seeing each other and encourage them to be friends.
#7 Puppy Classes
If you feel as though you would like support, then now is the time to take your new pup to training classes. It is here that your pup will meet lots of new faces in a safe environment. Check out where the local puppy training classes are happening and take her along!
#8 Use Your Doggy Common Sense
Dogs are not robots, they have emotions and feelings just like you and I.
If you can sense that your puppy is feeling tired and irritated, then take a break from the training routine for the day and give him some downtime to just be a puppy. Overtraining can result in making crucial dog training mistakes.
Like children, puppies need time to be alone and reflect on everything they have experienced. Watch out for signs that your pup is letting you know he has had enough.
The tail between the legs, yawning and excessive panting shows that your pup has had enough and it’s time to pick him up and put him on your knee for some quiet time.
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To socialise a puppy all you need is time, patience and lots of love! It is one of the most enjoyable and memorable bonding times that you will share with your pet. Enjoy it, and remember, the more you do, the more your puppy will become the socialised, happy dog you are looking for.