Help your puppy socialise and grow

Your puppy has a wonderful life ahead of them. Help them experience different sights, sounds and handling from a very early age, so they grow into a friendly, confident adult dog.

You should help them experience different sights, sounds and handling from a very early age, so they grow into a friendly, confident adult dog.

Interacting with people

Let strangers say hello and fuss your puppy. If they’re a little worried, get strangers to give your puppy a treat before giving them a fuss.

Don’t force your puppy to meet people, and don’t let strangers pick them up before letting your puppy approach them first.

During socialisation, your puppy should have opportunities to meet adults and children, as well as people wearing different types of clothing and uniforms and people behaving in different ways.

Interacting with dogs and other animals

Let your puppy say hello to other dogs in the street. If they’re a little worried don’t force them, but give them encouragement and praise when they have met a dog nicely.

Don’t panic if a dog growls at them. This is a good way for your puppy to learn when they are being too much for another dog.

Help your puppy to meet dogs that are smaller and larger than them – as well as ducks, livestock, horses and cats.

Remember, training classes can be an excellent place for your dog to be habituated to people and other dogs. Book your place on a Woodgreen training class here.

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!

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