Jude’s Top 10 Puppy Socialisation Tips

23/02/2023

Jude’s Top 10 Young Puppy Socialisation Tips

Whilst it’s important to protect Jude until his vaccinations are complete, we also want to introduce him to as many new experiences as possible. Positive puppy socialisation is so important at this stage of a young dog’s life and in our experience, Setters can be very sensitive souls.

Not over fussing if your puppy does freak out at an ‘experience’ is key.

In her book, The Pet Gundog Puppy, author Lez Graham explains that between the age of 8 to 11 weeks “Anything that is traumatic or scary or sometimes just big, bold and noisy can have a lasting effect, However it doesn’t have to.”

If for instance, your puppy is spooked by a loud crash as something drops on the floor, just pick the object up and carry on as normal. “Reassurance, cooing over and fussing all count as praise in your dog’s eyes” and we don’t want to praise the fearful reaction as the right thing.

Young puppy socialisation can include any safe, new experience and here are Jude’s top 10 so far:

No.1

Puppy Socialisation in The Pub

Ensure dad takes you to the pub at his earliest opportunity. Not only am I getting used to the wonderful food smells, I’ve even tasted a bit of beer froth… yummy 🙂

Everyone who walks in stops to fuss me. I get bar staff cuddles, customer hugs and best of all lots of love and attention from the other locals.

Rosie has shown me the treats jar on the end of the bar counter. She says we’ve just got to sit quietly and look gorgeous and the lid will open.

My local is The Sculthorpe Aviator, pop by and meet me sometime:-)

No.2

Puppy Socialisation at The Vets

I got lots of puppy socialisation at what they call the vets, too. Rosie says my great uncle Ziggy thought the vets scary. Allegedly it all stemmed from his ‘thermometer phobia’ but that’s all Rosie says she can reveal.

I didn’t get to experience the thermometer but I got tons of cuddles, quite a few sweeties. And apparently I had a big needle stuck into my neck but didn’t feel a thing.

The Grove‘s whole team were totally puppy crazy so I’m not going to have any worries coming back here.

No.3

Puppy Socialisation in Shops

Uncle Craig works at our local Vape shop, Total E-Cig and told mum he was desperate to meet me, so we popped in to say hello.

Not only did I get to experience sitting on the shop counter, with everyone walking past smiling through the window, I got to play with Uncle Craig’s big hairy beard too 🙂

No.4

Puppy Socialisation at the Beach

Now that I’ve been carried through the pinewoods and smelt the sea air at Holkham beach, I just can’t wait to get out of this bag!

This was my great uncles Patrick and Ziggy’s favourite beach with its miles of sand and marram grass dunes. One of Ziggy’s nicknames was ‘Dune Dog,’ as he loved chasing through them so much.

I’m told they were also both honorary directors of Wells-next-the-Sea Beachcafé in their day.

Patrick and Ziggy wearing their Wells-next-the-Sea Beachcafé Directors’ ties 2015 x

No.5

Puppy Socialisation with the Vacuum Alien

Less puppy socialisation, more face to face with the extra terrestrial. This particular model of vacuum cleaner is rather bling, makes a funny loud noise and I took a bit of persuading to go near.

However it suddenly spat a little treat or two, out of it’s mouth and on to the carpet in front of me, so we quickly made friends.

No.6

Puppy Socialisation with Dad’s Weird Hat

Apparently dad rides a motorbike and has to wear a weird hat. The alien vacuum cleaner might have scared me a bit, but this was so obviously dad, I didn’t bat an eyelid.

He smelt like dad, he felt like dad, he sounded like dad…so no big deal.

Rosie says she’s not allowed on dad’s motorbike but keeps trying to persuade him claiming Wallace and Gromit have set a precedence.

Check out the evidence here

No.7

Puppy Socialisation with Dad’s Birthday Present

So dad’s just got a Scalextric set for his birthday, suitable for 5 years + so allegedly I’m too young to play.

I checked out the wires and plug but dad barked at me to leave them alone. And then the police car started chasing me, with sirens and lights too.

I was a little bit scared but then the police car crashed off the tracks (mum said dad lost control:-)

I think this could be fun.

No.8

Puppy Socialisation with a Small Child

Little fingers and giggly smiles with young Maggie, slightly less alarming than the screaming toddler I met in the pub at the weekend.

My big sis Rosie says little kids are great to hang around as they often drop yummy snacks. However, apparently our late Patrick had a chocolate thieving habit and as tempting as it smells, it is very dangerous for dogs!

Check out Bella & Duke’s ‘What to do if your dog eats chocolate.’

No.9

Puppy Socialisation with Big Noisy Lorries

Mum took me out to meet Uncle Dale with his high-vis suit and his big noisy bin lorry. I was totally unfazed 🙂

Rosie says if I’m really naughty she’ll leave me out with the rubbish but I think Uncle Dale would save me and I could be a mascot in his cab!

No. 10

Puppy Socialisation for Dog Grooming Handling

Mum says if you’re a puppy who will need regular grooming, get your pack leader to get you used to being handled.

Never make touching feet a game. Your feet will need to be held for drying after a rainy walk and checked carefully for grass seeds in the summer months.

Your dog groomer will thank you for not having a foot phobia!


More blogs on Dog Grooming coming soon – We’d love you to share any of your puppy socialisation photos with us. Just head to Jude’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

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Follow Jude Dog’s life journey from puppy to adult.

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