The optimum time for socialising a dog is in the first 4 months of their life. It is proven that, puppies who have had positive exposure to people and pets during this time are more likely to grow to be relaxed and confident dogs.
Will my dog get on with other people?
As above, start socialising your puppy from the start with all kinds of people in all different environments. Take him on walks, as this will bring him in to contact with people in different situations. Introduce him to the people who visit your house regularly e.g. family, postman, gardener etc. and ensure that it is done in a very happy and positive way. Take him to the vet, local shop, café, your child’s football match and get him used to behaving in all those different environments
It is in a dog’s nature is to be territorial and protective of their family and to view any outsiders with suspicion. This can be very beneficial in certain ways as your dog will deter any unwanted visitors to your home.
With early socialisation a dog will learn who is a friend of the family and will welcome them eagerly into the house. As long a person is not behaving in a threatening manor then the dog will react favourably.
Will my dog get on with my cat and other pets?
Again, start early and introduce slowly and in a happy, positive way.
Initially keep the puppy and cat separated and introduce them gradually. Holding the puppy by the collar allow the cat to walk up the puppy ensuring the cat has an escape route if it gets stressed. Talk in calm positive tones all the time.
Continue this process until they are both comfortable in the others presence.
Most breeds of dogs will eventually tolerate cats within the family if socialised properly.
Other pets like rabbits – gradually introduce the puppy to the rabbit and ensure the dog understands this is also part of the family. Let him see you handle the rabbit and talk in similar tones to the rabbits as you would with him. Be careful though to never leave the rabbit and dog together unsupervised.
Toys are a useful aid to distract your dog a bit while allowing the other animal to see your dog.
Will my dog get along with other dogs?
Yes, he will, if you socialise him early in a positive and secure environment.
Firstly, introduce him to dogs who are known to you and are non-aggressive, so that he has a positive first experience of other dogs.
Gradually, socialise him with other dogs on walks and outings to the park, keeping him on the lead until you feel he is comfortable enough around other dogs. If another dog shows aggression to yours then quickly move away to a neutral area while all the time reassuring him.
Another great way to socialise your dog with other dogs is to take them to dog obedient classes where they will have opportunity to be around other dogs in a controlled setting.
If you take the time to socialise your puppy properly then you should end up with a dog that you can bring anywhere without worry.