Responsible Pet Breeders of Australia advocates for the proper treatment of all pets from birth. A major aspect of this proper treatment is taking care of a pet’s mental and emotional health – and that means having them socialised at an early age.
Socialisation is a term that’s commonly heard among dog breeders and owners, especially those who’ve recently adopted a young puppy. But what does it truly entail, and why is it so essential for the overall well-being and development of our canine companions?
At its core, socialisation involves exposing puppies to various experiences, people, places, sounds, and other animals in a positive manner. The aim is to ensure that they grow up to be well-adjusted, confident, and less fearful of the unknown.
Puppies have a “critical period” of socialisation that starts at around 3 weeks and can end as early as 14 weeks. During this timeframe, their brains are incredibly receptive to learning and forming impressions about their environment.
Positive exposures during this period can shape a dog’s perception for life, whereas negative experiences or lack of exposure can result in fears and phobias.
Through regular and varied interactions, puppies learn to navigate the world with assurance. This confidence allows them to handle new situations with aplomb, be it meeting a new dog, hearing loud noises, or travelling to new places.
Preventing Fear and Phobias
Lack of socialisation can lead to fear and phobias in adult dogs. For instance, a dog not exposed to different sounds as a puppy might become overly fearful of thunderstorms or fireworks.
Promoting Positive Interactions with Humans
Early exposure to different types of people—children, elderly individuals, men, women, people with hats, people with umbrellas—ensures that a dog is comfortable and gentle around humans.
Developing Dog-to-Dog Social Skills
Socialised puppies tend to display better doggy manners. They learn how to play appropriately, recognize submissive and dominant signals, and generally avoid dog-aggressive behaviours.
Easier Veterinary Visits
Dogs that are familiar with being handled, touched in various places, and exposed to medical equipment (like stethoscopes) often have less stressful vet visits.
A well-socialised dog is more adaptable to changes, be it a new family member, a move to a different place, or a shift in routine.
Reducing Potential for Aggression
Many aggressive behaviours in dogs stem from fear. By reducing fear through early and positive exposures, the likelihood of a dog developing aggressive tendencies diminishes.
A Stronger Bond Between Dog and Owner
By actively participating in your puppy’s socialisation process, you are laying the foundation for a deep bond based on trust, understanding, and positive experiences.
Puppy socialisation is more than just a buzzword – it’s a critical component of responsible dog ownership. Taking the time to properly socialise your dog ensures that they lead a life filled with confidence, joy, and positive interactions. By understanding the profound long-term effects of this early investment, dog owners can set their pets up for a lifetime of happiness and well-being.
To help RPBA members ensure that their puppies turn into well-behaved and gentle adult dogs, we offer a downloadable Puppy Socialisation Checklist in the RPBA Members Only Section, alongside templates and documents for almost any other breeder need:
Become a member today to gain access to Educational Health Waivers, Printable Breeder Templates, and discount information for both members and buyers.
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Please note that we do not accept breeders with more than 10 breeding bitches. And we do not accept breeders who have been found guilty of any animal welfare or cruelty offences.
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We offer information on how to prepare for your first litter, the things you should have at home for your breeding set-up, and legislation references to ensure you are meeting the requirements.
Yes, we do! We are an inclusive club and we believe that both pedigree and non-pedigree breeders should follow the same level of care and consideration. Responsible Pet Breeders Australia is all about the responsible and ethical upbringing of all breeds.
Once your application is completed in full and received, it will be reviewed by RPBA in house veterinarian. You will hear back from us within 24 hours. If further information is required, you will be contacted. Sometimes we may request further information or photos if they are unclear, ensure you check your email or junk mail in case we have contacted you.
We are Australian owned, government recognised, and focus on education with our vet-curated breeder resources and templates. We do not support puppy farmers, and do not accept members with more than ten breeding bitches and/or queens.
RPBA is Australia’s largest community for all breeds. 29% of Australian’s have been judged by their pet’s colour, look, heritage, or breed. We are an all inclusive community and we do not discriminate.
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