Puppy socialising and social distancing

You’ve spent months researching, you’ve read every article on how to socialise your puppy, you’ve counted down the days to collect your new addition, you bring them home, and the country goes on lock down.

We’re guessing this isn’t how you imagined your puppy’s first few weeks at home! Don't worry we’ve got a few tips on how you can socialise your puppy while social distancing. There's a window of around 16 weeks when a puppy is wired to try new things and get used to its surroundings. This is a great time to get a dog used to a range of experiences so it won't feel nervous.

Use this time to build a relationship with your puppy and build their confidence. Their trust in you will mean the outside world won’t be as scary when the time comes to explore it.

  1. Allow your puppy to find comfort in their new home. A mix of treats and praise when puppy explores a new area, or ventures off alone will help build their independence.
  2. What seems like a quiet home to you, can be a loud place for a puppy. Gradually introduce them to sounds around the home such as a kettle boiling, the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner.
  3. Bring the outside world in. When the world returns back to normal, your puppy is likely to be exposed to sounds they have not experienced. So you could try playing clips of traffic, sirens and crowds in your home to help them. Each time you play a clip, gradually increase the volume to help them get used to the new sounds.
  4. If you’re able to go for a walk, try to explore somewhere new each day. This is a great way to expose your puppy to as many different smells, surfaces and environments as possible.
  5. Social distancing when out walking is a great way to train your puppy to heel and not seek attention from passers by from a young age.
  6. If your puppy is unable to venture out on walks yet, get them used to walking on a lead with short routes around the home or in your garden. This will make it less stressful for them when they are able to venture out and see what wonders the world has to offer.

This may not be what you had planned for your puppy’s first few weeks, but try to see the positives. You’re able to spend this time focusing on your new puppy and building an unbreakable bond. Things may be uncertain at the moment, but the love between you and your dog will remain unchanged.