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How to socialise your puppy during lockdown

rocket the golden working cocker spaniel puppy relaxing on sofa

How can we work on ‘socialisation’ with our pups when we are not able to interact, meet or greet others?

We have been told by many that when you get a puppy, you need to meet hundreds of dogs, people, children, animals, bikes, pushchairs, men with beards, visit hundreds of different new environments……..the list goes on and on!

cathy rocket walking and training in the park

However, this is not only overwhelming for you as an owner but also for your puppy!

It can cause more harm than good, in some cases your pup will end up being nervous of these things, and in other cases they can become extremely frustrated if suddenly they are not allowed to go up to them.

We are now faced with the other extreme, in this current climate we are not able to interact with others as we normally would giving us no choice but to adapt our way of socialising our pups.

What Can We Do?

Do not panic, a big part of socialisation is to get our pups and dogs comfortable around novelty, new experiences  and anything life might present to them.

You can grow your puppy’s confidence so they are cool, calm and collected in the face of novelty and new situations. We can never prepare them for every single encounter they may face in their lives but we can shape their brains to make great choices in the face of novelty and distractions.

The Sexier Than A Squirrel Challenge is designed specifically to be played indoors or small space, perfect for during lockdown. The series is over 25 days and you get 25 simple 3 minute games to show you how to be more interesting than the distraction. It’s only £27 life -time access, click here to find out more.

There’s a game for that – Cardboard Chaos!

Get hold of all your clean recycling and create a fun obstacle course with it. Let you pup explore by scattering some of their daily food around it to encourage your pup to go in, over, under and round all the cardboard. As they do this the cardboard will be moving and making noises all around them!

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Novelty Party

There are plenty of things in the home that is novel to your pup, so get creative and dig out that umbrella, raid your cupboards and shed for buckets, crinkly ikea bags and anything safe you can find. Scatter some of their daily food around it. As your pup explores and goes in, under and around the objects things will move and make noises around them. Your dog has the choice to carry on exploring as they overcome barriers and novelty in search for their food.

If your dog seems too worried by these things, take the difficulty level down a notch and start with some simple items such as a single cardboard box and work from there.

 

In this video, when cars / traffic goes past, we treat and show him it’s all ok.

Out & About – Positive Pairing

Use your daily walk as an opportunity to get your puppy familiarised with the outside world. You can carry them until they are fully vaccinated. They can see, hear and smell many new things. While you are out and about every time you see something novel, pair it with a treat. Below is a list of things your puppy is likely to find novel, as the whole world is new to them.

  • Cars and traffic
  • Cyclists
  • Joggers
  • People walking
  • Children
  • Pushchairs
  • Kids on scooters
  • Other dogs
  • Kids playing in the park
  • Dogs chasing balls
  • Birds
  • Squirrels
  • The wind rustling
  • Dustbin truck
  • Umbrellas
  • And so so much more….
christmas dog training workshop 2019 with pixel chihuahua in elf

Play Dress Up

Another fun and easy game is to play dress up in front of your puppy. Raid the dressing up box for those big wizard hats, jingly Xmas jumpers, crazy wigs and then play some of the training games such as Middle with you puppy. Be mindful not to scare you puppy, if they back away, bark or show any change in behaviour, take it down a notch.

horton dogs puppy club poster 2

Join our Puppy Club

Start your puppy training today – join our Puppy Club to get weekly online classes, weekly booster sessions and Q&A, and access to our extensive 80+ video training games library.

The Sexier Than A Squirrel Challenge

Only £27 - life time access

We have teamed with Absolute Dogs to bring you Sexier Than A Squirrel Challenge! An online 25 Days of Video Tuition – You’ll learn how to train your dog to choose YOU over distractions.

cathy with two black and white border collie puppies

Need some help?

I can guide you through any struggles you are having and show you the training games to get you and your pup off the the best start. I offer a Puppy Head Start package which includes 2 x one-to-one online video call sessions and online resources and video tutorials.

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