Socialising Puppies

Even if your pup isn’t destined to be a “social butterfly”, socialising puppies should be done at a very young age.

This is so they grow up to be a well-rounded adult in the future.

What is socialisation?

Socialising puppies involves giving your pup positive experiences with other dogs, animals, people, situations and environments that they may encounter in the future.

The peak socialisation period in puppies occurs from 3 weeks to 16 weeks old – this is the period of your pup’s life where they’re most adaptable to new experiences.

Why is socialising puppies so important?

If your pup is positively exposed to new people, animals and places, they’re less likely to be fearful or anxious in these situations in the future. This is great for their future “mental health”, as they’ll be more likely to have a positive, calm attitude to new experiences!

A well-socialised dog is also less likely to show undesirable behaviours, such as fearful aggression or reactivity.

How can I safely socialise my pup before their puppy vaccinations are completed?

Until your pup has completed their puppy vaccination course, they are at risk of diseases such as parvovirus, the particles of which can remain infectious on the ground for months after an infected dog sheds them.

The best ways to safely socialise puppies prior to full vaccination are:

• Having them attend a reputable well-run puppy preschool
• Inviting friendly, gentle, vaccinated adult dogs over for supervised play
• Bringing your pup out for walks or to cafes (held in your arms, in a bag or sitting on a blanket)

Ensure your pup is exposed gently and gradually to any new experience, with lots of treats for positive reinforcement. Ease back if they seem worried or overwhelmed.

Remember, the more friendly and adaptable your dog ends up being, the more fun experiences they’ll be able to join you for long-term. It’s a win-win

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