Before puppies are fully vaccinated, there is risk attached to taking them to public places and putting them on the floor – you are potentially exposing them to a number of diseases that can be caught from unvaccinated dogs or their faeces…
However, the vaccination period from start to finish is around 3 to 4 weeks and as this is such a vital and formative time for a puppy, we shouldn't be wasting it by wrapping the puppy in cotton wool and staying indoors until it's 'safe' to go out!
Of course, it is important to keep your puppy safe during this time but there are loads of things you can be doing.
So here is a guide to “how” to introduce your puppy to the big wide world and a list of suggestions for you.
How to introduce your puppy to the outside world
It is very important that you do not over-face your puppy with new sights, sounds and experiences.
At this stage in your puppy's life, it is possible that if your puppy gets a big scare from a new situation, it will remain frightened forever so bear in mind the following:
Here's an example:
Often, the first time a puppy sees traffic is when it goes for its first walk on the lead. A number of factors can mean this goes well or badly!
So, what’s the best way to introduce puppy to traffic…?
During the vaccination period, carry your puppy to a quiet road, with plenty of pavement space and preferably on a dry day – take some tasty treats with you.
Let the puppy watch the traffic from a safe, calm distance giving him a little treat now and then and talking to him so that he can experience traffic at an acceptable level.
As he sees more and more, you can take him closer to the road and then to a busier road, all the time increasing the exposure but at a level where he does not get frightened – keep up the tasty treats and soon he won’t care about the noise of the traffic and this in turn will make your first walk much more enjoyable for you, and more importantly, for your puppy!
Our suggestions to help socialise your puppy
So, applying these same principles and keeping your puppy in your arms, here is a list of suggestions!
Ideal places for puppy socialisation
Lots of people will come up to see your puppy and say hello – remember the principles of not over-facing the puppy and making the experience positive!
Other considerations for socialising your puppy
There may be things specific to the type of dog you have.
If you have a dog that will need regular visits to a dog groomer, then this must be factored in to your socialisation plan!
Also getting a pup used to wearing a muzzle may pay off when they become adults!
The way to think about puppy socialisation is to consider what you will expect your dog to cope with as an adult and start putting the building blocks in place for this now! It will make your and your puppy’s life much easier in the long run.
If your pup isn't having a good time and enjoying itself there is a very good chance the experience won't be a positive one. Generally dogs don't just 'get over' things by themselves, so if your pup becomes anxious or worried about a situation, it is probably best to leave and consult a professional for help to find the best way forward.
REMEMBER: Exposure alone isn't socialisation!
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