Teaching your puppy social skills

21 May 2015

Social skills vs. socializing –What is the difference?


There is a lot of confusion around socializing and I get a lot of phone calls from new puppy owners worried that if they don’t get their puppy into a class straight away they are doomed!


While it is good to start training straight away, one hour a week in a class is just one aspect of socializing and training.


The main thing in the early stages is to get your puppy settled in his new home and to get housetraining established. The other thing is to make sure everyone is consistent with your house rules. (If you look on my website there are a lot of puppy training tips in my blog section)


There is a critical time for socialising but most of that will be done by you in between classes. The age your puppy starts classes is less important than what you are doing at home and during the week. If you have friends who have vaccinated dogs it is fine for your puppy to meet them and you can take your puppy to places where there is no risk of coming into contact with unvaccinated dogs. Once your puppy is fully vaccinated and going for walks it is easy to meet (or see and observe) the 5-10 dogs I recommend your puppy meets on a daily basis.


Some points to consider if you can’t get into a class straight away. There are socialising classes run at some vets, which tend to do the very basics in training and a lot of puppy play. If well run these can be a good start but can be a shock for some puppies if the play is allowed to get too rough and for the older or very confident puppies very frustrating if they can't play. 


The classes run by The Best From Your Dog Training are run as structured courses where we restrict the class size and out aim is to teach social skills as well as cover a lot of training in the six weeks. I liken it to a well-run nursery school as apposed to a playgroup.


© Karen England2015

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I have been meaning to email you for ages to say how absolutely fantastic the classes you offer were. I have been scanning your website to see whether you were going to do the Bronze Kennel Club Award but nothing came up so I ended up doing it with a local club.... and shall I tell you something... your classes... your organisation.... the tasks you get the dogs to do.... your manner... not to mention other numerous qualities by far, and I mean by far supersedes what I have recently experienced. I honestly don't think I have learnt anything new in the last 8 weeks. Anyway Karen many thanks for everything you provided Tilly with in those sessions...they were just fab...thank you so much...please keep me informed should you be offering any other courses as I would be very interested.

Owner of Tilly a Chocolate Lab

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