skip to Main Content

Puppy Socialisation

Socialisation with Puppies

Dog Training Tips & Advice


Why socialise our puppies?

The goal of socialization is to set puppies up for success as adult dogs. We do this by carefully exposing them to new things, people, dogs and environments in a safe, controlled way that minimizes bad experiences. A well socialised puppy will be a more confident adult and prevent reactivity and fearfulness as an adult.



But what does good socialisation look like?

We read and watch on social media that we need to get our puppies out to meet everything many times as soon as possible. This is not the case and over-exposing a puppy to new things, where they become overwhelmed or scared, can actually be detrimental to their confidence. You want your puppy to be comfortable being relaxed in new places and situations rather than being actively involved in interactions on every walk.


What should you be aiming for?

  • Take socialization slowly and gradually and at your puppy’s own pace.
  • Try and avoid pushing your puppy into a situation they are anxious about and let them explore in their own time.
  • Lots of short outings rather than long ones so that they can have time to rest in between.
  • Checkout books on dog body language so that you can understand what your puppy is feeling.



  • Be choosy who your puppy interacts with. Try and let your puppy meet people you know and trust so that you can be sure your puppy will enjoy the experience.
  • Say no to people you don’t know who wish to pet your puppy. Random meetings can be overwhelming and result in your puppy being over stimulated, anxious or scared.
  • Let your puppy have outings where they are around people but no-one interacts with your puppy. This will allow them to learn that they can be relaxed around people.


  • Set up play-dates for your puppy rather than letting them interact with lots of dogs in the park who you don’t know. Remember that a bad experience will undo the good experiences.
  • Short and sweet play-dates with regular breaks. Puppies get over-stimulated and over-tired really quickly and often play gets too rough as a result.
  • Play should be enjoyable for both puppies so watch out for one puppy not enjoying the experience and end the play if you do.
  • Avoid puppy parties in shops etc. where they put your puppy in an enclosed area and let them all meet. This can be very overwhelming to your puppy, especially when they can’t escape if scared.


Places and experiences

  • Go to new places but keep the experience nice and calm and allow your puppy to be a distance away from things, such as traffic, so they can get used to the sight, sounds and smells in their own time.
  • Do some fun games in new places, such as playing with their toys or doing a food find it on the floor, to build confidence.
  • If your puppy becomes scared and wants to move away allow them to do this. It is important that puppies don’t feel trapped.
  • If certain things make them scared try and reduce the intensity, such as being further away or being in a quieter area and build their confidence up at their own pace.




The key is careful, gradual socialization with only trusted individuals. Taking it slow and focusing on low-key positive experiences will help your puppy develop confident and a well adjusted adult dog.


Our puppy life skills class and puppy socialisation session are a great way to learn how to do this correctly and give you support and guidance throughout this critical socialisation phase.

Click here to find out more:

We love to chat so please drop us a message or give our puppy expert, Eleanor a call on 07940979936

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top