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

Noises

Door Bell
Door knocking
Letter box
Knock on the door
Vacuum
Steam Iron
Smoke Alarm
Washing Machine
Tumble Dryer
Microwave
Lawn Mower
Cars/ Trucks / Motorbikes
Emergency Services
Trains and Busses
Car horns
Busy Traffic
TV / Radio
Fireworks
Thunder / Rain/ Wind
Barking Dogs
Hair Dryers

Objects

Umbrellas
Balloons
Mirrors
Garden Tools
Lifts
Brooms
Shopping trollies
Clothes Dryers
Ironing Boards
Garden Sprinklers
Wheel Chairs

People

Men
Women
Children
Babies
Crying Babies
Postmen
People in High Viz
Pensioners
All ethnicities
Hats, Glasses, Hi Viz
Postmen / Refuse collectors
Joggers
Cyclists
Wheel Chairs
Prams
Roller Stakes / Blades
Scooters
Bikes
Skate Boards

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.

Puppy Socialisation and Habituation - George - Dog Walking Hastings

Experiences

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.

Brushing
Bathing
Drying
Going to vets
Groomers

Many and Groomers have “puppy sessions” designed for you puppy to experience and have a good time.
Normlaly they are free of charge.

Textures

Sand, Pebbles, puddles
Concrete
Grass
Mud
Woodland
Paddling Pools
Rain
Leaves
Stairs

Bruno - the Doxie - Puppy Socialisation and Habituation Hastings

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.

Places

Café
Parks
Bars
Schools
Playgrounds
beaches
Woods
Lifts
Busses
Cars
Trains
Elscalors
Stairs
Bridges, Tunnels

Animals

Dogs of all ages
Dogs of all sizes
Cows
Rabbits
Chickens, Ducks, Swans
Cats
Horses
Sheep

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.

Thanks