Socialising Your Dog
The best time to socialise your dog is from a puppy as this will help to ensure that they will become a happy, friendly and confident adult dog; between the ages of 3 weeks old and around 16 to 20 weeks old is the biggest learning window for your dog and a great time to really socialise your puppy;
Start by slowing introducing your puppy to different sights and sounds such as kitchen sounds, shouting on the TV, loud music, children playing, emergency vehicle sirens, heavy traffic and even the sounds of nature because then these sounds won’t be off putting in later life therefore reducing the risk of anxiety, fear or aggression.
Everyone loves puppies so make the most of your friends and neighbours who want to see your brand new puppy. While being careful not to overdo it, get lots of people to hold and cuddle your puppy, also hold your puppy in different positions, gently rub your puppy’s feet, rub its muzzle, stroke its back and sides and look into your puppy’s ears too. This will get your puppy used to new and different people as well as being handled.
It is important that you avoid the risk of ‘guarding’ as much as possible and this includes toys and food, by getting your puppy used to people approaching during feeding time you will help reduce the risk of guarding. Approach your puppy while it is eating and put a treat in the food bowl and then walk away, continue doing this a few times during the meal and then walk over and pick up the food bowl, put a treat in the dish, put the food bowl back and walk away.
You will not be at home with your dog all the time and you will not always be able to take your dog with you when you go out so make sure you take the time to teach your puppy to be alone to avoid developing separation anxiety for your puppy. Start the training by going out for a little while at a time and a treat when you return home if they’ve been good and each time go out a little longer, with a treat on return for good behaviour.
If you will be out of the house a lot during the day and your puppy will be alone why not consider a doggy day care centre like Oakington Dog Day Care Centre in Cambridge. It is a great way to socialise your puppy with other dogs and means they are not alone all day at home while you are out at work.
A good dog care centre will have outdoor and indoor spaces for your puppy to get lots of exercise and have lots of fun but there will also be activities to keep your puppy occupied and there will be other dogs to socialise with and play with.
Why not take your puppy along to your local dog day care centre to see what you think and to introduce your puppy to some other dogs to begin socialising them?