Introducing your pup to a variety of dogs, children, adults, situations and experiences during the first few weeks of his or her life is important so that they grow into a confident, sociable and friendly dog.

When socialising your new pup to older dogs, safety is the top priority. One bad or frightening experience can severely affect your dog so be sure that any interactions are positive.

Your pup won’t be able to mix with other dogs until he or she has had their puppy vaccinations, unless it is with your own healthy dogs.

Top Tips

Don’t allow your pup to pull on the lead to greet every dog you pass on walks

Select carefully which dogs you feel would be safe, based on the other dog’s body language. i.e. relaxed, tail wagging, play bowing.

Keep both dogs on a lead and be sure the other owner keeps a tight hold of their lead.

Keep the first introduction very short. Even just a few seconds, then a break, and try again.

If you are in a park, protect your pup from dogs that are off-lead and come bounding towards you.  They may well be friendly but they might not be. A bad experience could have a long-lasting effect on your pup.

Puppies like to jump up at each other but older dogs may not appreciate or accept this type of play and may reprimand your pup with a growl or a bark to tell him off. Supervise closely and don’t allow your pup to annoy the older dog with inappropriate play.

Take your pup to a Puppy Party. These are sometimes organised by local vet surgeries and are a great opportunity for pups to engage safely in play, as all the pups should be under about 20 weeks old.

Take your pup to puppy training classes. These are also an opportunity for your pup to be in close proximity to other dogs in a safe environment. Some trainers allow supervised off-lead play during the training session.