How are you socialising your new puppy during lockdown?

I know some of you have new puppies that have recently joined your family and are worried about how to give them the best start to life.

In more ‘normal’ times you would be able to get vaccinations for your pups and take them to puppy socialisation parties, meet up with friends and other dogs or take part in group puppy training classes.

Just because we are in lockdown and the usual socialisation won’t be taking place, you can still do lots of things to build their confidence and help develop a well balanced and happy Labrador.

Here are some top tips to help your puppy be a happy, confident addition to your family.

  • Take your puppy for a walk
  • Without vaccinations, you may still be able to hold your Lab in your arms while you go for a walk. This is a great way to show them the world while they feel safe and secure in your arms.
  • Let your Lab see, smell and hear new things
  • From the safety of your arms, your Lab can be exposed to lots of new sights, sounds, and smells. Some of the places you can show them are fields near to livestock so they can see some sheep, the side of a road so they can see and hear cars or a supermarket car park so they can see people and hear the sounds of shopping trollies,
  • Build a confidence course at home
  • Get your puppy used to walking on different types of surface, encourage them to explore and walk on cardboard, carpet, grass, tiles, plastic shopping bags, walk through a tunnel made of dining table chairs or maybe explore a tent in the garden.
  • Involve them when you do the housework
  • Let them see and hear noisy household items, hoovers, lawnmowers, microwaves, washing machines. This is a great time to show them that there is nothing to be scared of.
  • Let them meet different versions of you
  • Although they may not have the opportunity to meet new people, you can pretend to be different people with different smells and mannerisms. Put on a big coat, a silly hat, some ski goggles, a fancy dress outfit, walk with a limp, spray some new perfume on or talk with a different accent.

However you do it, help your puppy by introducing them to new things and always make it a positive experience for them. It’s about building their confidence and showing them there is nothing to worried about.