Help your puppy socialise and grow

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

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Interaction 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. 

Interaction 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.

Ensure your puppy meets adults and children, as well as people wearing different types of clothing and uniforms and people behaving in different ways.

Handling your puppy

Every day, 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 to experience noises inside and outside of the house including washing machines, vacuum cleaners, traffic, construction, aeroplanes, music and children playing.

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.

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!