Socialising Your Puppy With Other Animals

Apart from other dogs, another, equally important part of socialisation is introducing your puppy to other animals that they are likely to come across during their everyday life. It is so important that they show respect and remain calm whilst near other species. Consequences can be severe and dangerous if your puppy or adult dog worries livestock or spooks a horse for example.

The Key to Socialisation

Short, frequent, fun and rewarding exposure is the the key to socialising with anything new to your puppy but other animals can be unpredictable so it is very important that introduction is controlled and safe. Keep a safe distance from, but a clear view of the other species.

Sit, Wait, Treat!

Arm yourself with a good stock of a favourite treat. At a distance where your puppy is non reactive and attached firmly to a lead, ask for a sit. This is important as sitting is a calming signal for the other animal and helps to calm your puppy. When she looks at the animal with no reaction, praise and treat. Gradually decrease the distance, continuing with the praise and treat for no reaction. Continuing until you can get as close as the other animal is comfortable with. I always insist on a sit and wait as a horse goes past in adulthood. It is good manners and horse kicks can be fatal in some cases.

Maddie Knight

ACC.Ad.Dip.Can.Psy AMACC Canine Psychologist and Behaviourist
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