Socialising your Puppy

Socialising your puppy is essential once you have brought your puppy home. Failure to do this can result in an aggressive, frightened dog, when they are faced with new people and new situations.

Therefore to ensure you have a well balanced dog, that can manage people and other animals, you must take the time out to give them the socialisation they need when they are young. Below are some key areas to focus on, and how to achieve plenty of exposure to desensitize them.

Socialising your Springer

Other People and Dogs

Many obedience training schools offer classes for socialising your puppy where they get to mix with other dogs and owners. These classes are great for both you and your dog, as you can get to make new friends, while your dog gets to experience other dogs and owners.

If you are unable to take them to classes like this be sure you take them to the park or somewhere they will meet plenty of dogs. If they dont get plenty of exposure to other dogs when they are young it can create problems such as fear aggression towards dogs or bizaare barking at other dogs.

Everyday noises

You will also want to be sure that they get used to everyday noises. For example, walking alongside or near a road with your puppy on short lead, will get your puppy used to the sound of vehicles. Be sure to have lots of treats available when doing this and give your puppy lots of praise. This will be very frightening for them, but keep calm and keep doing it and they will become more settled.

Children

Another good tip is to wait with your puppy by a school as the children finish class for the day. Its very advisable for them to get use to the loud and excited noises that children make. This is especially important if your puppy does not have exposure to children every day. Children make sudden movements and to a springer spaniel they can be unpredictable, so a good level of socialisation around children is very important.

You may consider asking a friend who has a young child to come over on a regular basis so that your springer spaniel puppy gets used to loud noises, crying and the way that a toddler homes in on a dog and goes straight towards them. All this work will mean that they will feel very predictable around small children.

One tip we made sure we did with George when he was a puppy was when stroking him we would every now and again tug on his ears. Now this was not us being cruel to him but to a child a springers ears are irresistable and they will pull them. This way if you do it alot when you they are younger they will be desensitized to this behaviour.

Household Noises

There are also everyday noises in the house that your Spaniel will need to get used to; the washing machine, vacuum and hairdryer, amongst others. Exposure to a variety of sights and sounds on a regular basis is key to raising a confident happy puppy. Your puppy may be frightened around these things but persevere. Remain clam, reassure them and continue vaccuming etc.

The key thing to remember when socialising your puppy to something new is that you yourself remain very calm. Your puppy will sense if you are stressed and then feel they have to be too. Have a relaxed enerygy about you and your puppy will be relaxed very quickly.




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