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How to socialise your puppy during COVID-19 lockdown

Updated: Feb 18, 2021

The latest advice from the Government to stay home on lockdown is a tough measure to abide by, especially when you have a puppy under three months who needs socialising. Nevertheless, we must do what we can to stay safe and well during the Coronavirus pandemic and that means adapting to a new environment where we need to socialise our puppies in isolation. But how?

What is puppy socialisation?

It’s not about socialising in the sense that we do, puppy socialisation is a process a puppy must go through to learn how to interact with us, other dogs, other animals and the world at large. These interactions should be positive so that the puppy has a good foundation from which to learn how to politely greet people and other dogs. It’s how they learn good manners.

Another part of the process is to habituate - meaning to become accustomed to normal everyday things that happen that don’t have any direct effect on the puppy. These can be things like noises, a car driving by, a child riding a bike, a bird flying overhead, vacuuming the house etc. It’s important that puppies learn to let these things pass by without getting scared by them.

Puppy socialisation in normal circumstances

Puppies would normally be introduced to a variety of environments during socialisation, particularly those where they can learn how to get along with other dogs. Well-socialised puppies are less fearful and better behaved as adult dogs. They are generally more comfortable with other people, dogs and animals too, which they learn from the interactions you set up for them. These should be relaxed and as fun as possible.

The window of opportunity to socialise your puppy where it’s going to have the greatest impact is the first three months. Any later and the puppy’s personality is becoming more established and harder to mould. It’s never too early to start.

Puppy vaccinations during the Covid-19 outbreak

There is a lot of confusion around when it is safe to take your puppy outside. Each type of vaccine is different, however as a general rule you should wait 10 days after your puppy’s had its second vaccination.

During the Coronavirus lockdown it may be difficult to arrange vaccinations at your local vets but don't assume they are closed. Keep in touch with them and schedule vaccinations as normal.