February 2019: Vet Blog
Socialisation for your puppy
All animals, including dogs, have a special sensitive period at the start of their lives.
This is when they learn to accept new experiences such as meeting other animals and people or visiting new surroundings, It’s up to us as owners to make these encounters a safe and fun learning experience for the puppy.
Puppies should not be allowed in public places until after they have had their vaccinations, however we can still get them used to sights and sounds by carrying them in our arms until they can start walking on their leads.
Take your puppy for short journeys in the car, let them listen to babies cry or meet older children. Introduce them to the postman and neighbours. Whether you live in the countryside or the town you need to take your puppy where they can hear some traffic noise, see cows, horses and open fields.
If your puppy does see or hear something that worries them, allow them time and space to think, then let them approach, in their own time.
Remember young puppies still need time to eat, rest and play, they can get tired quite quickly so keep these extra encounters short and enjoyable.
Here at Vets4Pets Emersons Green we encourage owners to bring puppies in regularly, not just for vaccinations but for cuddles and weight checks. Their experience of meeting the vets and nurses is mostly pleasant and fun.
We also hold regular puppy parties, this allows puppies of different breeds to meet in a safe and supervised environment.
Small groups of puppies and their families can have fun together whilst learning some basic commands but more importantly, how to interact calmly.
Remember although socialisation is very important, care must be taken not to overwhelm your puppy, it should always be pleasurable and never frightening.