Socialising your puppy

Early socialisation of dogs helps ensure well-adjusted and confident pets

Whether you’re a dog lover looking to buy a puppy or are a licenced dog breeder with a puppy litter, socialisation is critical for making sure they grow up to be confident and happy dogs.

What does ‘puppy socialisation’ mean?

Simply put, the ‘socialisation’ of dogs or puppies refers to the process of teaching them important life skills.

Giving them this foundation of knowledge will mean they are far more likely to grow to be confident, well-adjusted, and happy dogs.

It helps them to understand the world around them and how they should respond and interact in a range of scenarios.

All you need to know before offering a dog a home

When should you socialise a puppy?

There is no official cut off period for when a dog should be socialised by. However, socialising your pet after the age of 4 months will be a much more difficult, long, and sometimes frustrating process.

To have the best effects on their development, Pat Hastings explains that the key window of opportunity is when they are 5 to 16 weeks of age. This means that a lot of puppy socialisation should happen before you’re able to pick your new puppy up at 12 weeks old.

However, you should still work towards offering the best early socialisation possible even after you pick up your pooch.

Puppy feeding guide

Benefits of socialising your puppy

  • Your dog will be happier and more confident in day-to-day life.

A well-socialised dog is often far less afraid of strange people, dogs, or places.

It also helps encourage a bounce back from any fear your dog might feel at being in a new situation.

  • You and your dog will enjoy their daily walks more

If your dog is socialised, you can enjoy the freedom to take your pooch on long walks without worrying about them responding negatively to those they encounter in public.

  • Less unpleasant or unpredictable situations

Whether you need to take your canine companion to the vet or just enjoy some time outside, you are likely to have fewer unpleasant situations where your dog may snap at a passerby.

  • As a dog seller, you’re offering more value to puppy buyers

If you’re a licenced dog breeder, being able to offer puppies that are well socialised adds value to your litter.

If you’ve done the hard work for the prospective puppy purchasers, then it means you’re able to reflect this in asking prices.

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10 tips to help socialise your puppy

  1. From a young age, make sure that your puppy is used to being handled and touch.
  2. When safe to do so, introduce your pooch to different situations, locations, pets and even people. It’s best to do this in a controlled environment.
  3. As a licenced puppy breeder, making sure your litter of puppies has the chance to go on car rides with you helps them get used to the experience of travelling. It’s also a great way to add extra value to puppy buyers.
  4. Actively encourage curiosity because you want your dog to be happy to investigate the world around them.
  5. When your puppy is exploring their surroundings, keep a watchful eye over her. Having a bad experience can hinder their socialisation process, so you need to make sure they’re safe to explore.
  6. Introducing new activities and dog toys can help them get used to new stimuli (sights, smells, and textures).
  7. Going to puppy socialisation classes are a great way for first-time dog owners to get some help in the socialisation process.
  8. Bring your new dog with you when you’re running errands. Just make sure that you’re taking your new puppy to a dog-friendly spot.
  9. Start small and work your way up to big new experiences. For a little puppy, the world can be a scary space. Starting off with visits to dog-friendly spaces outside of peak dog visiting hours is a great way to start the socialisation trips.
  10. Try to make socialisation fun for your puppy. Whether you’re a licenced puppy breeder or a new dog owner, training of any type will always be more successful if your pooch enjoys it.
Positive Puppy Training Guide
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