How To Socialise A Puppy

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So you have just made the best decision in your life and you have new puppy! You now may be wondering how to socialise a puppy to ensure it grows up into a well balanced, happy dog. In This article we are going to look at how to best socialise a puppy and why it is important.

What Is Puppy Socialisation?

Puppy socialisation is when we introduce the puppy to certain situations, people, animals, sights, smells, experiences and other dogs early on so that that they are comfortable with these things when they are older dogs.

It is very important socialisation is done early on in the puppies life because when the dog reaches a certain age they naturally are suspicious to certain things unless they have been well accustomed to them.

The main areas that you will need to socialize your puppy with are with other dogs, with people and children. These are the most important areas to focus on as they pose the most problems in the dog adult life if they are not socialised with them early on.

What is the best age to socialise your puppy?

The age that puppies are most accepting to new experiences is between 3 and 12 weeks. This is the age when you should fully focus on socializing your little pup.

After the age of 12 weeks your dog will become more cautious to new experiences and with each week that passes it will become harder to socialise your dog.

After 18 weeks it becomes extremely difficult to make your dog comfortable with something new.

How to socialise a puppy
Image source: Lisa L Wiedmeier / flickr

How to socialise a puppy?

To socialize your puppy you basically need to expose them to as many different experiences between the age of 3 and 12 weeks as you can.  Depending your specific lifestyle and where you live, this may include:

  • People
  • children
  • puppies
  • dogs
  • Sight and sounds of a train
  • Sounds of traffic
  • Livestock
  • cats

…pretty much anything that your dog will encounter throughout their lives.

Be sure to be gentle and considerate and take it slowly without forcing them. With a little patience and gentle guiding you will ensure your little puppy grows up to a happy dog who is comfortable with what ever life throws at it