Socialisation is an important part of dog ownership. It teaches your dog how to behave in different environments, builds their confidence and strengthens your bond with them. It also helps prevent behavioural issues in the future, such as anxiety and aggression, which could lead to a claim on your insurance.
We've partnered with Dogs for Good to share our top tips on proper puppy socialisation. Learn how to introduce your dog to new places, stress signals to look out for and how to teach your pet good manners.
Recognising signs of stress in your dog
It’s important to understand your puppy’s body language, especially during their socialisation period.
- Anxious - a worried dog will tuck its tail, raise the hackles on their neck, pull back their ears and lick their lips
- Alert - if your dog is on guard, it may raise its hackles, fixate with wide eyes, have a stiff posture and a high tail
- Playful - play bows, bouncy moves, wagging tails, and relaxed facial expressions are all signs your dog wants to play
- Happy - if your dog’s body and face are relaxed, they invite interactions and lean on you when petted they are likely happy
Our in-house vet, Istvan, explains: “when you notice that your dog becomes stressed, it is important to keep calm and gently reassure them. Having a safe space, regular exercise and mental stimulation can help your dog to cope better with stressful situations.”
Adapting dogs to new places
Your puppy may struggle with certain stressors in the outside world. They may bark, crouch, back or turn away, or become fixated. If you spot any of these reactions, create space, have patience, use treats, and never force them forward.
After a while, they may become more comfortable, if not it’s fine to leave and try again another day.
Protecting your dog
Socialising your puppy can impact the rest of their life, so it’s important that it’s a positive experience for them. It can help prevent anxiety, fear, aggression, and reactivity, and is good for their long-term health. This means an easier and more fun life with your dog and could also lead to fewer insurance claims and trips to the vet.
No matter how well-socialised your dog is, it’s important to be prepared. We have four levels of insurance for your puppy, so you can find the cover that works for you and your budget.