Puppy Socialisation catch 22

(11 Posts)
toastedbeagle Tue 27-Aug-19 08:32:41

We’ve got an 8 week old puppy and all the books are advising is to expose her to as many sights and sounds as possible in the window before 12 weeks... however the same books are also advising that you can’t take your puppy to any public areas in case they contract a virus from a unvaccinated dog.
I’ve got a dog handbag I can put her in but she’s not a massive fan... i don’t want to sit at home with her for 3 weeks but equally I’m not sure I can take her out? Anyone got any advice?! I asked a few dog owners last night on a walk we did (being carried) and they said they all just walked the dogs... not sure if I’m being overly cautious.

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Jouska Tue 27-Aug-19 08:48:04

You do need to get out and about in the next three weeks.

Depends on the dog but most people will carry the dogs. Sit in parks bus stops etc with the dog on your lap. If it is not too hot take in the car and sit with the boot up so the puppy can see and smell new things.

Socialise at home with dogs you know that are fully vaccinated etc

SkeletonSkins Tue 27-Aug-19 09:36:21

We invited people to our house, took puppy to visit friends including friends who had dogs, carried her, went to dog friendly cafes, pubs etc and had her in my lap, carried her in Pets at Home and the local garden centre, set up things to build her confidence inside the house like different items and surfaces to explore, after her first vaccination I sat her outside local supermarkets and people said hello.

Remember though - now is the time to be teaching manners. However your puppy greets people now, will be how they greet people as an adult dog if you don’t train an alternative. You don’t want an adult dog pulling you to say hi to every single person who walks past so some of socialisation needs to be focusing on you when other people/dogs are around and being able to ignore them.

Fucksandflowers Tue 27-Aug-19 09:47:46

I took her to people's houses and walked her out and about on the pavement.
Walking in the pavement/areas frequented by other dogs is a bit risky though tbh.

missbattenburg Tue 27-Aug-19 10:12:56

Remember though - now is the time to be teaching manners. However your puppy greets people now, will be how they greet people as an adult dog if you don’t train an alternative. You don’t want an adult dog pulling you to say hi to every single person who walks past so some of socialisation needs to be focusing on you when other people/dogs are around and being able to ignore them.

This, with bells on.

Caaarrrl Tue 27-Aug-19 10:15:24

Is there a puppy playgroup near you? Our local training centre runs a playgroup which you can take pup to after 1st vac. All pups are either fully vaccinated or had 1st making it safe for pups. Wet took ours from after his 1st vac and it socialised him to other dogs and people. Then we just carried him to the main road, shops, bus stops etc or drive him in the car and sat in the boot.

adaline Tue 27-Aug-19 10:34:48

You really do need to take them out now - most owners around here use slings or open backpacks or even prams to put the puppies in, so they get socialisation and make positive associations with everyday things.

However don't panic - the socialisation window generally lasts until 16 weeks so you do have time, but it's really important to get her out as much as possible once she's had her vaccinations. Get her around other dogs and people. Get her walking on busy roads, around cars, cyclists, joggers and everything else. It all needs to be seen as normal to her.

It's also the perfect age to practise recall as when they're young they naturally want to be as close to you as possible - although be prepared for recall to temporarily vanish when they reach the teenage months!

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GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 27-Aug-19 13:19:50

Visit vaccinated dogs, and also people without dogs. Encourage a range of friends and neighbours to come and see you (lots of people love to meet a new puppy). Aim for old, young, male, female, different heights and hair colours and clothes. Get the puppy out into gardens - Down quiet lanes, by busy roads, along suburban streets. Maximise the variety without exhausting the pup.

You can also expose the puppy to a range of noises in your own home - different sorts of music, clanging pan lids, the hoover, furniture being moved.

And have fun. If you're happy, the puppy will pick up on that.

StillMedusa Tue 27-Aug-19 18:47:33

I carried mine from 9-11 weeks... nearly finished me off as she is a big puppy. Then as soon as she could go out we went everywhere... daft things like to the supermarket car park, the local swings, the pub (all in the interests of socialisation of course!)
I also took her to the pre vacs puppy play at our local garden centre , but have to say the first time she was scared and hid in my lap. A week later she was raring to go!

We asked friends to come to the house.. friends with glasses, old people, a friend who uses a wheelchair. We wore silly hats as she was scared by the first man in a hat she saw. A lot of the socialisation took place at home before we hit the streets!

She's 15 weeks now and seems to be very confident.. thunderstorms..no problem, motorbikes, hoovers, domestic and outdoor sounds are fine. She is cautious near bigger dogs and I am teaching her that can say a 5 second hello and move on (tho she does butt plant sometimes as she wants to say hi to all the small dogs)

toastedbeagle Tue 27-Aug-19 19:47:27

Brilliant ideas, thanks. I am booked into a class at the vets and will go and knock on my neighbours doors (elderly, wheelchairs, other dogs ✅) ...

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toastedbeagle Tue 27-Aug-19 19:49:44

I have 2 raucous kids too so she’s being exposed to a lot of noise and excitement! So far nothing has phased her!

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