The world can be a big scary place to your puppy. Carefully exposing your puppy to different things at a young age is called socializing, and it includes meeting people, animals and situations they would encounter as an adult. It is important to make sure these experiences are positive and not overwhelming to your puppy. Socialization is essential for providing your puppy with a solid behavioural foundation.
During these early months a young puppy’s brain is quite adaptable to learning about new things. Taking advantage of this ability is important to help create a well-adjusted dog that is comfortable, friendly, and calm at home and outside.
Adaptil has been scientifically proven to help promote learning and to help puppies focus during this important socialization period. Adaptil comforts, reassures and provides confidence to the puppy, helping to make new experiences positive. It has also been proven to help reduce stress during training. This allows your puppy or adult dog to better concentrate, which in turn results in significantly better behaved pets.
Understand your puppy or adult dog’s personality and temperament; keep experiences at a level that does not frighten, stress or scare thim. This may mean just letting him hang back a bit as he watches before he engages with new things.
Consider enrolling your puppy in puppy socialization or training classes. Not only is it fun for the entire family, it is a great opportunity to expose your puppy to new people, dogs and experiences in a controlled environment with a knowledgable trainer. Some classes will even cover basic commands and offer support in things like crate training and house breaking. Adult dogs can also benefit from training classes, whether it be to learn a new skill, or to improve overall confidence.
Use positive, reward based-training when working with any age of dog. Always have food nearby to offer a tasty treat so your dog associates what you are doing with good things.
Never force your dog to do anything. if he hangs back, go further away until he calms and reward him with food.
Special focus should be on having your puppy meet all different generations of people, especially children. Also think about exposing them to people with beards, people wearing hats or glasses, people in uniform, people on bicycles and people pushing strollers.
Get them used to delivery people who can offer treats so they are not scared by people coming to the door.
If your puppy or adult dog is fearful of something, offer support and give them encouragement and time. If they really don’t want to interact, do not make them.
Do not forget to take your puppy or aduly dog to the veterinarian for vaccinations, etc., but also to get them used to the veterinary setting. If your dog is uncomfortable visiting the veterinary clinic, most vets encourage you to bring your dog in for regular short visits, just to get some treats and affection. This shows your dog that visiting the vet is a fun experience, rather than something to be frightened of.
Never punish your dog. Punishment can lead to fears and negative associations with certain things, people or experiences.
Continue introducing your puppy to all sorts of experiences in a kind, measured way for an entire year to teach him how to experience and enjoy the world he lives in.
It is recommended that puppies wear an Adaptil Collar throughout the socialization period, ideally from 8 to 16 weeks of age. Fitting an Adaptil Collar at this stage has been shown to influence a puppy’s development and help them grow into a well behaved and confident adult dog.
The Adaptil Collar is particularly useful in socialization and training as it provides constant release of the comforting Dog Appeasing Pheromone, which helps provide confidence and support your puppy or adult dog, no matter where they are.
It is recommended that a collar is fitted at the first vaccination appointment at around 8 weeks of age.
The collar diffuses pheromone as a result of body heat, and should always be close to the skin. Therefore, it should be checked daily to ensure it has not become loose.
As puppies grow, the fit of the collar should be checked weekly to ensure that the collar has not become too tight.
Adaptil Spray can also be applied on leashes, bandanas, and all accessorizes used during training, to reinforce the comforting message.
Socializing your puppy is one of the most important things you can do to help him grow into a happy, well-adjusted dog. Improperly socializing your puppy can lead to the development of major behavioural problems as an adult dog.
Behavioural issues in later life are a leading cause of death in adult dogs. This is because these dogs are far more likely to cause problems in society. Furthermore they are exceptionally difficult to rehome. This often results in dogs being euthanized.
You can help prevent these issues by following our tips provided on socialization and training and by using Adaptil during these formative beginning months in your puppy’s life.
Click on the link below to download a checklist with tips for your puppy's socialization.
TRAINING CHART.pdf 417.77 kB