Socialisation and Habituation
Socialisation and habituation is the most important part of your puppy’s training. It should start off when the puppies are still with their litter mates and mother in the home. The breeder should start to get the puppies used to being handled and get them familiar with noises and everyday items in the home from about 3 weeks of age. This is when there eyes will be fully open and they will be starting to become more familiar with their surroundings. This habituation should continue when puppies go to their new homes.
Puppies are ready to be placed in their new forever homes at 7 weeks. This is the ideal time to start getting them familiar with being in a new environment and to be around new people. Vets will usually vaccinate from 8 weeks and then again at 10 weeks. Some breeders may administer the first vaccination to the puppies before they are rehomed.
It is important when you get your puppy home that you continue the habituation and socialisation with your pup from day one. Do this gradually. Let them explore the areas in the house where they are going to spend time, have a crate for them for sleeping and resting this should have a comforatble soft bad that fits in at least half or three quarters of the crate. Always ensure that the puppy has access to fresh water. You can buy fixings to go on crates that you can place their water bowl in to prevent the puppy from spilling it or paddling in it.
Most breeders will paper train puppies. When you bring them home don’t use paper or puppy pads as this will just continue to encourage your puppy to go to the toilet in the house or the crate. If they have any accidents in the house don’t scold the puppy take them outside and then clean up the mess. Use a biologilcal washing liquid to wash the floor, this will help to eliminate the smell where the puppy has been to the toilet and they will be less likely to go in the same place again.Take your puppy outside frequently to the same place at least every 15 minutes, as the pup gets older you will be able to increast the time.
Dont make any sudden changes to the puppy’s routine as it has already had a big change to deal with, if the breeder has given you some food and you want to change this to a brand that you would prefer to use, ensure it is done gradually over a period of about 2 weeks.
When your puppy is fully vaccinated he will be able to go out for walks and start mixing with other dogs. During the two weeks running up to this time get your puppy used to wearing a collar, lead and or a harness, do this for a few minutes at a time increasing it gradually and getting them used to being walked around the home and garden.
If you are fortunate to have the opportunity to socialise your puppy with other dogs and you may have already taught your puppy to sit and lay down at home. it is still advisable to attend a class. The chances are you will take him to class and he will not be able to focus and he may not perform these behaviours as he will be too distracted. It also gives him the opportunity to mix with other puppies the same size and age and they will learn how to play in a controlled environment.
In our socialisation classes we cover basic training, offer help and advice on how to deal with problems, we show you how to introduce your puppy to some new objects and they are given the opportunity to play. This is supervised off lead play not free play. Free play can get out of hand and some puppies may be bullied. It is important for the owners to still obtain control from their puppy’s and interupt them during play, this will help later on in life with recall.
All our classes are relaxed and we encourage clicker training, clicker training is an operant conditioning method and most puppies and dogs pick things up very quickly when they are clicker trained.
We run them three times a week Tuesday mornings, Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Please visit our services pages and click on the information about puppy socialisation. Send us a contact form and we will email you a registration form. Places are restricted to 8 per class so you may want to book in advance when you know you are getting your puppy.
With consistency, kindness and remaining calm your puppy will have a great start in life and you will be able to teach them anything.