How to Socialise Your Puppy?

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Socialisation describes the process by which your dog learns to relate to people, other dogs, and her environment. 

The first month

You’re laying the foundation for your pet’s behaviour later on in life, so do take out time for your new furry friend in the first few weeks at home. Most dogs take about a month or so to feel comfortable in a new home—establishing house rules and following a routine are the best ways to make this happen.

Be the top dog at home

Dogs are pack animals that need a leader. It is important that your pooch understands that he has a lower ranking than any human, including children. This understanding can be achieved through effective training. And the better you understand your dog’s behaviour, the more rewarding your relationship will be. Do click here for training tips.

Be ready for new situations

Identify possible new situations and environments such as riding in the car, having contact with children, walking through a dog-filled park—to name just a few. Prepare your dog for all eventualities, so he reacts with harmless curiosity rather than fear or aggression.

Seeing new people

It is essential that your new pup be fully comfortable with all sorts of people, especially children.

  • When taking him for a walk, take some tasty snacks with you and ask people to toss him one.
  • Your dog will soon learn that people are friendly. You can incorporate some basic training into this by teaching him to sit before people give him a snack. Click here to learn how you can prevent him from jumping. 
  • Children may be seen as a different species by dogs! Start by having just a few children around your dog, then build up to a larger number. 

Meeting other dogs

Aggression is a common symptom of a lack of contact with other dogs. The best remedy is to have your leashed dog interact frequently with other leashed dogs.

  • Introduce your pup to dogs that you already know are trustworthy. If your dog behaves herself, reward her in the presence of the other dog. Gradually work up to rewarding your dog for being close to the other dog and so on.
  • Take a seat on a park bench and keep your dog on his leash, sitting right next to you. Every time another dog passes by, give your dog a treat and lots of praise. Once you repeat this process several times, your pooch will come to associate other dogs walking by with getting something good to eat.

If after all this, your puppy or dog is still having problems around other dogs and humans, you may consider taking him to a specialist trainer – do ask your vet for a recommendation.

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