As your pup pitter patters into the world for the first time, they will meet lots of children, adults, other dogs and animals. So here’s a helping hand with socialising your pup…
While your pup gets used to new environments and events, they’ll need help developing social skills (called socialisation) to be happy and confident in every situation.
Training your puppy to be happy and confident in all social situations is one of the best things you can do for them.
As you and pup explore the world together, you’ll give them lots of positive new experiences in their first few months of life.
We’re so used to exploring the world ourselves, we sometimes forget how daunting it can be for a puppy. Your puppy is now entering into a period of many new faces, places and surroundings – they will need time to adjust!
It’s important to socialise your puppy from an early age so that they get used to learning and adapting to the world around them.
There are many everyday noises that your pup may never have heard, from a baby crying to the sound of a hoover. It’s important we introduce our puppies to these noises gradually so we don’t frighten them. For extreme noises, such as fireworks, you could use sound therapy audio to ease them in.
Below are some tips for introducing your puppy to new noises:
-Bring the noisy object into the room
-Reward puppy before turning the noisy object on
-Turn the noisy object on for a few seconds
-Reward your puppy for calm interest
If your puppy finds all of this too much, increase the distance between them and the object. Once they have become more comfortable and have stopped reacting you can start to think about decreasing the distance.
Training classes are a great way to introduce your pup to others. When looking for a suitable training class, ensure that you select one that uses positive reinforcement or reward-based training. More info on these types of training methods can be found from reputable sources, such as Institute of Modern Dog Trainers.
Puppies are cute and cuddly so it’s only natural that we want to spoil them with affection. However, be mindful that just like humans, puppies sometimes need their space.
It’s important for us to make sure our puppies are always comfortable and happy so if your puppy is showing clear signs they don’t want to play with a stranger, don’t force them to co-operate.
There are many ways that you can help your puppy cope with meeting new people. It would be beneficial for your puppy to be exposed to a variety of people for instance children, senior citizens and people in uniforms. If they seem uncomfortable, keep your distance and reward them for calm interest.
Puppy parties and classes are a brilliant way to allow your puppy to meet other dogs their own age, so they can learn and play alongside them. Always watch your puppy’s behaviour and make sure they are totally happy and comfortable during play with other puppies.
When introducing your dog to others, it’s always useful to apply the three second rule. Allow your puppy to sniff other dogs, count 1,2,3 then call away and reward. This teaches your dog that they must come when called but also doesn’t allow them too much time to make mistakes.
It’s important to get your puppy used to different surfaces as they will encounter new surfaces everywhere you go, ranging from slippery and shiny to rough. The key is to slow down and allow your puppy to sniff the floor and get used to the feeling under their feet and adjust themselves if needed.
If your puppy is showing signs of being unsure of a surface, encourage them but don’t force them. Allow them time to explore and adjust at their own pace.
It is important to build up the length of time your puppy spends alone gradually. To begin with, put your puppy in the area that they will be staying in when you leave. When you first start getting your puppy used to being on their own it should only be for short intervals.
Build up the length of time gradually so that your puppy is happy to be left on their own.
It helps to expose your puppy to numerous moving devices such as bicycles, cars and prams. When doing so, it’s worth noting that some devices are louder than others so it’s important that you create a reasonable distance between the puppy and the moving device and decrease the distance once your puppy is more comfortable.
Remember to always reward your puppy. The rule of thumb is if your puppy looks at a noisy device calmly, reward your puppy with a treat and praise. You can start by sitting on a bench and watching the world go by calmly.