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Socialisation with other dogs – why it’s not just about classes

Posted on 13th September 2021

Bull Terrier Puppy recalling back to owner

Sights, sounds, textures, smells, tastes, people, moving things, strange objects and being alone are all part of your puppy’s socialisation journey.

If I had £1 for every person that enquired “Will Talk to the Paw Puppy Power classes socialise my puppy?” I would be a very rich person indeed!

Of course, we want to give you the best chance to raise a well mannered, well behaved dog but here is the truth…


If that’s made you think? Let me tell you why:

1. Socialisation is much more than simply meeting other dogs

Sights, sounds, textures, smells, tastes, people, moving things, strange objects and being alone are all part of your puppy’s socialisation journey.

In order for your puppy to have the best chance at becoming a socialite, it’s key to start training socialisation before they are 18 weeks old. The first 18 weeks is known as the ‘socialisation window’.

So, if your puppy is late in receiving their vaccinations or has to start again, you’re likely pretty stuck!

Except you shouldn’t be stuck at all – there is plenty you can safely do at home, out and about.

  • You can go places as long as your puppy is not on the floor
  • You can meet other vaccinated dogs in friend’s gardens
  • You can have guests to visit you at home

You can start socialising to sounds, surfaces and everything else listed above

2. Puppy classes are much more than socialisation

My main aim during my classes is to teach your puppy to focus on you and listen to you when they are around the exciting distractions of other dogs and people.

  • We want to teach all the life skills your puppy will need as an adult dog
  • We want to teach you how to train your puppy
  • We want your puppy how to have a positive experience

Training is a skill, for you and your dog, we love teaching you both how.

3. Meeting other dogs is not socialisation

Let’s take a look in Clair’s crystal ball…

Your puppy runs up to every dog you see, they play until they are exhausted or until you move them on.

What is your puppy learning?

  • I can go up to any dog I want
  • I don’t need to ask for permission
  • I can play as much as I like
  • I don’t need to come back to my owner
  • Other dogs are the most exciting thing ever and my owner is insignificant

Fast forward a year and what have you got?

  • A dog who runs off miles to see another dog
  • A dog who ignores your recall
  • A dog who gets into trouble with other dogs as they don’t listen
  • A dog who gets you into trouble with other owners when they frighten their dog
  • A dog which is out of control in a public place (Control of Dog Order Acg 1992)
  • A dog who goes mad when they are on lead and they see a dog
  • A dog who runs across the road to see a dog

I could go on….

4. Every puppy is different

During our classes, we welcome all different puppy sizes, shapes, breeds, characters and temperaments.

Imagine that your tiny Maltese puppy is in class with my big, uncoordinated, mouthy German Shepherd…

What is your puppy going to learn if we let them socialise?

Answer: big dogs are scary, I’m not safe in this environment, my owner does not keep me safe, I can’t learn.

What is my German Shepherd going to learn?

Answer: Small dogs are exciting – I can chase them, I don’t need to listen, dogs wind me up, I lose my mind around other dogs.

Hmmm, makes you think, doesn’t it

The good news is that you don’t have to struggle through all this on your own.

Come and join us in our in person puppy classes in Bristol.

We also offer a self-guided online version and e-book bundles that you can use anywhere in the world.

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