Puppy Socialisation

How to Socialise Puppies

The most wide-spread advice to a novice Staffy owner is to not go to public places until his dog is vaccinated. But the other point of view has recently appeared among dog behaviourists. Early puppy socialisation is more important than danger to its health.

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Cane Corso

Socialising is Important for Puppies and Adult Dogs

Practice shows that socialisation of puppies literally saves their lives, as the main reasons why Staffies, Pitbulls, and Bull Terriers are put down, left at dog shelters are dog behaviour problems. These issues can be avoided if the stage of socialisation was passed correctly.

You should remember that socialisation is important not only for puppies, but for older dogs, too. Even if you got badly socialised Staffy, you still have a chance to correct the situation.

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Dog Bite
Tug for Amstaff
Teach Your Dog to not be Afraid of New Things and Environment

So, what does dog socialisation consist of? What should you accustom your Staffy puppy (or adult dog) to?

✔ Staffy Care and Grooming

Your dog must keep calm when its ears, eyes, paws are checked, nails are clipped, teeth are brushed, hair is brushed, when it is groomed, taken to arms, collared, put on the table, etc.

✔ Noise

Your Staffy mustn’t feel nervous and behave strangely when it hears vacuum cleaner, hair drier, fireworks, thunder, music, scream, etc.

✔ Moving Objects

Teach your dog to react normally to an umbrella opening, passing by cars and bicycles, etc.

✔ People

Your Staffordshire Bull Terrier mustn’t feel nervous and behave aggressive towards people of any age, sex, skin colour; people in colourful clothes, sunglasses, with a beard.

✔ Events and Environment

Accustom your pet to behave calmly while a vet, groomer visiting, on public transport, in a park, in a car, etc.

✔ Other Animals

A well-mannered dog mustn’t show aggression towards other dogs, cats, horses, etc.

✔ Dog Toys

Give your furry pal various toys for Staffies that it can chew, roll, tug, etc.

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Dog Bite Tugs by FDT
Handmade Dog Bite Tugs by FDT

So, how you can reach all of these?

Firstly, use a classic motivation system: every new circumstance should be connected with something delicious and pleasant. The vacuum cleaner is switched on, the treats appear. It is switched off, the delicacy disappears. One person brushes dog’s hair, the other offers it food. The procedure is ended, the treats are taken away. The better your Staffy stands new circumstances, the less motivation is needed.

The next stage is inculcation of conditioned reflexes. Praise good behaviour when it meets any new object or event that you want it to get used to. Watch the stress level. If your Staffy is hungry, but it doesn’t want to eat, maybe you should put aside the object to make it visible for the dog, but not scary. As soon as it get used to it and starts behaving calmly with the object at this distance, try to shorten it.

You can also find puppy training classes near you to get professional advice about dog socialising.

And remember, every time you succeed in accustoming your Staffy to new and strange for it, you make it a calmer, more confident, and more reliable member of your family.