The holiday period seems to be a popular time for many people to buy a puppy. Often people are on extended holiday leave from their jobs and have the extra time on their hands that is required to care for and train a puppy. Puppies have a whole lot of special needs, however, in this post I’m going to concentrate on just one – socialisation.
Before you start, ask the breeder or wherever you acquired your puppy whether he’s been exposed to other dogs, animals, and people. What sort of environmental enrichment has he had to prepare him for his journey into the busy, loud, colourful world?
Ideally, he should have had supervised appropriate exposure from two weeks of age to different surfaces, age-appropriate obstacle courses, opportunities to play with different textured and sounding toys and of course to socialise with humans. Socialising your puppy needs to happen in stages in order for him not become overwhelmed and/or fearful.
These are the first 3 Steps:
1. Start socialising your puppy when he is very young, initially in your home environment until he is vaccinated. After that you can begin taking him out into the community to introduce him to people, different sights, and sounds.
2. Introduce your puppy to people of varied size, age, and background. Use plenty of rewards when he’s relaxed in a new situation, however, if he’s feeling uncomfortable don’t overly reassure, let him process and be aware of what’s going on around him. If your pup startles or appears fearful of a new situation or object, ignore the scary thing and give him an instruction to move on.
3. When greeting unknown animals, the best thing for your puppy is a polite interaction – a quick nose and butt sniff, and away you go.
Have fun, enjoy the time with your puppy and don’t forget this is the age you need to start training him. You will find my new book Nose to Tail: A Holistic Guide to Training Your Dream Dog an invaluable resource as you start life and your training journey with your new puppy. It covers toilet training, socialisation, how to train the Six-pack of core behaviours and how to modify problematic behaviours.
You can buy a copy direct if you are in Australia www.nosetotailbook.com or on Amazon outside of Australia > https://www.amazon.com/Nose-Tail-Holistic-Guide-Training-ebook/dp/B077VK4451/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1513602588&sr=8-2&keywords=nose+to+tail+book