It is essential to effectively socialise your new puppy to ensure you have a happy, friendly, kind natured and calm dog that interacts well with people, animals and fellow dogs. It also helps your dog to become accustomed to a variety of different situations and environments. Puppies who are not properly socialised at the right age become adult dogs who are fearful and defensive and are much more likely to bite. To ensure your dog has the happiest life possible, and you can enjoy the company of your canine, it is important to spend some time accurately socialising your puppy. Here is our guide on how to socialise your puppy.
The Importance of and How to Socialise Your Puppy
The critical socialisation period starts when your puppy is around three weeks old and should be completed by the time they reach 12 weeks of age. Most puppies go to their new home at the age of 8 weeks, leaving you a month to thoroughly familiarise the dog with other people, other dogs, unusual noises and environments.
It is critical to ensure the dog has been thoroughly socialised by the time they are 12 weeks, not only for your sake as their owner but to provide them with the best life possible. Dogs who haven’t been socialised are often aggressive, highly nervous and suffer from a number of phobias. Poor socialisation of a dog can lead to a number of long-term behaviour problems.
Ensuring you have exposed your puppy to a variety of animals, people, noises and environments during the critical period is essential. During this time, puppies are a lot more willing to approach unfamiliar situations with an open mind but will become less compliant, the older they get. To understand the best way to go about socialising your new puppy, keep reading.
Socialise with Strangers
Encourage family members and friends to handle the puppy as often as possible. The more unfamiliar people the dog is subjected to, the more they learn to trust different people. Make sure the puppy meets a variety of people of both genders and all ages. A lot of dogs can be particularly aggressive towards men when they haven’t been properly socialised.
Travel with Your Puppy
Once the puppy has had all of the necessary vaccinations, you can start to travel with him or her. This is a necessary aspect of the socialisation process. Start off going outside for short walks, going in the car and getting the dog familiar with other environments. If you regularly use a bus or train, make sure to familiarise the puppy with these forms of public transport. Your dog will need to get used to the noise of traffic and other vehicles, so make sure to take short visits to your local town or city. Here is further advice on the different vaccinations your puppy will need before they are able to travel.
Expose to Everyday Noises
Loud, sudden noises can be alarming to a new puppy, so it’s important to introduce your dog to such sounds. Make sure to expose the dog to everyday noises such as the vacuum cleaner, telephone, doorbell and washing machine early enough on. To avoid fears of other loud noises such as fireworks, alarms and popping balloons from developing, play pre-prepared recordings. Make sure to subject your puppy to enough affection whilst doing this to reassure them.
Introduce Your Puppy to Other Dogs
This needs to be completed again once the puppy has had his vaccinations. Nevertheless, it is an important aspect of the process and shouldn’t be neglected. Make sure to keep the puppy on a lead and only meet up with a dog that can be trusted to treat the puppy with care. Confirm with the owners that the dog has also had the necessary and up to date vaccinations before the two dogs meet. You also need to check that the dog is in good health and won’t pass on any undesirable illnesses.
Do not let your puppy go up to an unfamiliar adult dog, so avoid public parks for the first few weeks. Ensure your new puppy meets a variety of different dogs, so they become familiar with the different breeds.
Meeting Other Animals
If your puppy has been taught to accept other animals either in your home or living near to you, they are much less likely to regard them as a threat. If you do have other pets living in your home, it is essential to help form an amicable relationship between them for your own peace of mind. Your puppy will become used to the behaviour, sound, sight and smell of rabbits, cats and other small animals and will accept them as part of their pack. Monitor the initial introductions between the animals carefully, keeping the puppy on a lead at all times. It is advised not to do this alone but ask another adult for help.
Attend Puppy Training Classes
This provides a place for your new puppy to meet other dogs and new people but a safe environment. It is also a great place to learn and understand the fundamentals of puppy training. Your puppy will likely be taught his name, responding to his name, coming back when called and learning to sit, lay down and stay on command. If this is your first dog, puppy classes will help you to understand the most effective way to teach basic commands.
Visiting the Vets
There will be a number of times your dog will be required to visit the vets, so it is best to familiarise them with the vicinity early on. It is also a good idea to get a health check performed on your puppy to confirm they’re physically in good health. The puppy needs to view the veterinary centre as a safe place and the vets as unthreatening. It is also a good place for your puppy to meet other dogs, people, children and a new environment.
Hopefully, if you do all of the above thoroughly, your puppy will be effectively socialised, providing you with a calm, relaxed and happy dog you can enjoy. For a better life for both you and your dog, it is essential to take the time to socialise your new puppy. If you are looking for dogs for sale in Milton Keynes, take a look at the dogs we have to purchase. We hope you have found this guide beneficial, if so, please feel free to share it on your social media.