Puppy Socialisation

When your puppy arrives in your home it may be the first time that they have been separated from their mother and littermates. Until now their mother will have been the most important figure in your puppy’s life and when they enter your family they will need to form new attachments and social bonds. Young puppies will transfer the attachment they’ve had with their mother onto new family members who can provide their essential needs for food, warmth and comfort.

Puppy Socialisation
Puppy Socialisation

In some cases the new puppy will appear to form a particularly close bond with individual family members. The puppy will value the family as a source of comfort, and with the security of a reliable relationship as a foundation, the puppy is able to set off on their voyage of discovery in a human orientated world.

 As your puppy grows it may need to spend increasing periods of time without human company. This can be done by slowly introducing the puppy to ‘quiet time’ where the puppy is rewarded for lying quietly on their mat or in their crate. The period of time that your puppy can spend by themselves is very slowly increased, always working within the puppy’s capabilities and needs. If this process is completed successfully, your puppy will learn that social interaction is not always available and this will enable them to cope with the periods of solitude that may be associated with being a domestic pet (for example if you go to work). Some puppies may remain dependent on their owner for all their social needs and may develop behavioural problems such as separation anxiety when they are left alone. There may be a genetic predisposition for some breeds or individuals that find it more difficult to adapt to being alone compared with other breeds.

Destruction, howling and toileting in inappropriate places are common signs of separation anxiety and while the condition is well-recognised and may be manageable, it is far better to try to prevent it in the first place.


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