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Why do I need to socialise my dog?

Why do I need to socialise my dog?

Socialisation encourages positive experiences and builds your dog's resilience in response to interactions and changes in the world around them. It also helps raise your dog to be a great companion and sets them up for success.

During the first few weeks after you get your puppy, they will develop vital social skills and resilience to some of life's challenges through being exposed to positive experiences.

These new experiences can be anything from having a neighbour walk past the house to crinkling a water bottle to starting the washing machines. Of course, always reward your puppy with their favourite treat to help create positive associations with each new social situation and interaction. Over time, this will help make experiences like people visiting or going to dog-friendly cafés much less stressful! Below are some other ideas for creating positive associations for your new puppy.

Handling. We start with the easy one. Pat, your puppy! But take this a step further if your puppy is comfortable. Feel over their body touching their feet, tail, head & ears, drip-feeding them their dinner or treats with lots of good boy/girl as positive reinforcement.

Noises. Big noises can make even the bravest pup startle and shake with fear. Every typical sound around the house is a unique sound for a puppy, so you must introduce them to these sounds slowly, positively and safely.

Surfaces. Let them walk on various surfaces, including grass, the beach, concrete, and wooden floors. These experiences will help them grow in confidence as they explore the world around them.

As your puppy gets a bit older, the importance of good socialisation doesn't stop, but the focus can change. Dogs who haven't socialised with others are often fearful of new situations and circumstances. Your puppy's confidence will grow when each unique experience or interaction leads to a positive association.

Overall, well-socialised dogs lead to good canine citizens and happier dogs. There are many ways to socialise your dog, but why not let the experts do it? Our Pets In The City Socialisation Programme focuses on building your puppy's confidence in the big wide world positively and calmly. Over six sessions, we focus on desensitising and socialising your pup to all types of people, noises, equipment, and general items from everyday life.

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