Successful Socialisation

by Dawn Comins // September 2017

Successful Socialisation

On Wednesday 13th September we ran our first CPD evening. CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and is something vets and vet nurses have to do to keep their knowledge up to date. We ran ours on successful socialisation for puppies. But correct socialisation is not something just our vets need to know about.

Socialisation is something that we hear all the time with both puppies and adult dogs. When someone gets a puppy often one of the first pieces of advice they are told is that they need to get the puppy ‘well socialised’. But what do we actually mean by ‘socialisation’?

Dogs have a critical window during early life that we know as the socialisation period. The socialisation period is when the puppy forms a ‘template’ of what is normal for the world around them. This takes place when the puppy is between 4 weeks and 12-14 weeks.


During this time it is good for puppies to experience as much of the world as possible. If a puppy does not experience something during this time then they may be more fearful of it later in life. For example, if the puppy has not been in a car before then they may be worried about travelling.

However it is important not to overwhelm our puppies, socialization is best done through repeated low level exposure so they get used to things gradually. We want to build their confidence at their own pace and reward them for being brave.

Remember all puppies are different. Some will want to investigate straight away and take on new challenges where as others may be more reserved. Both are completely normal and both can learn to be happy confident dogs.

Our 6 week puppy course covers all basic training and correct socialisation for your puppy to give him the best start in life.

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