Your puppy’s first few weeks at home are crucial for their socialisation. Here’s how to help them get used to the world while they’re still too young for the park.

Socialisation is a vital part of your puppy’s development, as it helps them become confident, friendly, and well-adjusted adult dogs. However, you also need to protect your pup from potentially harmful diseases they won’t have immunity to until they receive their full course of puppy vaccinations. So, how are you supposed to socialise them when vets advise keeping them home until they’re fully vaccinated?

There are plenty of ways to socialise your puppy safely and effectively in safe and controlled environments like your home. You don’t have to wait until your pup is fully vaccinated before exposing them to new sights, sounds, smells, and experiences. In fact, the earlier you start, the better. Between 8 and 16 weeks of age is a critical period for puppies to learn social skills, so don’t miss this opportunity to shape your pup’s personality and behaviour.

Here are some ways you can socialise your puppy at home before they’re fully vaccinated.

Enrol them in Petbarn’s Puppy School

Puppy school is a great way to socialise your puppy with other dogs and people in a safe environment. At Petbarn, our puppy school classes are run by qualified trainers who will teach you how to train your puppy and set them up for a lifetime of good behaviour.

Your puppy will learn how to play nicely with other dogs and how to handle situations with new people. Plus, they’ll burn off some energy and have a great time

Enrol your puppy in Petbarn's Puppy School

Get them used to being touched

Puppies need to get used to being handled. Touch their paws, ears, and tail, and gently open their mouth to get them used to being examined.This will prepare them for future visits to the vet and groomer.

Introduce them to your other pets

If you have other pets at home, such as dogs, cats, birds, or guinea pigs let your puppy meet them under your supervision. Make sure the other pets are healthy, vaccinated, and comfortable with dogs.

If you don’t have other pets, you can ask a friend or neighbour who has a healthy, vaccinated dog or cat to visit your home. Let them play and sniff each other in a safe and controlled environment.

Expose your puppy to different sounds and objects

Play common loud sounds, such as cars, sirens, fireworks, thunderstorms, or babies crying, at a low volume to help desensitise your puppy to those noises. Gradually increase the volume and duration of the sounds as your puppy gets used to them. Reward your puppy with treats and praise for staying calm and relaxed.

You can also introduce your puppy to different objects, such as vacuum cleaners, umbrellas, hats, or bags, and let them sniff and touch them.

Take your puppy for car rides

Put your puppy in a crate or harness and take them for short trips around the neighbourhood. This will help them get used to the motion and noise of the car and prepare them for future outings. You can also take your puppy to the vet or groomer for a positive visit, where they can get treats and cuddles, and not just scary shots or nail trims.

Socialising your puppy at home before they’re fully vaccinated is not only possible but also beneficial. By following these tips, you can help your pup develop into a happy, confident, and well-behaved dog while keeping them safe and healthy.

Socialisation is a lifelong process, so don’t stop once your dog is out of the early puppy stages. Keep introducing them to new people, animals, and experiences, and enjoy the bond you share with your furry friend.