GOT a new puppy? Socialise! When getting a new puppy there are many things you need to consider to keep them happy and healthy as they grow into adult dogs.
This includes the very important time in your new puppy’s development, known as the ‘Socialisation Period’.
So what is it?
The ‘Socialisation Period’ is a critical time that occurs in the puppy’s life between the ages of three and 14 weeks.
This period is the time where puppies form social relationships and form both good and bad associations.
Hence what occurs during the socialisation period has long lasting effects and can be the beginning of many future problems.
It is important that during the socialisation period you expose your puppy to lots of new experiences.
These experiences must be positive for the puppy, rewarding and nonthreatening.
Through this, the puppy will develop positive associations.
Enrolling in a puppy class is a fantastic way for your puppy to be exposed to these positive experience and it can be a fun learning experience for owners.
As well as puppy classes, remember to introduce your puppy to family and friends and any of their pets too.
However, whilst your puppy is still getting their initial vaccinations, they should only socialise with other dogs who are up to date with their vaccinations.
As your puppy begins to make friends, be careful not to inadvertently expose your puppy to a negative socialisation experience.
An example of this might be forcing your puppy to play and interact with another dog or person that is clearly causing your puppy distress, this can be counter-productive.
So get out there in to the big wide world and have fun with your puppy. Contact your local vet for more information about enrolling in their first ever puppy class.