1: Time is of the essence
The sooner you start socialisation the simpler and more rewarding it will be for you and your puppy.
2: Socialisation is a process
Take things one step at a time. Don’t over load your puppy with stimulation.
3: Go at your puppy’s pace
Every puppy’s pace of development is different, so never force your puppy to try something they are not comfortable with. If they are scared, take a step back and try another day. If your puppy appears intimidated, rethink how you can introduce them to the situation in a different context.
4: Positive reinforcement
While exposing your puppy to new experiences is vital, those experiences must be backed up with rewards (play, food or affection) to reinforce desired behaviours.
Start early in your puppy’s life when they are most receptive to new experiences
Introduce your puppy to new things gradually and regularly
Expose your puppy to as many positive experiences as possible
If your puppy reacts strangely, or with uncertainty, to a new situation – distract them. Stay cheerful and offer a treat or reward
Observe from a distance
When entering a new place - like a busy square, a park full of children or dogs or a crowded train station, allow your puppy to stand on the periphery and observe. Offer them encouragement in the form of praise or treats.
Create a safe space
When observing from a distance is not possible, such as when at a friends home or a training class, ensure you create a safe space for them near you.
Encourage calm reactions
Teach your puppy to react calmly when encountering new experiences or seeing something scary or exciting, and reward them for their good behaviour.