In 2016 the British Veterinary Association stated that 98% of vets had been asked to euthanise due to behavioural problems. It’s more upsetting because these problems could have been prevented and those animals would still be alive.
Can’t teach an old dog new tricks
One of the most important things to do to help your dog live a happy life is Socialisation. Puppies should be actively socialised before 12 weeks of age, this is because behavioural areas in the brain are affected at this early stage and are harder to be reversed or changed the older they get – it’s the same as teaching an old dog new tricks!
Socialisation is mixing with other people, dogs, objects and the environment. It teaches the dog to know how to be friendly and social around other dogs and people and to be confident in its environment.
Most people get a puppy at 8-12 weeks old, before they’re fully vaccinated (at 12-16 weeks old), so they aren’t allowed to go outside in public. But socialisation can still be done in the house, at the vets and at Puppy Classes.
Something to try @ home
These activities can be done everyday at home, they’re fun and they’re easy!
- Stroking, playing and general social handling
- Introduce different surfaces- soft/hard, slippy/lino floors, gravel/rough floors
- exposure to household noises- hoovering, the washing machine, TV and toaster
- meeting new and unfamiliar people and animals- have friends over including children, men and women
- Organised play dates- with friends dogs who you knoware healthy, fully vaccinated and friendly
- visiting friends houses to explore new environments
- visiting the vets for friendly visits like weighing and flea treatment
The socialisation process should continue for the first 2 years of your dog’s life.
How we can help
Our walks are a good way to help with your dog’s ongoing socialisation and learning. Walking on the moors where they come across different plants, hills and reservoirs are all good experiences for the dog. Also learning how to socialise with other dogs and other people that they meet on the walk. Your dog will get the chance to meet multiple different dogs on their walks but will not be overwhelmed as we only walk 4 dogs at one time.
Good luck with all your socialisation training!