social distancingHow do I socialize my puppy during these recent times of Social Distancing?

If you’ve asked this question, you’re not alone. Covid-19 has forced us to become more creative as we raise our puppies to become friendly and confident. So how do we provide them with the socialization they need to develop and learn?

With more families spending time at home, this is a perfect time to bond and train your new family member. Take this opportunity to focus on building their trust in you and your family. Socializing your puppy is about providing new life experiences in a positive approach so they grow to be friendly and confident.

Many of our approaches to Socializing Your New Puppy out in the community will be applicable as soon as deemed safe. This article also includes activities you can do at home. Check it out.

In the meantime, let’s look at the many other ways you can socialize your puppy within the safety of your own home.

Buy a snuffle mat, puzzle toys, or get a bubble machine. You can find these on our shopping page.

Play Search. Or set up a Scent Trail using something yummy for them to follow.

Teach the game of fetch.

Play Hide-and-Seek. You go hide and then call puppy. It’s a great fun and a wonderful way to practice their recall. Have plenty of treats in your hand!

Get a head start on Basic Training. Practice the Resource Guarding and Behavior Shaping exercises.
Practice those Pack Leader principles.
Do you have your own private back yard? Take him out on a leash and allow him to “noodle” around: explore, sniff, and roam.
Do you have a family member who owns a dog and you feel they are safe to visit you? Invite them over. If your puppy hasn’t had all his shots, make sure the dog is someone you know is healthy, vaccinated, and doesn’t frequent dog parks or doggie day care.
Find different surfaces for him to walk on: grass, dirt, sand, your driveway, slopes, pebbles, puddles, etc. Remember to keep these activities limited to your home or areas where you know no other dogs have been if puppy hasn’t had all his shots.
Allow him to smell different scents, with your supervision: banana, apple, lemon, chese, toothpaste, moss, grass, bark, or the aroma of a bbq grill.
Come up with lots of different sounds. Look on YouTube. Play different kinds of music. Make banging sounds with wooden spoons, silverware, pots and pans. Crinkle wax paper or tin foil for him to hear. Cough. Pretend sneeze. You get the idea.
If you live in a warm climate, get a kiddie pool out or turn on the lawn sprinkler.
Take him out in the rain, thunder, or let him feel the warm sunshine.
Touch puppy’s toes, ears, nose, mouth, tail. Introduce the grooming brush and hair dryer. Get him used to the sounds and vibration of a clipper (put the guard on an electric razor). Brush his teeth. Do these things every day. You will be thankful when the grooming appointments start up.
Disguise yourself. Wear a wig, big glasses, and hat. Do you have an old Halloween costume you can wear? Put an umbrella over your head. Use different voices. Make different sounds with your voice. Do you have access to a walker, cane, or wheelchair? Use them around puppy.
Take puppy for rides. Stop near places where there’s traffic or construction site sounds. (Of course, don’t get out of the car and let him down until he’s had his shots.)
Put him in a backpack or stroller and go for a walk.