Well the good news is that socialisation is easy to do; you just need to do it.
From the moment the puppy is born, the clock is ticking and so ideally the puppy socialisation should have started with the breeder. If your puppy was born into a quiet house or worse still, a shed or a kennel, you will need to do your best to catch up on lost time. With all puppies though, the sooner you start, the better.
Basically, you will need to carefully and systematically expose your puppy to as many new experiences as possible in these critical first few weeks of life. First experiences have the biggest impact on puppies, so the first time your puppy sees a strange person, ask them to give puppy a really tasty treat - imagine the puppy thinking “wow, that was interesting and I got some tasty snack too.”
Take them to as many places as you can and give them a good time. Try to think ahead and do all you can to ensure that your puppy does not have an unpleasant or scary experience. Don’t let puppy become overwhelmed with too much all at once, if they appear frightened or overwhelmed, give them some more distance by moving away and let them come back when they are ready. Finally, when you are done, take them home for a well-earned rest.
A good way to plan socialisation is to write down all the people, places and objects you are likely to come across and start ticking them off as you puppy experiences them.
If your puppy has not completed its course of vaccinations, it does not mean you cannot take it out - by following some simple rules you can still benefit from the opportunity to socialise and at the same time reduce the risk of infectious diseases: -
• You should not let your puppy mix with unvaccinated dogs.
• You should avoid walking your dog in areas where there is a high amount of dog activity.
• Ask visitors to remove their outdoor shoes before coming into the puppy area.
• Do carry your puppy to avoid contact with areas that other dogs may have soiled.
While puppies’ immune systems are still developing during
these early months, the combination of maternal immunity, primary vaccination, and appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small when compared to the chance of death from a behaviour problem in later life.
Veterinarians specialising in behaviour recommend that owners take advantage of every safe opportunity to expose young puppies to the great variety of things that they will experience in their lives.
Enrolling in puppy classes prior to three months of age can be an excellent means of improving training, strengthening the human-animal bond, and socialising puppies in an environment where risk of illness can be minimised.
In general, puppies can start puppy socialisation classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the 1st class. (AVSAB)