Socialisation is the activity of introducing your puppy to other animals, adults, children, different environments, sounds, smells, and also different events. Introducing your puppy to new encounters in a safe and positive way is an essential part of raising them!
Why is it so important?
A puppy that is exposed to lots of different experiences in the first year of its life is more likely to be well adjusted and friendly, relaxed around people and other animals, and enjoy its life to the full. A dog that lacks experience of different situations may grow up scared and worried and will be more prone to behavioural problems.
When should socialisation start?
As early as possible. As a puppy gets older, they can become more cautious when in new situations so it is important to start socialising your puppy as soon as you can. After 12 weeks of age a puppy is more likely to be wary of new experiences, so it is essential that they are introduced to new people, other dogs and different environments before they are 12 weeks of age. So as soon as your puppy has settled in start taking them out. If your puppy hasn’t had their vaccinations to allow them to explore safely then they can be carried when outside. You can expose them to different sounds and sights at home. There is no need to rush. Remember puppies need a lot of sleep too! Giving a treat can be a positive association with a new experience. Gradually increase the number of new positive encounters.
How can you ensure your puppy has enough socialisation?
As lockdown is lifting this will become easier. Introduce your puppy to different adults and children. Take your puppy along roads as well as parks. Reward them with a treat when they stay calm. If your puppy is scared do not overwhelm them, calmly remove them from the situation and try again another day. Let them hear different sounds such as road works, motor bikes, car horns, passing bicycles, joggers and buses. In-the-house noises such as the hoover, kettle and hair dryer. In Bristol, sounds such as hot air balloons!
Scamps and Champs Bristol Puppy / Young dog Socialisation Sessions
These new sessions provide an opportunity for off lead fun in a one-acre secure enclosed field. All puppies are accompanied by their owner. The sessions are small to start as per the current Covid Regulations.
The Puppy Socialisation Sessions provide a safe, secure environment for puppies (and their owner) to make new friends, to meet other dogs and people, to learn new smells and noises.
While the Scamps and Champs Bristol team are not qualified in dog training, these sessions can provide the opportunity for your puppy to play and learn new experiences somewhere safe.