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Let's Talk Socialisation

Nervous pup or rescue dog? How can you help them socialise..,


It’s finally the day! You’ve got the collar, made the bed and stocked up on all the very finest treats and toys. Welcoming a new puppy or new dog to the family can be one of the most exciting - and daunting - days of your life. In between toilet training, puppy teeth, and sleepless nights (although hopefully not!), it’s important to start thinking about how to give your new dog - whether that’s a puppy or a rehomed champ - the very best start in their new life.


As well as getting your new dog used to your house rules, it is important to start thinking about how to get them used to the outside world as soon as possible.


It’s understandable that you may feel super protective of your new best friend and be wary of introducing them to too much too quickly but it’s the perfect way to give your new dog the very best opportunity to develop their confidence, explore their inquisitive nature, and set them up for a happy and healthy life.



Meet Poppy & Meg, both rehomed by their amazing pawrents ❤️


Poppy at the forefront of the picture was ever so wary of us when we first started taking her for Oodles Of Fun, but with patience and love she now waits at the window, super excited to go on her playdate, and is also reluctant to go home!!


Here's what their Mum had to say:

From the very first meet we were put at ease and our pooches were welcomed into Oodles of Fun. Poppy is very wary of new people and can be a bit frightened. They were so accommodating and have really been patient with her. Poppy even gives Emma kisses and waits at the window to be picked up!! Both Poppy and Meg love going on their Oodles of fun play dates! I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun filled session for their dog! Love them!!

We see hundreds of dogs each month and we can really tell when a dog has been well socialised in its new home - they are confident, friendly, and inquisitive and play well with other dogs and humans. Some dogs are naturally more reserved or standoffish than others, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they haven’t been socialised well, it may just be they have a more timid nature, but don’t exert any worrying or extreme signs of stress or panic.


There are lots of tips and tricks you can follow and implement to kick start a positive journey into the outside world, and we wanted to share some of the things you can do to support you...


Get them used to the lead and harness at home

Start putting your dog’s harness and lead on as soon as possible - long before they’ve had their vaccinations and can go outside. In the house, just put the harness on; if you do put the lead on, ensure you are supervising at all times so it doesn’t get caught on anything and spook your dog! Lots of positive praise and treats can make the harness and lead combo a positive experience for your dog.


They’ll sense your calmness

When you first start walking, ensure lots of eye contact, calm voice, and reassurance through your dog’s name to build their confidence. Keep them at your heel and keep your grip on the lead loose and calm. Dogs are like children - they will sense any uncertainty or stress from you and think there’s something to worry about!


Introduce them to dogs you trust

To start your new dog’s socialisation journey, family and friends can help by introducing their trustworthy dogs to your dog, and letting them play, explore, and smell each other. Ideally a calm, older dog is good for this, as it will allow for a more controlled introduction, but more important is that this dog (or dogs) is friendly and trustworthy. Always be sure to keep an eye on the meeting, but on the whole you can leave the pups to their own devices in a safe and secure garden.


Make sure you spend time away from them

More and more we hear stories about ‘separation anxiety’ from dogs, be it new puppies or rescues. Lockdown allowed us to spend 24/7 with our canine best friends and all of a sudden, when normality resumed, our dogs wondered where we’d disappeared to when we headed back into the big wide world!


It’s important to train your dog to be away from you. This includes getting them used to being at home on their own, but to being with other people without you. This makes life easier for you - there are times we rely on friends or family to look after them to cover holidays or emergencies and instilling this early on in the human-dog relationship can help make these transitions easier!


Book your pup into Oodles of Fun for regular puppy play dates

At Oodles of Fun, we treat every dog as an individual to ensure their socialisation journey is a happy, enjoyable, and exciting one. We totally understand that each dog has its own personality, play style, and pals, and we always make sure they are making the most of their time with us. Shy dogs are always given a lot of reinforcement and support from our Oodles crew to make them feel comfortable and to encourage socialising.


We’re always thrilled to hear that even after just a few playdates, owners will tell us that their puppies are more confident, inquisitive, and willing to say ‘hi’ to other dogs on walks.


We can take puppies on our playdates as soon as they are fully vaccinated to ensure they’re given the very best chance to become well rounded dogs. Just like children, the mental and physical stimulation that dogs and puppies get from playing helps them learn, grow, and enhances their sleep quality, which all in all leads to a more content dog!


Reach out to us on Instagram @oodlesoffunplaydates to discuss your dog’s specific needs and give them the opportunity to meet other lovely, friendly pups like yours!


We have different days and types of playdates available, and we cover Stamford and parts of Peterborough. You don’t even need to be at home when we come! We’re happy to pick them up and drop them home, so it’s ideal if there are days when you have to be in the office or away from home.


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