Puppy Socialisation and Habituation
The first 9 months of a puppies life is arguably the most important. This is where your puppy will learn not to be introduced to smells, noises, experiences and situations. This is called puppy “Puppy Socialisation and Habituation”.
This will build up their confidence and give them the best chance of developing a sound temperament and ability to cope in all circumstances.
Puppies can develop bad habits and get anxious of sounds, people, places and situations. This can materialise in dogs barking, being aggressive or being terrified. Over the years I have seen so many dogs scared of thunder, fireworks, barking hysterically at door bells and in more extreme cases biting dogs and going for people.
If you get your puppy used to the world in the first 9 months you have a great chance of owning a well rounded dog.
It is possible to get dogs used to things when they are older, but it can be much more difficult. In some unfortunate cases it can make their anxiety get worse.
Here is a list of things for you to do with your puppy in the first 9 months. Try and expose them to as many as you can on a number of occasions. Always try and have a positive experience with each item.
You may think, how do you get your dog used to noises, especially if its difficult to create the sounds.
Try Google search “Sounds for dogs”, or “Dog Therapy Sounds”. Then follow the instructions.
Generally you start off with the sound playing very low and slowly increase it over hours / days.
The Dogs Trust has excellent information and sounds for dogs Sound Therapy for Pets
Knock on the door
Cars/ Trucks / Motorbikes
Trains and Busses
TV / Radio
Thunder / Rain/ Wind
People in High Viz
Hats, Glasses, Hi Viz
Postmen / Refuse collectors
Roller Stakes / Blades
Friends with babies are great as babies need to get used to puppies and dogs too.
Kill two birds with one stone and hook up with them. Never leave a puppy with a child or baby unattended.
Later on in life you, your vet of the groomers may need to examine or handle your dog.
When with your puppy, spend time Inspecting ears, eyes, mouth, between paws and their nails.
Going to vets
Many and Groomers have “puppy sessions” designed for you puppy to experience and have a good time.
Normlaly they are free of charge.
Sand, Pebbles, puddles
Spending time alone
Its very important puppies from an early age learn to be alone, or they can develop separation anxiety, where they get distressed when you are not around and can bark or become destructive.
Build up in increments of mins leaving them alone, in different places (back garden, kitchen, bedroom etc)
I will create a blog for this in the next few weeks.
Dogs of all ages
Dogs of all sizes
Chickens, Ducks, Swans
Puppy Socialisation and Habituation should be fun.
Our clients at Hastings Pet Care get free free puppy advice when the sign up to our dog walking service or doggy daycare.
Our dog walks are fabulous for socialisation and the many different places we walk help with their habituation.
We cover St Leonards, Battle, Fairlight, Winchelsea and Pett. Book us here.