A puppy needs to be fully vaccinated before it is safe for them to go out and about exploring. However, this doesn’t mean they need to spend the first 12 weeks of their lives cooped up without exposure to the outside world (in fact, this would do more harm than good).
Socialisation begins with the breeder, the key socialisation period for a puppy is 4-12 weeks.
We were thrilled that our puppy had come from a family environment where he experienced all the usual noise and activity within a busy family home within those first couple of months of his life. He’d met many people including lots of children and had many siblings to play with too.
At 8 weeks old, we brought Shackleton home and planned to continue his socialisation… But, how do you do this when you can’t take them for a walk yet?
In the first month we had Shackleton we helped socialise him by:
- Introducing him to fully-vaccinated dogs in a secure environment (a.k.a our families brought their vaccinated dogs round to meet Shackleton in our garden and we took Shackleton to their gardens too)
- Introducing him to friends and family
- Carrying him around our favourite places such as the beach, park/woods, town/pet-friendly shops (he wasn’t allowed to put his paws on the floors and walk around but that didn’t mean he couldn’t safely experience the sights, smells, and sounds by being carried)
- Sitting in busy(ish) places and watching the world go by (being social doesn’t necessarily mean meeting new people and dogs, for us it also meant being around general day to day life and simply watching everyone go about their day from the safety of a bench or the open boot of the car).
- Going out in the car
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