Puppies have the ability to readily adapt to new experiences, but this ability fades with time. As they become older, suspicion tends to replace natural curiosity and makes them fearful of new things. Puppies need to be socialised when they’re young so that they become comfortable in a variety of situations and environments.
Reasons to Socialise Your Puppy
Providing your puppy with opportunities to socialise is a crucial part of pet care. While food, water, exercise and regular checkups will help keep puppies physically healthy, socialisation will help them stay emotionally healthy. Puppies that are socialised generally grow into calm adult dogs that are safe and fun to be around.
When puppies are exposed to different environments, such as a friend’s house or a noisy, crowded street, they become comfortable hearing a variety of sounds and seeing different sights. This helps reduce the risk of them becoming anxious or even aggressive when encountering a new situation or being placed in a new environment.
Tips on Socialising Your Puppy
The best time to socialise your puppy is before she’s 12 weeks old. After 12 weeks, puppies start becoming more wary about new situations and environments. Just keep in mind that your puppy will not have all of her vaccinations before she’s 12 weeks old. That means you’ll need to take some precautions in order to minimize her risk of exposure to diseases that she doesn’t have shots for yet. Some safe ways to socialise young puppies include:
- Taking puppy socialisation classes, since puppies are often required to have at least one set of shots in order to participate.
- Setting up play sessions with friends’ puppies or dogs, as long as they’re up-to-date on their shots.
- Driving around different neighborhoods with your puppy.
When socialising your puppy, watch her reaction closely. If she seems frightened or overwhelmed, take her somewhere calmer or quieter and try the noisier or more crowded environments when she’s more used to being socialised.
Written by Amanda
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