Socialisation Period

The first 16 weeks of your puppies life is called the ‘key socialisation period’ in which they are most accepting of new experiences.   Puppies are not born needing or wanting the love, care and affection of a human but during this developmental stage they learn to love us and depend on us through socialisation.   This time is the best opportunity to ensure your puppy is well socialised with your family, with other people and dogs and many different environments.  Try to introduce your puppy to everything that will be a part of their everyday life, including children, babies, bikes, cars, busses, tubes, boats, cafe’s, pubs, grooming and vet care, cleaning their teeth, clipping their nails and all domesticated appliances.

Research has shown that the earlier you can get your puppy socialised the better, although vaccinations may delay the process as extra care is needed until a week after the 2nd vaccination (around 11 weeks).  However, you can take your puppy out in a puppy carrier (not on the floor) so that you minimise any risk between vaccinations and at least get them used to sounds, sights and smells (experiences outside).  You can also take them to puppy school in between vaccinations if you wish.  At Walkies & Waggietails we ensure that all puppies have their first vaccinations with sanitation to ensure that the environment is safe for puppies 8 weeks and above.  We would recommend that you carry them to puppy school rather than walk them through the park.

It is also important to bare in mind that you socialise your puppy positively with gradual exposure and not to overwhelm them.   There is such a thing as ‘over exposure’ at this early stage and so there is a fine line to get the balance right.  An overwhelmed puppy will build a negative association to  certain experiences.  Try to keep interactions short and positive in the early weeks and give your puppy choices to approach or avoid at their own pace.  Encourage bravery but don’t fuss fear.

In our Puppy school we have a big focus on behaviour as well as basic training in those early weeks.  We will help you to read your puppies body language and signals that indicate their emotions and how they are feeling.  This will help you to avoid overwhelming your puppy and ensure that the socialisation period runs smoothly and positively.   We will also help you teach your puppy appropriate play and interactions with other dogs and people.

Providing some basic training during this early stage will also help develop good basic life skills both at home and on walks.

Puppy Preparation

A new puppy is a very exciting time!   Preparing for your new puppies arrival will help to ensure that everything runs smoothly from the first day you bring your puppy home.  It’s important to think about your family routine and lifestyle and how your puppy will become a part of your life.  Just like babies, a puppy will demand a huge amount of care and time in the beginning and its worth spending some time thinking about that and making the necessary preparations and s

upport to help you do this.

Additionally you will want to ensure their arrival at their new home is a smooth transition to minimise any distress when away from mummy and litter on that first day.   Starting on the right foot is so important to ensure a calm and relaxed puppy that instantly bonds with their new family.

If you need help we can advise you with the preparation to ensure you have all of the right equipment and set-up ready for your puppy’s arrival, a plan prepared for the first night and an early weeks puppy routine to include your crate, toilet, feeding, health, socialisation and sleeping routine.

Puppy Consultations

If you have recently brought your puppy home and need more help adjusting your puppy into their new home life then a puppy consultation may help.  We can help you create a daily routine that suits your family lifestyle and includes toilet and crate training, socialisation to the family and guests, playing and preventing unwanted behaviours such as nipping, jumping up and separation anxiety.  I will also provide you with a personal written puppy training programme to help you achieve your goals and settle the puppy into their new family life with more ease.   If you have children we can also look to ensure safe interactions and games while building a positive bond between the children and their new best friend.

£160.00 for 1.5 hour consultation and written training plan.

£90  25% discount if booked to with our puppy school course.

Puppy Socialisation and Training Classes

Our puppy school is not just a socialisation puppy party, but a fully comprehensive 7 week course that covers everything from socialisation, to house training, basic manners at home and on walks, healthcare, nutrition and all the basic positions such as sit, lie-down, stay, drop, leave, heel, recall etc.

I teach all of the classes and because I am a clinical behaviourist as well as an advanced level trainer, all of

my classes have a focus on preventing the development of any unwanted behaviours such as fear, anxiety and reactivity as they grow up.  We will help you guide your puppy through gradual positive socialisation, teaching appropriate play and meet and greet etiquette.   We will help you to read your puppy’s body language to ensure they are happy and confident and provide choices where they may feel overwhelmed and guide you through all of the different developmental stages your puppy will experience and how to respond.    We aim to provide you and your puppy with all the basic life skills they need to become a happy, calm and well adjusted family pet.

During the course you and your puppy will learn:

  • Basic positions such as sit, lie-down, stand-up and stay.
  • How to settle and relax at home.
  • Basic food and toy manners preventing possession, including ‘leave’ and ‘off’.
  • Good ‘meet & greet’ manners that prevent jumping up and mouthing.
  • Good lead manners and loose lead walking.
  • Socialisation with people and playmates.
  • Guiding appropriate play with other dogs.
  • Toilet training.
  • Crate training.
  • Safe handling, grooming and health inspections.
  • Learning to communicate with your dog, and reading their body language.
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Learn about the key 10 development stages that affect your puppies learning and behaviour

£190.00 for 7 weeks comprehensive puppy course.

Please visit the ‘training courses’ page for information on location, dates and availability.