Dog Socialisation

Pupkus Training Guides

Dog Socialisation

From the day your puppy was born he/she began interacting with its environment. Up till now your puppies life has been with its littermates and mother. Now that you have your puppy at home it needs your help to learn how to get accustom to its environment. Socialisation is the process by which we teach your puppy to be confident, non-aggressive and generally a socially acceptable dog. (Lassie Dog).

Where do you start? When do you start?

You need to start as soon as possible with the socialisation of your puppy to ensure it grows up to be a well-mannered dog. This can be as simple as getting it used to being handled and touched, or to as difficult as getting it comfortable with loud bangs.

Different dogs require different levels and types of socialisation. Without socialisation your dog will be fearful or stressed with day to day experiences, this may result in confusion on your dogs behalf.

To your puppy the world seems a large scary place, but with proper socialisation this fear can be removed. If your puppy is denied proper socialisation, fears remain giving you a nervous over-reactive dog. Your adult dog may display what is known as fear–based aggression. In other words your dog becomes aggressive because they are afraid and feel threatened. Encouraging your puppy to interaction with other dogs, people and other animals can significantly reduce fears, especially if the main socialisation it is within the first 12 weeks of your puppy’s life. Your puppy should be encouraged to meet visitors that come to the house, and whenever possible taken to other places. When your puppy does react in a negative or fearful way to something try not to pamper to those fears just move your puppy away from what it was afraid of. In time slowly reintroduce your puppy the thing or things he/she was afraid of.

The best time to socialise your puppy is in the first 16 weeks of life, but this time is also when the puppies are getting there vaccinations making the threat of them picking up a disease from other animals a concern. The best way to combine the two in a safe manner is to take your puppy for many rides in the car, where they are safe from interacting with possibly diseased dogs but also experience some of the necessary socialisation.

Puppy socialisation classes, in safe environment with vaccinated puppies, are an ideal way for puppies to learn social interaction with other dogs. One of the most valuable things that the pups learn in these classes is how to approach other dogs, what is acceptable with other dogs, what other breeds look like and how to behave around other people.

The key to socialisation is for your puppy to have fun while it learns life’s necessities.

A list of common experiences for a suburban dog

  • traffic movement
  • humans of different ages ie: elderly, children, disabled
  • rollerblades, skateboards
  • other animals
  • large crowds
  • prams/pushers
  • lawn mowers, whipper-snippers
  • vacuums cleaners, brooms
  • sound effects played from a tape or cd