Time to read: 4 mins
Dogs: The importance of being social
A well-socialised puppy will grow up to be an emotionally well-adjusted dog, used to a variety of different situations. Good socialisation can make the difference between a fearful dog and one which is happy and comfortable in the company of people and dogs. It is not difficult to socialise a puppy but it does take time and regular effort.
The younger the puppy is when you start the socialisation process; the easier it will be to do. It is essential that your puppy also learns how to be well behaved, so socialisation is also a perfect time to introduce some basic training.
Training and socialisation should be based on positive experiences – involving lots of pleasant encounters with adults, children, other animals and different environments. If you reward good behaviour it will happen more often.
Different puppies have different sensitivities, and some breeds are naturally more cautious than others and so can be are more difficult to socialise. These puppies in particular will need early socialisation and exposure to varied situations.
During socialisation, a puppy should be protected from any traumatic or fearful encounters. A good puppy socialisation class can help with this, but should not form the main part of socialisation. Try to find a place where class sizes are small and are run only for young puppies of a similar age; many vet practices run puppy classes.
Until fully protected by vaccination, your puppy should:
- Avoid contact with unvaccinated dogs.
- Avoid dog parks or areas where dogs toilet.
- Be taken out as much as possible – puppies can be carried when necessary to minimise the risk of infection, but are still able to gain valuable exposure to a variety of situations and environments.
- Get a free quote for your dogs insurance
Dogs are very social animals and some do not cope well when they are left home alone. Dogs may become upset or distressed when they are separated from their owners and can display disruptive or destructive behaviours. This may include; toileting in the house, barking, howling, chewing, digging or trying to escape.
If a dog gets used to being left alone for short periods of time when they are young, they are more likely to be content when you need to leave the house.
Everyone in the Scratch & Patch community has 24-hour access to our dedicated vet careline, you can get more advice on issues your pets may be experiencing. Click here to get your pets insured and join the community today.