The year 2020 has been weird for all of us. Most people have been confronted with a lockdown. It may have been hard on many people, but puppy owners have had an extra obstacle to deal with.
How do you socialize a puppy during a lockdown?
What is socialization?
When we talk about socializing a puppy, we think about getting them to behave around other dogs. Socialization, however, concerns much more than only meeting different dogs. It's the whole process of getting to know everything they will during their lifetime. This process is evergoing during your dog's life.
Puppies have an easier time to accept new things in their lives. Because of this we try to socialize them as much as possible early on.
If you are locked inside because of the lockdown, you probably still have tons of options to socialize your puppy. Rollerblades, a bike, a skateboard, a vacuum cleaner,... You can expose your dog to almost everything in your home in controlled circumstances. The more they see on a young age, the more they'll accept when they grow up.
Many dogs aren't used to feeling strange surfaces under their paws and some of them even freeze when the surface doesn't feel right. You can help your dog on this matter by letting them walk over different objects. You can use wobbly surfaces like a Bosu ball or even bubble wrap.
Dogs that are scared of different sounds often didn't experience these sounds while growing up. Even when you are confined to your home, you can use your television, computer or smartphone to play sounds your dog needs to get used to. Sounds to play to your dog might be: Fireworks, thunderstorms, barking dogs, street sounds,...
Depending on the area you live in, you might still be allowed to leave your house. If so, take this opportunity to walk your puppy and let them experience the real outdoors. When walking past other dogs, there isn't anything different to when there wouldn't be a worldwide pandemic. You should teach your dog to walk past other dogs without pulling towards them. So keep your distance and teach your dog to walk on. Remember to reward your puppy when they switch their focus to you. This way they'll understand they need to keep walking alongside you.