Puppies, and their humans, have a lot of learning to do together. Between the age of 6 and 16 weeks, a puppy’s brain is like a sponge, waiting to absorb new information and experiences. However, as puppies are not fully vaccinated, their best opportunity to socialise with other puppies, is in a supervised puppy class. The puppies in class are all around the same age, which makes for a healthy, safe and controlled environment for your puppy to meet other puppies of all sizes.

In addition to puppy school, you should expose your puppy to as many sights and sounds as you can. A puppy used to lots of noise and activity will become a well adjusted adult dog. Whilst your puppy may not be fully vaccinated, taking a puppy out to front yard, or even up and down your street, can be enough for them to have a positive, educational experience.

Puppies will also have a few negative experiences, usually something that startles them, like loud truck noises or vacuum cleaners. Puppies that have negative experiences at this age may well remember them for the rest of their life. This means, if you see something new that they haven’t seen before, reward them as soon as they look at it. If they are startled, let them back off a few paces and watch. The important thing is that they recover well, become inquisitive and then decide that it isn’t frightening after all.

Some examples may include:

  • Vehicles – cars, trucks, skateboards and wheelchairs can all give an uninitiated dog a fright.
  • People – male, female, tall, short, wearing hats, sunglasses, different personalities.
  • Other dogs – older, younger,  different breeds, male, female, desexed and not. Make sure that the dogs your puppy is interacting with are behaving as you would like him to, and that neither dog is looking uncomfortable or pestering the other.
  • Different environments – grass, sand, tarmac, pavement, moving through, under and over different objects, and solving little tasks (like how to walk around a fence to reach you), are all good to stimulate his brain and get him used to the world around him.

By properly socialising your puppy, you are on the right path to having a confident and versatile dog.

Please see store team members for information about puppy classes, regularly held in stores.