'Socialising' a puppy in lock-down - doing our best....

(55 Posts)
DontWatchTheShining Wed 01-Apr-20 15:05:23

Would anyone like to have a support thread on this topic?

I know this isn't going to be easy (and circumstances are far from ideal). But we are where we are, and while on lock-down, we're going to TRY to simulate as many experiences as possible.

Our poodle (little girl called Chilli) is nearly 9 weeks old.

Here is our list (under development) for the next few weeks (haven't started a lot of it yet as she's so little. Will do so gradually).

- Taking her for a walk in our arms every day (obviously can't put her down at all).
- Bought a puppy carrier for my bike, so can take her on bike rides.
- Playing recorded traffic sounds on YouTube.
- Getting her used to the hoover.
- Getting the kids to rollerskate and skateboard around her.
- Wear outrageous outfits, including hats, wigs, stilettos, false beards, glasses, etc.
- Try to help her separate by not being with her ALL the time.
- Play a variety of loud voices on the telly.
- Let her in a small area of garden, where hopefully the chances of other wildlife to spread nasty bugs are low.

Can anyone add anything to this? Anyone in the same boat like to update each other on progress?

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Windyatthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 15:08:49

Luckily our dpuppy is now 21 weeks. We are lucky we can take her out but it's still difficult. No upstairs with a house full now isn't easy. We have alternated who takes her out so she gets used to different routines. Still no actually ddoggy meetings though. It's a ghost town here and she is getting skittish with noises she does hear. Dpuppy in arms still needs to get out. What about a ddoggy buggy op?

Windyatthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 15:09:28

Or one of these op???

briebuiltthiscity Wed 01-Apr-20 15:12:11

I remember socialising ours when he was too smal to go on the ground by taking him in a “bag” to the pub! (Sorry not helpful)

SQuueze Wed 01-Apr-20 15:13:40

Go and sit somewhere on a bench with her so she can see people go past. If you have a car get her used to it. You can put down different textures on the floor for her to walk on. A basin in the garden with warm water to splash in. Turning a blender on. Getting someone to do diy in a different room. Get her used to a brush. Also a hairdryer. Just really slowly, let her sniff it, get used to it, then eventually trats while someone switches it on, then dry her really gently. Having a bath.

copycopypaste Wed 01-Apr-20 15:17:00

Don't forget to leave her alone each day, even if you just go and sit in the car for half an hour. Otherwise she may end up with attachment issues when all this is over if she's with you 24x7

I've got a 13 week old puppy but she's not had her jabs yet so we can't take her out, the bonus is that we also have 2 other dogs so she's socialising to a degree with them, I leave her home alone when I take them out so she gets some alone time and learns to live without me

DontWatchTheShining Wed 01-Apr-20 15:41:47

Oh, brilliant ideas!
@Windyatthebeach and @briebuiltthiscity, I have actually just ordered a sort of doggy shoulder bag inspired by your posts grin

@SQuueze - excellent ideas!

@copycopypaste - you're right - we should also try to actually all leave the house together sometimes. Just starting to try to leave her in a room for a few minutes on her own now, and she's not keen... still very small, so will do more of this over time.

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Windyatthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 15:45:37

I only wish our dpuppy was slightly smaller. Imagine fitting these legs in a carrier??
Pic was 5 weeks ago also!!

SutterCane Wed 01-Apr-20 15:46:11

A few useful resources for people in this situation:

PDSA Vet Q&A: How can I socialise my puppy during the lockdown?

Socialisation & Social Distancing

Pandemic Puppy Raising Support Group

copycopypaste Wed 01-Apr-20 16:21:01

@DontWatchTheShining inspired by this thread I've just taken my puppy out (held inside my jacket) to experience the world. Thank you, I had t even thought about taking her out like that.

DontWatchTheShining Wed 01-Apr-20 18:07:41

Oh, thank you @SutterCane - very useful.

@copycopypaste - hurray! We've just taken ours out, too. She definitely doesn't like it much when a car goes past, etc., so can already see that this will be highly necessary over the next few weeks. I'll let you know how the puppy carrier thing is any better than simply carrying inside jacket, when it arrives....

@Windyatthebeach - shock such long legs!! Greyhound?

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copycopypaste Wed 01-Apr-20 18:09:08

@Windyatthebeach I'm not sure your puppy will fit in a carrier, gorgeous long legs

briebuiltthiscity Wed 01-Apr-20 18:23:10

@DontWatchTheShining @copycopypaste the only thing is to be prepared for people going “awwww” when they spot the puppy! Social distancing is a blessing and a curse there - we used to get stopped every two minutes - your pups fans will have to admire from afar!

Yamihere Wed 01-Apr-20 18:25:32

The dogs trust has lots of different noises you can play, like fireworks, babies crying, etc.
Dress up in different clothes: hats, sunglasses, Halloween outfits.
Dance in your living room.
Remember to make every new experience positive for the puppy, socialisation has become too much of a tick the box of pup experiencing something rather than how the dog feels about the experience.

SqueakyChicken Wed 01-Apr-20 19:18:36

Don’t forget getting her used to walking on a lead, even if it is just in the house or garden!

Another one is travelling in the car. Might be difficult I know, but always good to get them travelling in a car as you want them to when they’re older (ie. not on a lap!)

Windyatthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 19:25:01

Dpuppy has overtaken our other ddogs already. Saluki /deerhound /greyhound cross..

GymSloth Wed 01-Apr-20 22:26:36


What a brilliant thread - thank you! We're in exactly the same position. We have a 10 week old pup who has had his first set of jabs. I was so looking forward to taking him out and about that I was gutted when the second lot was cancelled.

This thread has given me some more positive ideas and things I can still do.

Please could you tell me more about the bike carrier! I didn't know such a thing existed! We are all quite into cycling, so it would be perfect. I've just had a quick google, but there are so many. Would you mind telling me which one you got?

DontWatchTheShining Thu 02-Apr-20 14:05:33

@Yamihere - thank you - very useful stuff there.

@Windyatthebeach - beautiful, beautiful dogs smile

@GymSloth - hello! Very nice to speak to others in similar position. I have received the bike carrier. It's fairly basic and quick to put together. I've attached it to the handle bars, and will try walking DPup up and down the garden with it shortly (prior to hopefully taking her cycling, once she's used to the feeling)... watch this space for update!
It is just this one: www.ebay.co.uk/i/152374113604?chn=ps
Can't recommend or otherwise till I've tried, of course, but it seems OK so far...

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DontWatchTheShining Fri 03-Apr-20 14:42:46

@GymSloth, I'm afraid I can't update on the bike carrier yet... Had overlooked the fact that she won't yet tolerate a collar for long (we need to harness her in with it). Will update when I can though ...

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DontWatchTheShining Fri 03-Apr-20 14:43:06

Hope all's well with you all!

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Windyatthebeach Fri 03-Apr-20 16:12:01

Dpuppy enjoined a paddle on her long line yesterday... So hard not to be letting her off yet with our others. She is desperate to be off!! Beach was totally empty except for us!

GymSloth Fri 03-Apr-20 17:23:16

@DontWatchTheShining Thanks for your updates! Your bike carrier looks great. I started looking into them, but I'm not sure if our puppy would be too big! (Labrador ) Some of the weight limits for the carriers seem very low, so I'm thinking we might only be able to use one for a couple of weeks max. The trailers look great, but quite an investment.

We've managed a couple of walks just carrying him so he can see the world a bit.

We.also realised that we'd never left him on his own before! We don't want to risk turning him into very clingy pup once we can go out again, so we left him at home for about 40 mins today whilst we had our walk. Luckily he seemed fine when we got back - quite sleepy, so I think we disturbed his nap when we came home!

iVampire Fri 03-Apr-20 17:31:05

Start grooming her and brushing her teeth, if you haven’t already. Also handle her ears, and paws (she probably won’t need them clipping/grinding yet, but good habits from the off will make dog care chores easier.

My vet will still let you pop a puppy on the scales (v brief in and out, by appointment, when no other clients in) so they can supply correct dose wormer. So a carry to them might be a nice trip out (ring in advance)

DontWatchTheShining Fri 03-Apr-20 19:57:35

Very useful ideas and thoughts, @iVampire - thank you so much.

Chilli has just been for a walk in the new sling grin. Saw a loud quad bike (repeatedly), several people (from the other side of the road, but anyway...), and a dog (also from several metres away). She actually seemed to really enjoy it (went for about 20 minutes in the end).


@GymSloth - I can really recommend the sling/shoulder bag. Not at all restrictive, and could fit a pretty large pup in it, I reckon. I could take her much further in it than I could have just carrying her in my arms. It's basically a shoulder bag, but has somewhere to attach a collar, and is a convenient shape.

@Windyatthebeach - lovely that your girl got a paddle smile

OP’s posts: |
Windyatthebeach Fri 03-Apr-20 19:59:56

We really do need a pic of Chilli I her sling op!!

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