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Puppy Socialisation in COVID Lockdown

As we go into Lockdown again in many parts of Australia, there has been an increase of puppy adoptions once again. Clients believe that they can’t take their puppy out due to lockdown and therefore cannot socialise their puppy. Firstly, there are many things that you can habituate your puppy to inside of the home such as different surfaces (carpet, tiles, wooden floors, rugs) and other things you can use outside in your garden/yard (or have in your shed) like metal sheets, Perspex, tin, grass, rocks, mulch, gravel, sand (of course, making sure they are all safe for puppies). Then there are sounds inside and outside your home like the kettle, the smoke detector, the vacuum, the toilet flushing, the lawn mower, the whipper snipper, the motorbike starting, the birds, music, sirens in the distance, the sounds of barking dogs in the neighbourhood etc. And of course, almost all of us have smartphones now so we can play a whole variety of sounds at lower volume to puppies over time and two sounds to definitely include are fireworks and thunderstorms. There are many things we can do in the home and out in the garden but for those of us currently in lockdown in NSW, the NSW Public Health Act allows us to go out for exercise purposes. What better way to socialise and habituate your puppy than going out for a walk in your neighbourhood? If your puppy has not had the full set of vaccinations, put puppy in a pram/carrier or something he can experience the outside world in whilst being safe. Now, I’m not sure about your neighbourhood at the moment, but mine is filled with children on scooters, bikes, skateboards and other devices I have never seen before! The parks are filled with babies, toddlers and children playing, running, yelling and shouting. They are playing soccer, netball, basketball, flying kites, having running races and everything in between. I have never seen so many people of different sizes, nationalities and ages walking around the neighbourhood. I see people gardening, washing their cars, painting their houses and more. I have also seen just about every size dog and so many different breed types. There are dogs everywhere, every time I step out of my house. They are walking, running, playing, digging, chewing, chasing a ball, eating, drinking, pooping and weeing! What a fantastic opportunity to allow your puppy to experience all of these mentioned above experiences in a gradual and positive way in the puppy’s own time. And the best thing is, you will be guaranteed that no-one (well hopefully!) will invade your puppy’s space by rudely going straight up to your puppy and touching your puppy, patting your puppy and/or picking up your puppy without your puppy’s (or your) consent. And remember, if you are seeking puppy training or help with any issues you may be experiencing with your puppy, we are here for you! Book a puppy consultation with us! Dogaholics Dog Training and Behaviour Services (Dogaholics is a dog training and behaviour service located in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area of NSW.)


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