by Iain Sneddon // October 2017
Socialization is a very important part of a puppy's early education. Puppies like all young are not born with social skills or impulse control (self-control/manners). Both and more need to be taught to the puppy at their own pace and in a positive way. Here at Dog Trust Dog School we help owners to understand their puppies needs as well as the importance of reading their body language. As with all training and exposure it needs to be managed so the individual puppy can learn positive associations with its environment.
Puppies need to be introduced to many different situations, including but not limited to:
Humans- Women, Men and Children in all shapes and sizes.
Groups of Children
House noises - washing machine, vacuum cleaner, doorbell, letter box etc.
Vehicles - travelling in and watching them move.
This list could go on a lot more and is just a quick guide to some of the basics. A good breeder will have ensured this has been started. Once in their new home it is down to their new family to continue this important phase. There are critical life stages that puppies pass through as they head towards adolescents and adulthood. Putting in the work at this age and getting these stages correct greatly helps the puppy develop into a well-rounded and confident adult dog.
Puppy play parties or Puppy Socialization sessions are becoming ever more popular. Be careful here though, these are run by well-meaning people but many are a free-for-all. Puppies are allowed to play for far too long, raising adrenaline levels and the puppies quickly learn the wrong things. It is better for them to be mixed with individuals of similar nature to them and always watched during these sessions. Play and interactions between the individuals needs to be balanced. This includes an equal amount of time being the chaser as well as being the chased. A puppy being constantly chased could be trying to get away and will quickly become stressed. It is just as important for the pestering chaser that this is stopped early. They need to learn that they don't have the right to constantly chase or jump on anyone they feel like. Puppies get a 'puppy license' by (most) adult or older dogs but this quickly subsides as they grow. Boisterous behaviour may initially be tolerated but will lead to unwanted behaviour interactions with other dogs soon enough. During a Dog School course puppies, will be introduced to other suitable puppies in the class. These interactions will enable both puppy and owner to understand what suitable play is and looks likes. As well as learning, how to interrupt in a positive way when adrenaline levels start to rise. These meeting sessions are also used to promote focus on the owner even when having fun with a play mate.
If you would like to learn more about your puppy and successful socialization, why not join one of our puppy courses? Call us on 01329 448243 or visit http://www.dogstrustdogschool.org.uk/dog-school/hampshire/ and for more useful tips follow us on Twitter @DogSchoolHants or Instagram using dogshoolhants