Tips on Socialisation and your Puppy
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The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.” – Samuel Butler
As we come to our last blog post in Book Two – ‘Puppy Essentials’ from our series ‘A Life with Dogs,’ we look back on our journey thus far.
As the owner of a new Puppy, we know it will have been a learning curve for most. We hope you’re enjoying our posts, both light-hearted & informative.
From thinking about when, what-type, buying, adopting or fostering… did you do your homework?
Then the day arrived and your new fluff-family-member arrived. How exciting was that moment!
Do you remember what he or she smelt like that very first time they lay snuggled in your arms?
Your family or significant others then decided on a name, and you taught them to respond.
What did you decide to feed them and when?
More importantly, have you made note of what NEVER to feed them?
Potty training’s in-hand and you’ve made that appointment to have them spayed or neutered.
Our last step in Book Two – Puppy Essentials is all about Socialisation.
The introducing of your new energiser puppy to others… and helping them learn to play nice is imperative.
So read on,
‘Tips on Socialisation and your Puppy’
After you bring your new puppy home you will suddenly begin to notice an influx of certain words into your vocabulary such as “training,” “socialisation,” “play time,” and “no, stop, don’t, drop that!”
For many pet owners, socialisation is a new but extremely important concept.
Everything you need to know about socialisation and your puppy is described below.
What is Socialisation?
Socialisation is the act of introducing your puppy to as many new sights, sounds, people, animals, and experiences as possible.
Any time your puppy is away from the areas that he or she knows best (i.e. house, yard, or treat dispenser) socialisation is occurring.
Socialisation can be performed actively by purposely taking your puppy places in order to have new experiences, or passively by simply heading off for a walk in a new direction and seeing what you may encounter.
Why is Socialisation Important?
Socialisation is extremely important in order to help your puppy develop into a well-behaved and well-rounded dog.
In many ways, dogs can be compared to children.
What if a child never interacted with another kid until the age of 7 years old?
That under-socialised child would likely have a lot of anxiety and fear towards other children, and would also have a difficult time knowing how to behave correctly.
The same is true for a dog that is not exposed to other animals, humans, and experiences.
Ultimately, if you do not want your pup to be picked last for kickball at the dog park because of its poor manners, socialisation is necessary.
What Happens if I Don’t Socialize my Dog?
Under socialised dogs are more likely to become reactive in the presence of other animals by lunging, snarling, barking, and snapping at them.
Lack of socialisation also leads to a dog becoming territorial over its home and yard.
Additionally, a dog that is not properly socialised will have underdeveloped skills for coping with stress, and may be more likely to have anxiety in unfamiliar situations.
How Should I Socialise my Puppy?
The best way to socialise your puppy is to allow him or her to join you on any dog-friendly outing like;
Take your puppy to new parks and trails; allow your dog to join you in the car if you are going somewhere with a drive-thru window; invite friends over for a puppy-welcoming party; schedule an arranged puppy marriage for your dog and the puppy next door; have a backyard barbecue and ask your friends to bring their pets; or take your puppy to doggy day care.
Good vs. Bad Socialisation
Ultimately, the number one goal of the owner should be that socialisation has a good outcome.
According to dog trainer Karen Pryor, socialisation should always be a positive experience for the dog, not simply an introduction to potentially stressful situations.
For instance, to help develop your pet into a dog that can be easily handled, it is suggested that you handle your puppy’s feet and mouth regularly.
However, not all pets enjoy being handled in this way, so it is important to make a fun game out of this task.
For instance, every time you touch your dog’s mouth, give your pet a reward in the form of a toy or treat. Every socialisation experience should leave your dog with a positive association.
Ultimately, socialisation is a necessary tool for developing your pet into a well-rounded dog.
By introducing your dog to as many new experiences as possible you can create a zen and worldly pet as opposed to one whose only goal is to ensure the mailman knows a killer canine is on the premises.
Pup-Update – First Birthday
Jerry had a ‘Howling’ good-time celebrating his 1st Birthday on June 17 2018. Cannot believe the first year has gone so fast… puppies seem to grow before your eyes. As time goes on, his love for us has become undisputed and his energy infectious – we all wish we could bottle his youth for ever. He’s maturing all over, probably the size now he will be for the rest of his life. His coat has also matured but remains so so soft, fluffy and I am so proud of his behaviour with our Mobile Groomer (a really good idea to introduce this process early). The spots on his nose (did you notice how his nose has all of a sudden grown long?) are really defined, his little mohawk perfect for burying my nose into, and his eyelashes… well they should have been for a little girl dog! Best of all, Jerry has developed an increased level of patience, comfortable with his home, his family and loved ones. He only wants to please. So in love!
Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
Jerry – Born ‘Royoni Naughty-on-Arrival’ June 17, 2017
Follow Jerry’s adventures on Instagram @jerrythecockerspan
Now that your new Puppy has deeply infiltrated your life, love & heart, and their immediate needs have been taken care of. It’s now plain sailing right?
Well, yes… and no.
Let’s take a look at the more fundamental areas of owning a dog – like Health. After all, your dog is going to be with you for at least the next decade, if not more.
Book Three in our series ‘A Life with Dogs’ takes a good look at Grooming.
At Underwater Dogs, we can help with bathing, products, what-to-use and what-not-to-use, how-to and when. That’s what we do.
Then we’ll discuss tips on Grooming, like Hair, Nails, Ears, and more general tips on your puppies health.
Watch this space – BOOK THREE – Chapter Seventeen – Coming Soon
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Photo Credits: Max, Lily @lilylashes_cavoodle, Lewis @lewis_cavoodle, Benji @benji_the_cockerspaniel, Coco @coco_the_peekapoo, Boris, Summer, Milo, Bear @littlebrownbearlab, Jerry @jerrythe cockerspan