Socialising Your Puppy: 7 Simple Steps To Doing It The Pawfect Way
Raising is a well-behaved pooch is not always easy. Playtime, cuddles and selfies tend to consume the majority of our time when it comes to the first few weeks with our puppies. But here are a few simple tricks to make sure your puppy is well-mannered and pawesome!
The first step to raising a well-mannered pooch is through socialisation. During the first few weeks of your puppy’s life she will go through a crucial development period.
The importance of socialising your puppy
Socialisation helps expose your puppy to new places, situations and people in a positive way, meaning your puppy has a better chance of reacting in a calm and accepting manner when she is faced with similar situations later on in her life.
It can be a little scary as a paw parent to introduce our new furry members of the family to new and strange things, but you need to know that puppies who are properly socialised are less likely to develop issues such as aggression or fear when exposed to new things.
That’s why we have put together a cuddle-worthy list of steps to ensure your puppy is socialised the right way…
Start socialising at a young age
You should start socialising your puppy when she is between 2 and 4 months old. Your puppy may not have received all of her vaccinations at this point yet, so you need to speak to your vet about when it will be safe for your pup to be exposed to new places and people.
Your vet will be able to give you an indication of what you can do with your puppy and when.
By the time your puppy reaches 4 months in age, she should be quite comfortable in meeting other dogs, handled by your vet and approach strangers in a calm and controlled manner.
Most puppies receive their first set of vaccines at 6 weeks old, meaning you can take her out of the house at an early age.
The trick is to not do too much too soon - try to slowly build up your pup’s new experiences in a way that is safe and healthy.
1. The right sized leash and collar
You will need to invest in a leash and collar so that she can walk on a lead in your house and garden before venturing outside.
Some puppies are more comfortable in chest harnesses (pugs and smaller breeds tend to be happier in these snug-fitting contraptions).
Don’t forget that your puppy will grow quickly and you will have to adjust the size on a regular basis. Have a look at this guide on finding the right size collar for your dog.
2. Visit your vet
Your vet will form an important part of your puppy’s socialisation process. Your dog will visit your vet a number of times in her life, so it’s important that she sees your vet’s office as a safe place and does not suffer from anxiety and stress when visiting the vet.
Have a look at our blog on your puppy’s first visit to the vet.
3. Consistent and clear commands
You need to be clear and consistent when commanding your puppy in order to establish healthy boundaries of the discipline.
Make sure she follows the rules and be stern but do not shout. Here are some commands to teach your dog.
4. Travelling tips
Travelling with your puppy is an important part of her socialisation. Once your puppy’s vaccines are up to date and complete, then you can start taking short trips in the car together. Don’t forget to use a harness or crate when in the car.
Travelling will also help your puppy get used to the sounds of traffic and other environments.
5. Household sounds and loud noises
You should expose your puppy to household noises like your vacuum, the blender, the washing machine, doorbell or telephone. This way she won’t be afraid of them as they are a part of her early phases of development.
The trick is to not hide your puppy from the noise and let her know that everything is normal and safe.
6. New people & pets
Don’t be afraid to introduce your puppy to your friends and family. Encourage careful handling so that she can feel safe.
Try and also introduce your puppy to children and babies so that she knows and understands that there are also tiny humans in this world.
Introducing your puppy to other pets (dogs and cats included) will help her to see them as friends and not a threat.
Ensure these introductions are managed carefully and are supervised.
7. Puppy training
Puppy classes are a great way to ensure your puppy is properly trained and it allows for her to get out of the house and meet new dogs and people.
Good luck with socialising your precious pooch, we hope this article has started you both off on the right paw.
Yours in cuddle-worthy pet insurance,