Puppy Socialisation During Lockdown
April 24, 2020
Whilst it’s important to socialise young puppies, with the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, some owners are telling us that they’re worried they won’t be able to do this properly. In this article our head vet Louise offers some basic socialisation pointers that everyone should be able to do.
- Basic principles – If you follow the basic principles of socialisation and introduce your pup to different things in a safe and positive way, you’ll be making progress and that’s the main thing.
- Surfaces and sounds – Slowly introducing them to various surfaces and sounds is a great socialisation technique. Use the ‘Surfaces and Sounds’ tick-list we’ve produced and see how many surfaces and sounds you can find in the home over the next few weeks.
- Less is more – Take things slowly and try to pair new things with something positive, like a treat or a cuddle.
- Avoid frightening them – If they appear to be afraid of something, then calmly take them away from it. Aversion therapy is not a good thing at this stage.
- Build handling – Start with gentle handling and gently play. Build up slowly over a few weeks. Get them used to people touching their ears, nose and mouth. Do this in short sessions and try to build their interest in being handled.
- Introduce objects & experiences – Be inventive and try to show them something new every day. When does the postman come? When’s your bin day? Even looking out of the window can expose young dogs to new experiences.
- Outdoor play – You’ll be fine letting your pup explore a safe and enclosed garden. As we can’t vaccinate at the moment you can’t walk your puppy in public, but you can carry them! Why not use every other one of your exercise outings to introduce them to things from the safety of your arms. Perhaps traffic, if you live in the city, or farm animals if you live in the country.
Last but not least, with time on your hands, you might be tempted to spend all day every day playing with and socialising your new best friend. However, like babies, new pups need time to sleep and relax, so please do make sure they get plenty of chill time too.
Enjoy the socialisation experience with them and absolutely, 100% share your best experiences and top tips on our Facebook page.