Puppies are naturally very inquisitive and, up to the age of 16 weeks, quite fearless. This is why it’s important to introduce your new puppy to as many different things as possible during this small window of opportunity. Once they are older than 16 weeks they can become fearful of things they haven’t encountered before – and this includes other dogs.
The process of introducing your puppy to other dogs is known as socialisation. Many people mistakenly think that if they already have dogs, their puppy is well socialised – but that’s not the case.
- Your puppy needs to meet other dogs of different breeds, ages, shapes and sizes. It’s particularly important for small breeds to meet up with large breeds when they are puppies so that they won’t be nervous of them as adults.
- Don’t be tempted to pick up your puppy when they encounter bigger, adult dogs as this may encourage them to think that there’s something to be scared of!
- Just make sure that the dogs you introduce your puppy to are well socialised and friendly.
- Puppies also need to play and socialise with other puppies, so join a puppy school, which will also help with basic obedience.
You also need to socialise your puppy with humans – men, women and children of all ages and races.
- The best way to do this is to take your puppy with you when you visit friends or go out for a cup of coffee.
- Introduce your puppy to as many different places as possible, from noisy restaurants to parks, as this will help you bring up a dog that you can take anywhere.
- Interestingly, dogs that are not brought up with men can become fearful of them, so make sure your puppy gets used to men at an early age.
- Your puppy may get motion sickness in the car but don’t let this stop you from taking him out. The more your puppy goes out in the car, the quicker he’ll get over motion sickness.
Words and image: Home magazine