Puppy Socialisation in a Pandemic

Updated: Mar 13

How do we properly socialise a puppy when the world is in lockdown?

Anyone with a new puppy will probably be very aware of the limitations our current climate puts on effective socialisation, or at least our expectations of how socialisation should be done. I collected a foster puppy just as the UK went into total lockdown, so I too felt the pressure and added worries about getting it ‘right’.

Many of us will have been told numerous times about how we should socialise our puppies, we may have received a lot of conflicting advice, but we have probably consistently been told it’s vital that this is done in the early weeks of puppyhood and we should introduce and expose them to as much as possible.

It’s important to be careful with socialisation and not simply introduce your puppy to anyone and everyone while letting him figure it all out. However, that’s not the purpose of this blog so have a read through my previous post about socialisation for a bit of background theory … https://www.adolescentdogs.com/post/puppy-socialisation

Here I want to discuss how we can properly socialise a puppy given the restrictions in place in the UK and many other countries. We can’t follow the traditional approach of meeting new people and dogs, nor can we do numerous short trips to new environments or busy places, so we need alternative solutions to ensure our puppies still develop into stable, well-rounded adults. We need to be creative and look at it from a different perspective. This could really change how we view socialisation. What really benefits our puppies? And are there actually better ways to socialise them? Only time will tell as we watch our ‘lockdown puppies’ grow into adults.

The Importance of Trust

Trust is central to good socialisation. Socialisation should involve careful consideration of your puppy’s feelings, emotions and responses to experiences. You should interact with him and support him through each experience, there is a careful balance between being supportive while also allowing a puppy to explore and learn.