Why You Should Encourage Your Puppy to Socialise After 8 Weeks Old!
It can be viewed as an intimidating prospect, taking a young puppy home to a new environment, away from their siblings and mother, and expecting it to be seamless transition. Learning the dos and don’ts of being a dog owner can be very difficult at times. You have enough on your plate trying to toilet train your dog and discouraging biting, whilst juggling a thousand jobs at once!
I am currently going through this as we speak, we have a 9-week-old Working Cocker Spaniel called Harley and as much as we love him, it has been very stressful at times!
But something which we don’t often consider is the importance of integrating your pup to it’s new surrounding and encouraging him to socialise with new people and puppies. The new sounds, smells, sights, and textures they discover will help develop their understanding of the world around them and help them become confident and able to adapt to most situations.
Encouraging your puppy to socialise after 8 weeks old is important for several reasons. During this period, your puppy's brain is rapidly developing, and they are more open to new experiences and learning about the world around them. Here are some reasons why you should encourage your puppy to socialise:
Preventing behavioural problems: Puppies that are not socialized can develop behavioural problems like fear, anxiety, and aggression. Proper socialization helps to prevent these problems by exposing your puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments.
Building confidence: Socialising your puppy helps them build confidence and self-esteem. They learn to navigate new situations and environments with ease, which can help them become more resilient and adaptable in the future.
Developing social skills: Socialising your puppy helps them develop important social skills like communication, body language, and play. They learn how to interact with other dogs and people in a positive and appropriate manner, which is essential for their well-being.
Strengthening the human-animal bond: By socialising your puppy, you are strengthening the bond between you and your pet. You are teaching them to trust and rely on you, which can deepen your relationship and make it easier to train and care for them.
Fears and phobias: It’s important to try and nip the fears and phobias your dog may have in the bud early on. This could include a fear of car journeys, trips to the vets, fireworks, and bonfires, vacuuming around the house and trips to groomers etc. By introducing these activities early on in their development, these activities will become normalised, and could limit their chances of it developing as a fear.
If your puppy does become stressed and viably frightened after doing any of the above activities, we sell a dog calming spray called Zen Dog, which is perfect for relaxing stressed dogs and promotes calming behaviour!
Overall, socialization is an essential aspect of puppy development, and it is important to start early. By exposing your puppy to new experiences and social situations, you can help them become a well-adjusted and confident adult dog. We'd recommend taking your pup to puppy classes after they've had their second vaccinations as they'll reap the rewards of socilaising with other pups of different breeds, sizes, temperaments and you can ask any question you may have to a behavioural expert.
Article written by Hayden Lloyd - Founder HWL Pet Supplies Limited