Try this trainer’s easy advice to help socialize your puppy at home

Smiling woman and puppy at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Socializing your puppy is important – there’s no denying that. But, while that can often involve getting your pup out into the world, there’s plenty that you can do at home, too!

You don’t need to do anything too extravagant or expensive when it comes to socializing your puppy. As long as you’ve got some of the best dog treats with you, you could be in the house, in the yard, or at the park. All settings can provide valuable learning opportunities for your young furry friend!

Mission Pawsitive’s Melissa Goodman, a certified dog trainer, has recently offered some advice on socializing your puppy at home, and it’s a real eye-opener!

In Goodman’s video, she’s with a puppy, Abby, and all they’re doing is sitting outside at home watching a man clean their pool. It’s a scene that many adult dogs wouldn’t blink twice at, but Goodman explains that, as a young puppy, everything is new to Abby – something to remember when bringing home a puppy for the first time is that they won’t have many prior life experiences.

She observes Abby scratching while she watches him clean, something she describes as a displacement behavior – an out-of-context behavior a dog can display when faced with a conflict. Abby yawns, too, which can signify stress and anxiety in dogs.

“I feed her lots of treats to pair something good with what’s happening,” says Goodman, “She gets spooked when there was a big splash in the water, but recovers nicely. I just continue to reward her frequently for watching, and for any other behaviors I like, like when she calmly sits.”

As Goodman explains, some of the best socialization can simply be watching things safely from a distance. She adds in the caption, “I always find a way to take advantage of anything that may come my way and use it as a learning opportunity. A skill I like to teach my clients is being able to adapt quickly when unexpected things happen.”

It’s still a good idea to take your pup out and about and introduce them to different environments from coffee shops to large, open fields, and also get them used to things like cars and bicycles, but you don’t have to do all of their socialization away from the home. There’s lots that you can do without leaving your front door!

For more puppy socialization advice, you may find this article insightful: I'm a dog behaviorist and these are my 6 tips for socializing a puppy.

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Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.