how and when to socialise your puppy
who’s a good dog?
With the right social skills, yours! Socialising your puppy can be one of the most rewarding and fun aspects of getting to know your furry new friend, and also has important developmental benefits for them as well. It’s a positive thing to encourage your puppy to interact with as many people and other animals as possible as well as getting them used to the many different experiences they will come across.
why socialise a puppy?
If your puppy isn’t socialised from an early age then there is the risk that your dog will grow to be nervous or prone to panic in new situations. The sooner that you start with puppy socialisation the better, as once a dog develops past a certain point, they will find it more difficult to take on positive behavioural traits that socialising promotes.
when should i start socialising my puppy?
When is the right time to socialise your puppy? The Kennel Club suggest owners follow the Puppy Socialisation Plan, developed with the Dogs Trust, that helps to guide you in socialising pups in their first 16 weeks. Advice from the Telegraph says that the period between four and twelve weeks of age is when the core of their socialisation develops, so that’s ideal to start socialising with people, other animals and different situations. That’s not to say that beyond that age your puppy won’t need any socialising, as they will certainly benefit from - and appreciate - a wide range of experiences. This is particularly important throughout their first year so that positive behaviours can become the norm for your canine friend.
when do puppies leave their mother?
According to the Blue Cross, some puppies move on to their new homes around the age of eight weeks old, but it can be really beneficial to them to wait until around 12 weeks so that they are more confident in themselves and already well on the way to being socialised. Keeping them up to 12 weeks can result in happier, healthier pups. This can then mean they settle into their new homes without too much distress. Paws in Work can help during this longer period as we are able to bring some normality back to your life while we socialise the puppies for you.
If your puppies come out to play at a Paws in Work event, we help their socialisation in a big way, with our focus on puppy care allowing the puppies to be themselves while they’re away from home. This helps to avoid overwhelming them with new experiences and lets them develop at a rate which is comfortable. An essential aspect of socialising your puppy is to encourage as many positive encounters with adults and children as possible, as it will be people that your puppy spends the most time with, and those interactions can often be quite complex, so it’s good to get them started with lots of friendly fuss in those early weeks. After all, a happy puppy can then grow into a happy dog. What better start could you give?