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Views on socialising puppies in lockdown.

(23 Posts)
25Avalon Thu 18-Feb-21 17:54:10

My puppy has just had her last inoculations and the vet has said she should be socialised by walking her round to meet other dogs in the locale. I am not sure about this as these are all older dogs. When my last dog was the same age I took her to training classes and she met and socialised with puppies the same age. Unfortunately with lockdown this is not currently possible. Also I am still isolating so not that keen on walking round to meet other people with or without dogs. What do other gransnetters think on socialising at present?

NanaandGrampy Thu 18-Feb-21 18:04:05

I don’t have a solution but I do believe socialising your puppy is crucial.

Unsocialised puppy really never recover from the lack of that early interaction .

I hope you can find some way to socialise your puppy .

Whitewavemark2 Thu 18-Feb-21 18:08:31

No your puppy needs to met older dogs because they are the ones to teach her manners and how to behave correctly around other dogs.

My 12 year old terrier is quite happy meeting puppies unless they behave badly in dog terms, like sometimes they try to be dominant or too rough, then he growls and they back off - a good lesson learned. That’s how our terrier learned dog behaviour, and is now very laid back and polite when meeting other dogs.

Don’t worry if the adult dog does growl, it is a good lesson learned. Only step in if it gets snappy, but it shouldn’t.

Meeting other puppies is brilliant fun, but no proper lessons learned, except if play gets too rough and the pups squeal etc.

Ellianne Thu 18-Feb-21 18:08:31

Is there any chance you have a relative, a friend or a neighbour locally with a good tempered dog? You could give them some garden fun time together.
It is so important.

sodapop Thu 18-Feb-21 19:38:19

Whitewave is right the older dogs will teach your puppy his manners. My JR was really good at this he would take so much then a growl or a little nip to indicate that was enough.
Socialising is really important although it's difficult at present.

Casdon Thu 18-Feb-21 19:53:33

I think it’s essential to socialise puppies, or your dog will be stressed when meeting other dogs all it’s life. Dog walking and talking in the open air to other dog owners, particularly if you’re wearing a mask is a low risk activity, even more so once you’ve been vaccinated. It’s quite easy to stay 6 feet away from the other owner but still let your dogs interact - the other bonus being that they find it tiring, so you’ll have a quieter time at home.

grandtanteJE65 Fri 19-Feb-21 11:18:22

Have you friends with dogs?

If so meet by arrangement with your puppy on a short lead and the adult dog on a long one.

You and the dog owner can stay the requisite 6 ft apart, while the dog and puppy get to know one another.

You could phone the vet and ask if he has any helpful suggestions about socialising during lockdown.

It is important your puppy learns to be around other dogs now, and cats for that matter.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 19-Feb-21 12:08:48

Another tip.

Be as relaxed as possible when your pup meets other dogs, so that she understands that there is nothing to worry about.

I see so many owners who are so tense and this is conveyed to their dog who interprets it as needing to be defensive and so growls etc. They can feel your tenseness through the lead so relax and let the lead relax🙂

Juliet27 Fri 19-Feb-21 12:14:39

I agree WWM2 . I’ve fallen foul of that myself a couple of times.

polomint Fri 19-Feb-21 12:30:56

I'm afraid of making that mistake of not socialising our dog when he was a pup. I was so scared and tense when I was out when I met another person with a dog. Then I read often enough of dogs who were off the lead attacking dogs on a lead. One night when it was dark, I came across a black labrador loose further up the street. I wish looking back that I wasnt as nervous but our wee jack russell seems ok. He eats and sleeps well and has loads of fun with his toys at home. I'm not fit anyway to be doing long walks but he still gets wee walks and he is ok with other dogs. Enjoy your little dog

Shirlb Fri 19-Feb-21 12:37:40

I have noticed there seems to be more unsociable dogs around lately

Spidergran3 Sat 20-Feb-21 17:04:11

It’s vital that your puppy is socialised now with other dogs. Puppies of the same age aren’t going to teach her anything useful! She needs to learn manners with other dogs and it’s the older ones that will show her - they won’t eat her! And please please let her off the lead if it’s safe from traffic. At this age she’ll stay close to you and be watching your every move. Have you got any all purpose paths near you? This will help her get used to bikes and runners as well. How exciting for you, what a lovely summer you’re going to have with her. Best wishes.

3dognight Sat 20-Feb-21 17:44:07

Yes do let your pup meet other dogs, you have a window now of about a month to six weeks depending on breed, where socialisation is critical to your pups relationships with other dogs for life. I would say in general older dogs give a young pup a lot of leeway, as they are no threat to them, and mostly they will sniff and then ignore them.

Please please do let your little one off the lead, where it is safe to do so, they won't go far as they will see you as a mother figure. Be calm and confident, then pup knows there is nothing to worry about. As a poster said above every emotion you feel is transmitted down the lead to the dog, so,if your scared it will pick this up.

I don't know what the breed is, but try not to pick it up away from other dogs, I see a lot of people do this with small breed dogs, lifting them up out of the way of other dogs, bend down to comfort it while the other dog passes.

While all my pointers were young from the day after I got them and before they could be put down on the ground outside anywhere other than home, I would carry them up and down the street just chatting and talking to anyone, with dogs or without. I would take them out with the other dogs carrying them in a sling. It was exhausting, but so worth it to have non reactive dogs I can take anywhere.

Good luck, and above all enjoy your dog!

Dinahmo Sat 20-Feb-21 18:29:38

Graham Hall was on J Vine yesterday talking about t his very subject. He suggested walking where they can see other dogs and then gradually get closer. And, he always tells the owners to relax. As WM says, they pick up on your insecurities.

sodapop Sat 20-Feb-21 19:52:17

It's true that the owners tensions and insecurities travel down the lead. A lot of problems are down to the owners being unduly anxious around other dogs.

25Avalon Sun 21-Feb-21 09:11:54

The problem is that I am not seeing many people about in our scattered village yet alone any with dogs. Dd has 2 dogs but the older one doesn’t like other dogs and the younger one is getting the same way, plus he has hurt his foot and has to rest it. Dd isn’t supposed to travel here in lockdown either. There are no training classes either so I’m a bit stymied. Trying to take puppy for the short walks she is allowed is a bit of a nightmare too as she is mainly interested in picking up twigs, stones, leaves and grass!

shysal Sun 21-Feb-21 09:41:59

My DD had a puppy at the start of the first lockdown (it was his first birthday yesterday). She has managed to socialize him as suggested above.
Another thing to bear in mind is that they worked hard to make sure he was left alone for periods of time. There will be many pets who will suffer anxiety when their owners go back to work.

anna7 Sun 21-Feb-21 09:48:00

Do you have any local dog walkers 25Avalon? Someone who is recommended and who walks one or two other dogs at the same time. I have just done this once a week with my puppy so that he gets used to other dogs and other people. I know the dog walker and I trust her to make sure my puppy is ok with the other dogs. She also boards which will be useful for the future if I have to be anywhere. Your puppy would probably have to be about 5 months old or so but it might help.

25Avalon Sun 21-Feb-21 11:09:00

Shysal We are retired so puppy won’t be left alone too often but will need to be alone sometime. She sleeps on her own all through the night, and when we had her jabs we left her in her cage. She also has a pen in the lounge where she can safely be left whilst we do jobs about the house.

Anna7 Not sure about dog walkers. Around here they collect several in a van and take them off. Didn’t like it for previous dog so stopped doing it. I don’t think puppies are supposed to walk too far or too long anyway until they are a certain age. In 6 months time I hope to be back with my walking group which has dogs although 2 hours may be too long. I can always meet up when they leave, but will it be too late then?

anna7 Sun 21-Feb-21 12:19:40

I take your point about dog walkers. I've seen the van's with lots of dogs round here too. The lady I've got doesnt take more than 4 , including her own dog, and when she takes my puppy there will only be three dogs. Luckily there are a lot of dog walkers to choose from round here but I appreciate it's not the same in all areas. Good luck anyway.

embarassedmood Tue 23-Feb-21 15:37:35

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

polomint Tue 23-Feb-21 22:48:40

Yes good luck with your wee puppy and enjoy their company. As I said earlier in the thread, I made a mistake of not socialising our dog enough when he was a puppy so please don't be as nervous as I was as others have said, the dog will pick up on your anxiety and it wont help. Our dog is two now but he is quite edgy when he sees young children, maybe because our grandchildren are adults and there are no kiddies about our home. There are no young children near us either

Hetty58 Wed 24-Feb-21 19:22:20

Our local dog sitter will take puppies for the afternoon so that they can socialise with her own terrier and other dogs.

I think it's important to get them used to all sorts while they're young. Normally, that'd be crowds, trains, cars, buses, noisy traffic, horses, shops, markets, children, cats, etc. - a bit difficult now.

Being left alone for short periods is vital too, to save trouble later. My friend rents an enclosed field for exercise - only £6 an hour.