The number one tip for socialising your puppy and teaching them to be friendly and playful around other dogs may seem counterintuitive – but it’s true. It’s incredibly important that you do not force your dog to socialise.
Instead of force, use gentle nurturing – watch their reactions in situations and based on their feelings to different scenarios, encourage them at a slow pace to break out of their shells.
When your puppy comes home for the first time, have a space set up for them within the heart of the family before they even arrive. Setting them up in a place that maximises family time helps to forge bonds faster. It’s important that the new puppy isn’t left in a space where other dogs have unrestricted access to him without supervision – this could lead to future problems with aggression with other dogs.
Whenever possible, create opportunities for your new pup to play with others. Try and join a puppy play club or a training class in your local area, but monitor their interactions closely. Make sure your pup is rewarded for good behaviour during social play time with other dogs.
When they first arrive, take your pup around your local area on a leash – training will help with bonding between you and your dog, and gentle introductions to the neighbourhood and people and dogs in the area will help him get used to his new home.
As we said at the beginning – never force your dog into interactions. Watch how they react to the big wide world and take your time, pushing a little further every time you’re out and about.