How To Socialise Your Puppy

Puppy Puppy Training & Behaviour

Your puppy’s early experiences will shape his personality, how he sees the world around him and how he deals with stress. A well thought out socialisation plan can help you raise a dog that you can take anywhere with anyone with a happy wag of his tail.

Poor socialisation can leave you with a fearful, reactive dog that can’t cope with being outside of his home environment. Give your puppy the best possible start by making sure he has early, safe and POSITIVE experiences with a variety of people, places, surfaces, sounds and situations.

Never force your puppy to approach anyone or anything, let him explore on his terms, quietly praising and encouraging him when he boldly approaches by himself. NEVER coddle your puppy, if your puppy shows signs of fear or nervousness, the worst thing you can do is console him which he’ll take as praise for his undesirable behaviour. When your puppy seems uncertain take him away from the thing that is causing him stress until you have a happy puppy again. Then encourage him to approach at his own rate again, such as having the ‘scary’ person kneel to the side and not look at the puppy while holding out a treat for him.

Be aware of the reaction of people and pets around your puppy. Socialisation should be a positive experience for everyone involved. Keep in mind you’re not trying to overwhelm your puppy with new experiences - quantity is not better than quality!

Make sure your puppy is confident, well rested and having a good time whenever you introduce him to something new. Puppies get tired very quickly, and most importantly give your dog lots of downtime after a new experience to recuperate and reflect on what he’s just done.

 

Socialisation Checklist

People

Children under 5

Children 5 – 10

Children 10 – 15

Men

Women

Elderly

Tall

Short

Yelling

Applauding

Wheelchairs

Walkers

Running

Wrestling/playing

Bicycling

Skateboarding

Crowds

Different nationalities

Hats/masks

Surfaces

Grass dry/wet

Concrete

Bark/wood

Grate

Uneven

Plastic

Slippery

Stairs

Slides

Shallow water

Deep water

Tiles

Soft

Sand

Mud

Scales

Animals

Other puppies

Big dogs

Small dogs

Different breeds

Cats

Birds

Rabbits

Sheep

Cows

Horses

Chicken

Playful dogs

Serious dogs

Lizards

Mice

Situations

Checking eyes, ears, paws, tail, teeth

Restraining

Hugging

Looming over

Patting head

Grabbing collar

Nail trims

Brushing

Dark

Windy

Thunder/lightning

Raining

In car

Up on table

Picking up

Taking photo with flash

Rolling onto side/back

Walking with pram

Sounds

Vacuum

Traffic

Hairdryer

Drill tool

Hammering/construction

Crying babies

Thunder/lightning

Screaming/laughing

Adults/children

Barking dogs

Loud music

Dropping pans/sudden noises

Lawn mower

Fireworks

Places

Puppy school

Our Vets

Doggy day-care

Grooming salon 

Dog park

Playground

Park/oval

Beach

Schools

Friend’s houses

City

Farmers/craft markets

Boarding kennel

Obedience/agility schools

Local sports event