Working in the animal welfare sector and having acquired a new member to my ‘anifamily’, I felt it necessary to discuss the importance of training your pets and them being well socialised. The first year of your pets life, best described as their formative stage is paramount, what you do now to reinforce good behaviour, will positively affect your pet’s behaviour for life.
Our pets go through a series of developmental stages before becoming an adult, and just like children, require assistance and guidance to get there, hence the reason for my blog today.
From a young age (after having their first vaccinations), it is very important for your pet to develop social skills. It will assist them to respond positively to a variety of social situations, from meeting other pets in the park, to the way that they re-act to friends, family – even strangers.
Early socialisation ensures your that pet will grow up to be a friendly and well behaved member of society! The following events and situations can assist your pet, especially a puppy with socialisation:
- Have friends over to meet the puppy, include people of all ages, from children to adults. Be sure to supervise at all times.
- Invite friendly, vaccinated dogs over for a play date, once your pet is comfortable with other animals, take him or her to visit them at their homes.
- Take your pet to the park or beach and other environments where he or she will encounter crowds and bustling activity.
- If practicable, take your pet for frequent trips in the car.
- Introduce your puppy to foreign objects and sounds. e.g.: black bags, boxes, vacuum cleaners etc. When introducing loud sounds, start from a distance and gradually bring the sound closer
- Train and accustom your puppy to walking on a lead or with a harness and be sure to use a comfortable collar.
- When sitting with your puppy or kitten, inspect your pet, ensure they are comfortable with you clipping their nails, being brushed or bathed, check gums, teeth and ears to ensure your pets health.
The above list is only a guideline; feel free to introduce your pets to other situations and objects, which they will need to be comfortable around in your home. Remember safety first!
Most importantly, ensure your pet is comfortable at all times; never continue should your pet become frightened or distressed. DO NOT PUT IT OFF; starting from a young age is paramount to a happy and long future with your pet.
My new member, Jameson, is doing extremely well with his socialisation skills; here he is pictured with his new best friend, Zeena!
Until next time,