Have you acquired a four legged addition to your family?

If the answer is yes, then it’s important that your puppy grows up to be as friendly and happy with people and animals as possible.

All animals, including dogs, have a sensitive period at the start of their lives when they’re learning about their surroundings.

Anything that is encountered before a puppy is 16 weeks old will be tolerated and perhaps even enjoyed.

After this time, unfamiliar people, objects and experiences are approached with caution.

Puppy socialisation involves meeting and exploring new environments as much as possible. The most effective way of doing this is by allowing your puppy to have several new experiences a day, making sure they get plenty of rest in between.

As your puppy gets older, they will be able to cope with longer encounters and it is important to ensure that these are enjoyable.

Until your puppy is vaccinated fully, which can be from 10 weeks old, we advise that they do not mix freely with unvaccinated dogs or walk where other dogs have been as puppies in particular are susceptible to diseases such as parvo-virus which can be fatal.

The more happy encounters your pet has with adults and children of different ages, the more tolerant he will become.

Allow your puppy to mix with sociable dogs and puppies and interrupt any behaviour you do not want your puppy to show to other dogs as an adult. It’s also advisable to take him to a puppy party or puppy class, where he can learn to mix with others.

Take your puppy on trips to enable him to experience car travel, traffic, crowds, town and the countryside.

For further information on puppy socialisation, puppy parties, puppy classes call your veterinary practice or Cliffe Veterinary Group on 01273 473232.