Dog socialisation 101

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Whether you get a puppy or a rescue dog, one way or another you will have to socialise that dog to certain things that they may not have seen before or don't know how to interact with properly. Other dogs, animals, people, cars, busy places, our dogs need to know how to deal with every day situations in a way that is beneficial to them and safe for everyone involved. How do we do that? Well there are lots of different ways but to understand how best to socialise our dog we first need to understand what socialisation actually means.

Dog's aren't like washing machines and don't come with an instruction manual and aren't programmed to be able to simply cope with any and every situation they walk into. If you have a dog then it is your responsibility to teach it how to live in a human world and what is the appropriate way to act in certain situations. Dog's don't speak English and they don't naturally understand how they are supposed to act in human situations that aren't natural to dogs. Going to towns, interacting with other pet animals and understanding what cars, washing machines and hoovers are aren't natural situations that dogs simply know how to react to. Even human children are taught how to act in different situations. They are taught by parents or teachers what is the right way to interact with people and animals, how to talk politely, saying please and thank you, being kind to others and more to teach them how to cope with different situations.

So let's start off by looking at what socialisation actually is: