Socialising your puppy during their critical socialisation period is one of the most important things you can do for their overall development and wellbeing. This period typically occurs between 3 and 14 weeks of age and is the time when puppies are most receptive to new experiences and social interactions. Although we typically don’t accept puppies until around the 12-week mark after they’ve received their full vaccinations, there are a few things you can do to kick-start their positive social experiences until they are big enough for their first day at daycare!
Research has shown that proper socialisation during this early period can have numerous positive effects on a puppy’s behaviour and personality later in life; puppies that are well-socialised are typically more confident, friendly, and adaptable to new situations. They are also less likely to develop behavioural issues such as fear, anxiety and aggression.
One of the best ways to socialise your puppy is to expose them to a variety of different people, animals, and environments during their ‘critical period’. This can include visits to the vet, trips to the park, and interactions with other dogs and humans. It is important to do this in a safe, controlled, and positive manner, especially before they have had their full vaccination schedule. Puppies are susceptible to a range of diseases including parvovirus and distemper which can be potentially fatal, so it’s important to be cautious of where you take your puppy to socialise them, and to only allow them to interact with fully vaccinated, healthy dogs until they have received their vaccinations. At Paddington Pups, we require all puppies to have received their C5 vaccination before attending to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all the dogs in our care. Once they have had this vaccination, doggy daycare can be an excellent way to develop your pup’s confidence and social skills!
How does daycare positively contribute to your pups’ socialisation?
At Paddington Pups, we provide a safe and controlled environment for puppies to interact with other dogs and humans, helping them to build confidence and learn appropriate social behaviours. We use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behaviour as well as discourage bad behaviour, ensuring that your puppy has a positive and enjoyable experience to start them off on the right foot.
As your pup grows more confident and begins making friends at daycare, creating a routine of a weekly visit is a great way to maintain their social abilities and confidence. However, if daycare simply isn’t your pups’ cup of tea, it is important to continue to give them other varied social interactions such as attending training classes, participating in sports or regularly exposing them to new people and environments. By continuing exposure to new experiences, you can help to ensure they remain confident, friendly, and well-adjusted throughout their life and lower the risk of them developing behavioural issues that will affect their quality of life.
We hope to be able to play a role in starting them off on their journey of developing confidence, adaptability and friendliness and to continue to be a part of their lives well beyond this initial socialisation stage!