Socialisation is one of the most crucial aspects involved in raising a puppy to become a happy, healthy well-balanced adult dog.
Starting from 8 weeks of age (at a Pre-vaccinated puppy preschool class), puppies MUST be properly socialised with as many APPROPRIATE dogs as possible for the first two to three years of life. Your veterinarian will give you the date that your puppy is fully vaccinated and safe to go out into the world and to be amongst dogs in public environments. As soon as this day arrives the process of ongoing appropriate socialisation should begin. Not occasionally but constantly, and not with a handful of dogs, but with as many well-socialised dogs as possible.
If puppies are managed & socialised appropriately throughout the first two years of life, as adults they will be equipped with all the necessary skills to play happily and comfortably with dogs of all shapes, temperaments and sizes. But when they’re puppies and they’re still learning the language of their kin it is imperative not to place them in a situation where they are overwhelmed or frightened. Not all dogs are appropriate play friends for a multitude of reasons, age, temperament, experience and size are just a few. For example, expecting a lightweight five-month-old Cavoodle puppy to play with a heavyweight five-month-old Boxer puppy is like putting a seven-year-old boy on an AFL field with eighteen-year-olds, he’s going to get hurt and not like the game. Of course, big heavy pups can and should learn to play with lighter smaller dogs and pups, but start with smaller confident adult dogs who have the skills required to teach puppies how to play, not small puppies that are not yet skilled or confident enough to do so. Just as smaller lighter puppies must be appropriately exposed to larger breeds, do this by exposing them to gentler older large breeds rather than energetic high spirited younger large breeds.
If you’re not confident or comfortable with your puppies’ socialisation process, please find a professional to help you. Puppy development is a matter of timing and urgency. ”It is every dog’s right to be appropriately socialised, it is our responsibility to provide them with that opportunity”