Dogs are extremely attentive and sensitive animals, and they love to communicate. Because they learn many of their adult behaviours during their formative weeks, it’s important that you ensure your puppy can socialise with other people and animals. Dogs are also adventurous, so they’ll explore places and discover new noises and activities while they’re young, meaning that poor socialisation will result in behavioural problems – which can ultimately lead to aggression, phobias and other unwanted behaviours.
Why is Socialisation Important?
Proactively choosing to socialise your puppy is incredibly important to his or her development, especially because puppies have a critical socialisation period, set when they’re approximately between 3 and 17 weeks old. During this period the experiences your pooch will go through will shape their behaviours, so you should ensure that they are exposed to a wide range of socialisation opportunities and plenty of diverse environments. This way your pup will grow up well-adjusted and capable of relating well to other animals and people.
How to Socialise Your Puppy
The socialisation environment should be safe and positive, such as the one provided by training schools, meaning that your puppy should be introduced to new situations in properly controlled settings. Environments rich in sounds, scents and sights are important to this process, as your dog will get plenty of stimuli. Taking your puppy out for walks is also a great opportunity to show them the world, and bringing them to family and friend’s houses can ensure that they meet people and other pets. It’s vital that you keep your puppy up to date with their vaccinations, so that they don’t contract any illnesses from other dogs. You should also only introduce them to large groups of people or animals after they’ve been socialised to a smaller group.
Positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise is key during this process, so outdated and dangerous training such as the dominance theory should never be used. Soon, your puppy will get used to being touched, interacting with children, being exposed to loud noises and busy places, and become unafraid of domestic appliances, such as hoovers and microwaves.
Keeping a close eye on your dog’s reactions and body language, so that you’re able to tell when they’re frightened and need a break, is vital during socialisation.
A well socialised puppy is a happy puppy, so ensure that your new fluffy friend gets plenty of positive interaction with the world as they’re growing up! At CK9 Training we believe that all dogs should have adequate socialisation, so we strive to provide only the highest quality services to all of our clients. Contact us on 07739 815 265 to learn more about what we can do for you, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.