If you’ve recently brought home a Beagle pup, you will need to start the socialisation process as soon as possible. Socialising a pup means exposing them to different experiences, objects, people and animals so that he gets used to them from a young age and grows into a calm, confident adult dog. If you’ve chosen the right puppy, your Beagle should be naturally inquisitive, relatively calm and open to new experiences, so don’t be afraid to start this vital process straight away! Here are some socialisation lessons to check off your list.
Introduce your Beagle to new objects
Household objects such as vacuum cleaners, mops, and brooms need to be shown to your pup in order to make him realise they are harmless, non-threatening objects. So, introduce him to these items early on, maybe giving him some treats at the same time so that he learns to associate them with positive, rather than alarming experiences.
Allow your Beagle to meet people
Once he’s settled into his new home, it’s time to introduce your pup to some canine and human strangers, and teach him how to make friends. You can start by inviting friends and their dogs over (though not all at once – a house full of dogs is probably going to overwhelm a young pup!). Make sure the dogs are well behaved and sociable. They must of course be vaccinated and wormed before coming into contact with your puppy. Introduce them slowly and with your full supervision. At any signs of distress, take the puppy away immediately – any negative experience at this stage in life can have a lasting effect, and can lead to behavioural problems later on.
Bring your Beagle out and about
Once he’s ready to be out in the big wide world (after he’s been fully vaccinated) it’s time to start taking your pup on errands, trips to the supermarket, the shopping centre and the dog park. Anywhere where he will meet people from all walks of life is ideal. Of course, lots of people are going to want to approach a new puppy to say hello, which is exactly what you want! Lots of friendly interactions with new people is key to creating a calm, outgoing and sociable disposition in your dog. Treats should be given after every new interaction. Beagles aren’t a timid breed, so your pup should catch on to this new mindset quickly enough.
Take a road trip
Around this time you should also be taking your Beagle on small car trips, just to get him used to the sensation of car travel. Start with shorter journeys and once he gets used to it you can bring him on longer trips. Teach him that he must stay where he is and he is not allowed to try and sit on your lap at any stage. Don’t let him put his head out of the window – only open the window a small way, enough to fit just his nose out if possible. He’ll be enthralled by all the new smells he encounters on the journey! For safety reasons, your beagle should be restrained whilst in the car, either with a proper car harness or in a cage.
Make some noise for your Beagle
Don’t forget one vital part of socialisation: expose your Beagle to noisy atmospheres so that he doesn’t grow into a fearful dog that barks at every loud noise he comes across. So, start with hoovering and using the hair dryer, then try taking him to places like a noisy playground where kids are shouting, and perhaps most importantly, get him used to busy roads and noisy traffic. You can avoid a lot of stress and embarrassment if you raise a pup that’s calm in the most chaotic of situations.