Bringing a new puppy into your home is such an exciting time, but there’s a few important lessons they need to learn in their first few months to ensure they grow up to be a well-adjusted, upstanding canine citizen. Socialising your new pup with humans and other dogs is critical for healthy social development and can reduce the incidence of fear-based behavioural problems later in life. Here we will explore why and how you should socialise your new furry little friend.
Why Do I Need to Socialise My Puppy?
Puppies that have positive experiences with new people, places, and other dogs early in life develop the necessary behavioural tools to happily adjust to and handle a wide variety of situations without fear or aggression. Well-socialized puppies generally grow into confident, happy adult dogs that adapt to different social environments with ease. Puppies that have not received adequate exposure to social situations can exhibit nervousness, anxiety, and fear-based, aggressive behaviour such as growling, snapping, biting, barking, and cowering in response to people or other dogs. Most fear-based issues are preventable with careful socialization during puppyhood.
Great Ways to Socialise Your Pup
Socialisation starts the moment you meet your new four-legged friend. Every experience helps to shape their personality and their understanding of the world. The main goal of socialising is to expose them to a wide range of different people and environments in a controlled setting. At home you should introduce them to new sounds, smells, and surfaces, but you should also get out and about once they are fully vaccinated.
Daily Walks – Walking around your local streets and parks will help your pup to discover the world and gradually become more comfortable in the surrounding environment. Simple things such as noisy cars driving down the street, kids on bikes and interaction with other dogs can be scary to a puppy at first, so the more walks you take the more your puppy will be at ease with a wide variety of situations.
Puppy Classes – Socialisation classes or puppy pre-school classes are an ideal way for your pup to interact with other people and make new puppy friends in a controlled setting. Well-run classes should allow time for education, play, and pet parent questions and answers. Ask your local Roleystone vet about puppy classes or other socialising opportunities in your area.
Trips to the Vet – Your pup has a lifetime of check-ups ahead so it’s important to make sure they are comfortable visiting your trusted Byford vet. From a young age you can begin to make the experience stress-free by stopping past a local Byford vet centre to expose them to the sights and sounds of the clinic. Reward good behaviour in the waiting room with treats and ask if you can have a quick meet and greet with a veterinary professional or explore a treatment room for a few minutes.
Tips for Successful Socialisation
- The best time to socialise puppies is between 6 and 13 weeks of age.
- Avoid interaction with other dogs until 2 weeks after their second vaccination.
- Don’t rush it. Expose them to new experiences, sounds or people in a slow and controlled way so your pup doesn’t become overwhelmed.
- Expose your puppy to a wide variety of people, including all genders and ages.
- Don’t respond negatively. Stay calm, no matter how stressful a situation is or how scared your dog may be.
- If your puppy seems uncertain, take them away from whatever is causing them stress until they relax and then encourage them to approach at their own pace again.
- Ensure that people pat or touch your dog where their hands can be seen, such as on your pup’s chest or chin.
- Treats can be used in moderation to give your dog a positive association with new people and experiences.
Experiences in early life will shape your pup’s personality and determine how they see the world and how they deal with stress. Appropriate socialisation will help you to raise a happy, fearless, confident canine companion that is calm and comfortable in everyday life. Besides toilet-training, socialisation is one of the most important things you can do for your puppy!
Looking for a Vet Near Roleystone?
As a leading local Armadale-Byford Vet clinic, Railway Ave Veterinary Hospital puts your pet’s health care needs first. Ensuring your pet receives the best possible care, grooming, boarding and vet services, our passionate team of animal lovers are here to help your pet live a long, happy, and healthy life. Book an appointment online now or get in touch by calling (08) 9497 1547.