Handling your puppy
Every day, make it a positive experience for your puppy to be handled. Gently stroke your puppy all over. Buy a brush and groom your puppy on a daily basis so they’re used to being handled. Get them used to you picking up their feet, lifting their tail, looking in their ears and holding onto the scruff of their neck. Get them used to their lead or harness by taking them for walks around the house or garden.
Introducing new experiences
Introduce your puppy to new experiences and situations so they become confident and happy wherever you take them.
Let your puppy experience noises inside and outside of the house including washing machines, vacuum cleaners, traffic, construction, aeroplanes, music and children playing. Don’t forget to include seasonal sounds, such as fireworks, and thunder. You can find recordings of these in pet shops, online stores, and streaming services.
Take your puppy into different environments such as an unfamiliar house, parks and shops and allow them to feel different textures such as sand, concrete, gravel and grass.
It’s also worth getting your puppy used to whichever mode of transport you’ll be using. It’s not unusual for puppies to get car sick, so start with short journeys and gradually build them up.
Puppies take several seconds to process new information. Allow them the time to adjust, and pair that moment with a positive experience, such as a tasty treat. Never force them to go towards something they’re worried about – just allow them time, and have patience and understanding. Just because something isn’t frightening to us, doesn’t mean that it will be the same for a puppy.
Enjoy every moment
This is the start of yours and your puppy’s life together. Help them socialise as much as you can and enjoy seeing things through their eyes for the first time!