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Why it is so important to socialise your puppy

Although there is evidence supporting the theory that fearfulness, anxiety and aggression in dogs can be linked to breeding, there is no denying that it is crucial to socialise your puppy from an early age.  


Unlike many animal species, puppies are born with very few innate socialisation skills, and must learn how to communicate with and behave around other dogs and people. A large number of the behaviours you can see in a dog would have been learnt at a very young age, from his mother or through interaction with his siblings. 


Puppies go through a period (up to 16 weeks old, however this varies between individuals) where they will accept pretty much anything as long as they have had a positive experience, not to say they wont show caution, but they will be far more complying. This is the time that they learn what is safe and what is not. Because puppies soak up information like a sponge at this age, it is paramount to introduce them to new objects, people and pets in order to avoid complications in the future. Allow your puppy to interact with others, including the vet, their future dog-groomer, the cat, the post-man, and make the socialisation experience as exciting as possible by rewarding good behaviour.


It is also important that if your puppy does have a bad experience that you address this problem immediately. Fears will not just go away and many puppies grow up terrified of objects such as the hoover or a broom because of a seemingly irrelevent incident that the owner had just brushed under the carpet at the time (that was not intentional!)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ If you have noticed your puppy has become wary of something, slowly re-introduce it, reassuring your puppy and rewarding good behaviour throughout. 


I have compiled a list of things to introduce your puppy to below, make sure you don't overwhelm them and use toys, food and play to keep it all fun. Other than items on the list, it would be beneficial to create good experiences out of carrying your pup, holding their paws, grooming them, checking their ears, eyes and teeth and putting a muzzle on them. 


Things to introduce your puppy ...


  • Tall men

  • Men with beards

  • Women

  • Elderly people

  • Children

  • Babies (with constant supervision)

  • People wearing unusual clothing

  • People with umbrellas/ walking sticks

  • People running/ cycling/ skateboarding

  • Babies in pushchairs

  • The vet

  • Dog groomer



  • Other puppies

  • Small dogs

  • Large dogs

  • Flat-faced dogs (e.g. pugs, bulldogs)

  • Older dogs


Other animals:

  • Cats and kittens

  • Livestock

  • Any other pets



  • Hoover

  • Broom

  • Bins

  • Plastic bags 

  • Doors slamming


Sounds (you can buy CDs with these sounds):

  • Fireworks

  • Babies crying

  • Traffic

  • Alarms/ sirens

  • Dogs barking

  • Aeroplanes



  • Cars

  • Large vans/ lorries

  • Motorbikes

  • Mobility scooters

  • Buses



  • Busy towns

  • Beach

  • Forest/ woodland

  • Field/ park

  • Vets

  • Grooming salon


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