If you have recently brought home a new puppy, then you will know the first few months are crucial when introducing new environments, people and other animals (puppy socialization). But due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, you may not be allowed to see other people, due to social distancing, to help this socialization process.
However, according to some experienced and famous dog coaches, you can still socialize your puppy even in the present restricted circumstances! I have done some research gathering these tips from trusted professionals so you can do these from your own home (make sure to puppy proof your house first), so your puppy grows up to be well socialized and okay in new environments and changes! Even while respecting self-isolation.
What is puppy socialization?
While socializing your puppy, it is a good idea to make her familiar to new sights, smells and sounds around her, as well as introduce her to other dogs and people, so she can learn how to behave around new things in their lives.
The current lockdown period due to the outbreak of Coronavirus can be the golden opportunity for you as well as your puppy to get socialized and for training new skills and behaviors. You can use this time to make your puppy familiar with various new things around her so that she can enjoy many new experiences without getting nervous, which will follow her into adulthood. You can safely use puppy socialization tips provided here below to introduce your fur baby to the changes in the world as soon as possible.
Socializing puppy during lockdown period
While socializing your puppy at the time of social distancing, your focus should be on building his trust and relationship with you so that he can meet different new things more confidently. You can easily prepare your puppy for the changes after getting back to normal circumstances, if your puppy is happy and confident with you. You can combine a few treats and games with your attention and praise to take your puppy out of nervousness, if he is potentially scared of certain objects.
Tips for puppy socialization during social distancing
Introduce some domestic sounds: You might be using a washing machine, vacuum cleaner and various other appliances in your home even during the lockdown period. You should familiarize your puppy with these domestic sounds.
Bring in sounds of the outside world: There can be various sounds which your puppy has to experience after lifting off the lockdown. It can be the sound of trains, fireworks, thunderstorms or traffic, etc. You can download these sounds through some app or some online videos to introduce them to your puppy in a gradual manner so that later on he can ignore them easily instead of getting scared. Start the music audio small and do regular things around the house, and gradually raise the sound to be loud, so your puppy ignores the sounds.
Take him to different places: You can take your puppy to different places, if you can go for a walk in these circumstances (if it is safe to do so). It will not only give exposure to your puppy to different environments and smells but also allow him to learn not to attract every person when you are keeping a distance from them. If you go for a walk, maintain social distancing by crossing the road if you see new people or go early in the morning/late at night to avoid large amounts of people. This should be done regardless when they are a puppy, as they aren’t fully vaccinated nor trained on how to behave with others.
Introduction with different terrains: Puppy socialization can be made more effective by making him walk as well as play on different types of surfaces like slippery floors, wood floors, grass, bath tub and carpets in your home or garden, etc.
Spend some time in the garden: If you have a garden in your home or nearby it then it will be easier for you to familiarize your puppy to different types of smells like the smell of other animals, humans, trees and plants, etc. You can also teach him how to ignore them by rewarding him frequently.
Use a lead: Puppy socialization during social distancing can also help you in making your puppy ready for normal circumstances. You can use a lead to teach him how to sit calmly on that lead when you are having a drink or chatting with someone. You can practice this tactic at different locations like in your garden, terrace or room, etc. It will help you while chatting with your family and friends in a pub, restaurant or cafe after the lockdown period is over. We recommended the best puppy supplies for your convenience if you’re unsure what you need for getting a puppy, have a read!
By following the above discussed tips, you can help your puppy to be socialized safely without having to come in contact with others. This way, your puppy won’t be set back just because during the most crucial time of learning it is stuck inside. This will not only help in building the trust of your puppy in you but also introduce him to the outside world and allow him to experience a number of new things in his life during this period of social distancing. Remember, it won’t last forever and the regular ways of socialization will continue once this is all over! Enjoy spending valuable bonding time together and make the most of all this extra free time!