This article has been saved to your library here.

You have reached the maximum of 5 saved articles. Want to review and email them?

Lifestage mascot

How old is your dog?

Pre-Puppy
Pre-Puppy preview image

Pre-Puppy

What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
0-2 months preview image

0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
2-3 months preview image

2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
3-6 months preview image

3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
6-12 months preview image

6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
12-18 months preview image

12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
18 months - 3 years preview image

18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
3 - 8 years preview image

3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
8+ years preview image

8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

Tips for Socialising your Puppy

Tips for Socialising your Puppy

Socialising Your New Puppy

Firstly, congratulations! You’re about to experience one of life’s greatest joys: welcoming a brand new puppy into your family. Part of raising little bundles of fur is teaching them about the world, their surroundings and who inhabits it. We call this process socialising. But how can you help them adjust to the world when we’re socially limited?

What is socialising exactly?

Your pups peak socialisation period occurs when they’re (arguably) at their absolute cutest, between 3 – 12 weeks of age (up to 14 weeks in some puppies). During this time, your new four-legged friend will develop critical social skills such as bite inhibition and resilience to some of life’s stressors through positive exposure to experiences.

However, the word ‘socialisation’ doesn’t just refer to socialising your puppy to other dogs to make sure they have lots of friends at the local park. It also refers to how your pup relates to people and everyday experiences. Here’s how to help them get used to them by creating positive associations.

Handling

This first one you probably already have down pat (get it?), because the first step to getting your pup used to interacting with others is to get them used to your touch. Practice gentle handling of your puppy from head to toe including lifting the lips to see the teeth, stroking the ears, holding each paw and lifting the tail. This will help get your puppy used to being groomed and being examined by your vet, which can make those visits whole lot more comfortable.

Noises

We grow used to the sounds of the city and modern life, but big noises can make even the bravest little paws shake with fear. Every sound around the house or outdoors, such as the vacuum, washing machine and electric mixers, thunder, buses or garbage trucks, are new sounds for puppies, so it’s very important you introduce them to it in a positive and safe manner.

Interactions

Introducing your pup to the wonders of the outside world on a leash is a great way to socialise and stimulate them physically and mentally. It’s good to let them know that the world goes beyond the family home, but it’s best to avoid close interaction with unfamiliar dogs at this stage.

During times of stricter social limitations, some veterinary practices offer contactless puppy play sessions in small groups where owners drop off their puppies to the premises for supervised play by an animal behaviourist.

Surfaces

Remember that your little pup doesn’t have shoes or socks like you and I. Their paws, and their sense of touch, are vital in how they interact with the world around them. You can help socialise your pup to the world by letting them walk on different surfaces including grass, beaches, concrete, wooden floors, up and down stairs and across bridges so they can grow their confidence in exploring. The best part? Their pricelessly adorable reactions when walking on a new surface for the very first time.

Tip: Reward your puppy for a relaxed response with a delicious treat to help create positive associations with each new social situation and interaction.

Socialising your puppy is an important part of them growing up and your relationship moving forward. So regardless of the current state of the world, there’s many things you can still do to help acclimate them the best you can – bit by bit.

Articles

Save your favourite articles

Want to save this article and others for later? Easy!

  1. Click the toggle  at the top of each article you’d like to save.
  2. View your saved articles in My Library in top nav in the top right of the page.
  3. Open your saved articles and enter your details and we’ll send them to you.

Pet Paw-trol

Promotion preview

NEW Pocket Trainers

Because your pooch won’t work for free. The same great taste goes fun-sized with the new VitaPet Pocket Trainers. Perfect for training on the go.

More Info

Promotion preview

Sign Up

Stay up to date with more info, tips and support you need to build a strong, lasting relationship with your best friend .

Yes Please