What do we mean by socialisation?
Puppies are naturally curious and like to explore what’s around them. In the wild, this is how they learn what is and isn't safe.
This curiosity only lasts until the puppy is about twelve weeks old. It's thus critical that puppy learns as much as possible during these early weeks. After that point the socialisation window gradually closes. Instead of exploring new things with curiosity puppy will then start to develop anxiousness and even fear when facing new experiences.
Try to introduce your puppy to as many experiences that he is likely to meet in future everyday life as possible.
Make all meetings with strange people, dogs and children as positive and enjoyable for the puppy as possible.
Only expose him to as many new things as he can cope with at any time - watch him carefully and whenever he becomes a bit quiet, subdued or shows the slightest signs of stress, take him out of the situation and back into his safe and familiar environment. Work at your puppy’s pace.
As a target, at the end of the socialisation period, your puppy should have met at least a hundred men and women of different ages, sizes, height, some wearing glasses, some hats, some carrying umbrellas, people in wheelchairs, people on crutches, kids on bikes - the sky's the limit!
If you haven’t got children in your own home, make an extra effort to socialise him to children. Your puppy will meet plenty children when out and about in older life and children can be unpredictable to a dog, it’s thus really important that he is happy and confident with children from a young age.
Allow him to mix with other puppies and also nice, calm older dogs of all different breeds, colours and coat types. Puppy school can be helpful here.
Take him on the bus, on the train, walk him on the lead along busy roads, into town centres and in public parks.
You do need to act fast here. The clock is ticking. By the time you get your puppy there is not that much time left to set the foundation for him to develop into a happy, confident adult dog who is relaxed with whatever life throws at him.
Please come and see us in the shop for a good chat and further advice on this critical part of your puppy's early development.