Dog Socialisation Checklist
Posted on June 08 2021
So you’ve got a little fluff ball on the way, or you're about to socialise your puppy, How good! It's so important for your puppy to interact and be social not just with other dogs but also with people and environments. Making your puppy socially aware by taking him to different places and environments helps your dog to feel more comfortable which will minimize barking and aggression which your dog will do when they feel threatened or scared.
When is the best time to socialise your dog?
It’s best to start socialising your puppy as soon as possible, but the first 16 weeks is the critical socialisation period of your whelpers life. This little window of time helps to establish who they are gonna be as adult dogs and our rad socialisation checklist helps to get them used to an array of environments, people and situations. If you're a builder and frequently visit noisy sites it’s best to take your puppy along to get him/her used to loud noises. Perhaps you work around kids and need your dog to be good with little terrors, establishing this earlier than later will help your puppy know what's gonna fly and what isn’t.
While being social is super important so is teaching your dog to be alone. They need to learn to cope when you aren't home and leaving them for short periods of time as puppies (as hard as it may feel) will stop them from getting separation anxiety.
1. Start by leaving them in the backyard or play pen for 15 minutes and going away, returning with treats!
2. The next day leave them for 20 mins and come back with their favourite toy.
3. Start leaving them longer and longer, always making sure they have water, toys and their favourite bed.
Ways to socialise your pup
Puppy classes are a great way for your puppy to learn basic obedience skills and socialize with all the other little bundles of joy. Puppy classes mean you are able to watch over their behaviour and can control how they interact in a monitored setting. At a critical point in their development puppy classes are the best way to get your dog socialised with a variety of other dogs and their happy humans!
Doggie daycare provides lots of socialisation, exercise and play and will be your pups favourite place on earth. A much better environment for a pup over the 4 month mark and for a puppy that has pre socialised either at puppy classes or on lots of puppy play dates. As there are generally older dogs as well as adolescent pups at daycare,puppies that can't hold their own will often get bullied. However all dogs are different and it's best to go with your gut instinct.
Naww don’t just leave it up to Valentines Day to set your bestie up on a date. Playdates help to establish good friendships with other dogs, just like humans. It teaches them to play instead of always being on guard and releases all that crazy puppy energy. It’s helpful to understand that not all dogs will be keen to play, especially older dogs with toys or dogs close to families. Always have playdates in neutral settings, keeping an eye on their intensity. Be mindful that dogs have a different way of communicating that humans and it’s ok for one dog to tell off another.
I can't stress to you the importance of socialisation enough as this will shape them into the worldly dog you will be proud of!. Introduce you pup to as much as you can during that first 16 weeks and remember all breeds, and puppies have different personalities and temperaments - you just have to find out what works for them.