Well the answer is, that there is a lot more to puppy socialisation than just meeting other dogs. And this is where you can have a lot of fun and creativity.
Puppy socialisation is actually about giving your pup different experiences, different textures under their feet, differing noises and sights and sounds.
These different experiences are critical for their learning and development and can shape their behaviour for the rest of their lives.
So it’s about exposing them to lots of different experiences in a safe and positive way! This way puppies will learn how to cope in different situations, how to interact with people and other animals when faced with new circumstances.
An unfortunate incident....
I will never forget the day we took Ruby for a play at the park with the kids when she was about 4 or 5 months old. She was on the lead and a few other people were wandering around with their dogs on leads too.
All of a sudden, one dog escaped it’s collar, made a bee-line for Ruby and attacked her leg ferociously. I had grabbed her as soon as I could but still the other dog was hanging off her. The owner came over and had to prise the dog off Ruby’s leg. It was traumatic for me, for the kids but most of all for Ruby.
Thankfully there was no physical damage! But for a number of years after that, Ruby did not tolerate the company of other dogs. Today she can have some great play dates with other dogs which is so wonderful to watch.
I share this story to not only show you that long term mindsets are made in your pups at this young age but that with a lot of work, any negative experiences can be worked on.
Tips for creating positive experiences:
What socialisation can you give to your pup during this time?
Hopefully that has given you some great ideas for socialising your new puppy, whether you are in a time of lockdown or do not have access to any puppy schools at the moment.
Enjoy your new puppy and know that as you do these activities, you are helping to raise a health and balanced pup that will enjoy exploring with you on all your adventures!