1) Introduce him to lots of different people
Puppies usually want to jump up when they greet people because it is a natural puppy way of saying ‘hello’. He is trying to get to your face to lick it. If you don’t want him to jump up, there is no need to punish him, just ensure that jumping up is never rewarded. Your puppy should only get attention when all four of his feet are on the ground.
When he jumps, don’t talk to him, don’t stroke him and don’t look at him. You’ll find he stops jumping very quickly and then you can greet him. When your puppy meets new people, they should stroke him, talk to him and give him a food treat so that he learns to welcome the attention. The people your puppy meets should include:
- Men and women of all ages.
- Babies and children.
- People of differing appearances, e.g. wearing hats, wearing glasses (especially dark glasses), different races, short, very tall.
- People not on two legs! e.g. on bicycles, on skateboards, on scooters, in wheelchairs, on crutches.
- People who deliver to your house, e.g. postmen/women, milkmen/women, the paper boy/girl.
- People in uniform, e.g. policemen, traffic wardens.
- People’s behaviour. Dogs need to learn that people do things they may find strange! E.g. jogging/running, skipping, dancing, waving arms around, sitting or lying on the floor, dressing up (children in masks etc), playing instruments – the list is endless!
- Get your puppy used to eye contact gradually. Most people look straight at puppies and this sometimes worries them so teach them that eye contact is not necessarily frightening. Do not menace your puppy with prolonged eye contact. Build up from short glances.
2) Introduce your puppy to other puppies and adult dogs
Your puppy needs to learn how to communicate effectively with his own kind. He needs to know how to interpret other dogs’ signals and how to respond to them. AVOID aggressive or badly behaved dogs. You don’t want him to be frightened and you don’t want him to learn bad behaviour.
- Great start with puppy group!
- Go to puppy training classes.
- Go to the park and allow him to meet and have supervised play sessions with other friendly dogs.Always check with other owners first that their dog is safe.
- Invite other dogs round to play with him but introduce them in the garden or on neutral territory.
3) Introduce your puppy to other animals
If you have other animals or intend to take your pup to houses where other animals live, then this is important. Introduce him initially on a lead and do not allow him to chase. Reward him for quiet interaction. Give him treats when he investigates gently.
Other animals may be: cats, rabbits, small rodents like mice, gerbils, hamsters, birds, horses, cattle and sheep (make sure that he is on a lead).
4) Gradually expose your puppy to normal environmental stimuli
Washing machines, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, televisions, radios and stereo systems, lawnmowers, food processors, thunderstorms, fireworks, traffic, shopping areas with lots of people, play areas with lots of children, cars, trains, buses, ferries (if you intend to use them), quiet places, large areas of water like rivers or lakes, bridges over water or over motorways, escalators and lifts (if you intend to use them) & staircases.
Some or all of these things will be new to your puppy if the breeder has not introduced him to them. Until he is fully vaccinated stick to things you can do at home or carry him. He can still experience new people, new sights and new sounds that are outdoors if he can be carried.
The watch word is GRADUAL. You cannot flood him with all these things in one week. Take it one at a time. Introduce him to noises at low levels and increase slowly.