What Is Puppy Socialisation?!
A process for puppies to start get used to different dogs and people and how to interact – all animals go through this stage and sets them a blueprint for later life!
When does socialisation start?
Socialisation starts around three weeks to twelve /fourteen weeks of age so most of this work is done before they leave the breeder. This is why it is so important to ensure our puppies have been brought up in a good environment and have already been exposed to experiences and socialised at an early age.
Things to consider?
- People – Ensuing your dog gets used to a range of different people and children of different age ranges and gender and overall look!
- Other dogs- Learning about other dogs it might be they are smaller or bigger and different breeds.
- Noises – Learning about noises such as thunder, traffic, birds, vacuums, bikes we want to make sure they are used to different noises in everyday life.
- Surfaces - Exposing our puppies to different surfaces grass, gravel, tarmac is important
When we are looking at taking our puppy out and socialising we want to ensure we let them go in their own time and they can get back to us the owner easily and ensure there is space for them to move away from situations.
We want to be looking for body language that is soft and playful- make sure you look out for stress signals such as panting, wide eyes, yawning and take them out of that situation we don’t want them to be worried.
What can I do to help with socialisation pre- vaccinations?
Pre- Vaccination- Depending on the vaccinations it can feel we have a hold on when our new puppies can go out and explore the world. Always check with your vet what is safe!
We can carry them and get them used to the world – get used to noises of traffic, people and everyday life. You can start taking them to dog friendly places such pet shops, family and friends to start the socialisation.
You can also play soundtracks very low to start with this is important and gradually increase the volume each session this might be for thunder, fireworks, traffic.
Common mistakes people make
- Rushing though exposing them to new environments
- Not safe or positive relationships with the owners
- Overprotective owners
- To many bad experiences
Puppy classes and socials
- Training classes- This is a great way to build a bond with your dog and expose your dog to new experiences in a controlled environment.
- Puppy Socials – Socials are a good way for your dog to learn how to play appropriately and get used other dogs it might be they are bigger or smaller differently breeds.
- Doggy Day care- Gets your dog used to spending time with different dogs and people in a controlled environment and helps with your dog getting used to you not always been around. Also useful if you work and are out of the house for longer periods you have peace of mind your dog’s having a fab time!
This often happens around 6-9 months of age we start to see changes in hormones in our dogs and we can often see changes and some things that didn’t worry them before might during this stage so we need to ensure we keep socialisation and experiences positive and happy. It is harder to socialised at this stage due to hormones and another level we need to consider. At the age of around two they reach social maturity.