Becoming a dog owner for the first time is exciting. But where do you begin to train your new pup and get them used to the big wide world?
So many problems occur because puppy socialisation has gone wrong. Did you know that a frightening statistic revealed that more dogs are put to sleep because of behavioural problems under the age of two than dying from diseases?
But don’t be put off. This can be easily avoided if you get the support you need early on. Take a look at our tips below to help train your pup to become a confident, happy and well-adjusted adult dog.
Puppies are always learning, but they are more open to socialisation from the age of 3 to 16 weeks.
If your pup misses out on sufficient socialisation during this time, they’ll be at greater risk of developing behavioural problems later on in life, such as fear and aggression. The first experience they have with anything will shape their future behaviour, so in a non-threatening way, try to expose them to all sorts of things they’ll encounter later on in their life as soon as you can.
Although we’re used to it, the sounds of fireworks, thunderstorms and even the hoover can be really spooky for your new pup. But it’s not just sounds that can be frightening. New people, especially small children, and animals can be intimidating, so it’s a really good idea to introduce them to a variety of people and animals early so that later in life, they are not afraid.
Consider getting a CD with the sound of cars and thunderstorms, and play it quietly within your home so that your pup can get used to these unusual noises.
If your pup is afraid of something, keep calm. Don’t force your pup to do something they don’t want to, and definitely don’t punish them as you’ll encourage them to be fearful. Remember, tomorrow is a new day, so keep things positive and try again another day.
A number of our Medivet practices offer free puppy parties to help you train your pup and get the advice you need to ensure your new bundle of joy gets appropriate socialisation training. Please contact your local Medivet to find out if your local practice host puppy parties.
We’re always happy to give you further information and advice on how to socialise your puppy. So feel free to contact your local Medivet practice or pop in for a chat – we’d love to meet you and your new bundle of joy!