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  • Writer's pictureMary Puppins

How To Do Puppy Socialisation For Small Breed Dogs

Updated: Feb 22

Three Pug puppies

Embarking on the journey of welcoming a new puppy

is a delightful experience that tugs at the heartstrings.

Their undeniable charm and irresistible cuddliness often sway dog enthusiasts towards choosing puppies over older dogs.

However, it's important to realise that transforming a playful puppy into a well-mannered and balanced adult small breed dog requires patience and time. But where do you start? Puppy socialisation.


“Socialisation is really important for your puppy as it helps them to become a happy, friendly and confident adult. Your puppy will have their ‘socialisation period’ in their first few months of life and it’s really important that during this time they have lots of positive new experiences.” - PDSA


As per The Kennel Club's guidance,

puppy socialisation encompasses the process through which a puppy acquires essential life skills, fostering confidence, happiness, and effective communication within its environment and social circle.

The crucial period for this process,

along with overall puppy development, spans from birth to approximately 14-16 weeks.

During the initial 6-8 weeks (a period when a puppy shouldn't be separated from its mother), the essential skills are imparted by the mother and littermates.


“The first four months of a puppy’s life are vital. This socialisation window is when they are learning about ‘normal life’ - working out what to make of all the new people they meet and things they experience.” - Dogs Trust


At Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, we welcome puppies from the age of 1 year old for home boarding and for 1:1 training sessions at Mary Puppins Little Dog Training School we welcome puppies from 12 weeks, facilitating this steep learning curve through three essential stages.

The Power of Restful Puppy Sleep

While it's important for puppies to interact with other dogs, it's equally vital not to overexert them, considering their developing bodies. Consequently, we provide comfortable, generously-sized beds and serene resting areas, enabling them to unwind after their exploration.

This practice holds equal significance in home settings. Puppies have a natural inclination to play, yet they instinctively recognise the need for breaks.

Puppy Nourishment

Puppies necessitate more frequent dog food meals due to their rapid growth, often requiring several smaller meals throughout the day.

Our approach involves providing regular, separate feedings, allowing puppies to consume at their own pace while receiving the essential nutrients crucial for their robust development.

Joyful Interactions in Puppy Playtime

Human interaction plays an instrumental role in the lives of our puppies and should be consistently positive.

This practice fosters not only vital social skills but also safety—puppies are inherently more receptive to dog training and development during their formative stages.


“Whether you have a puppy or adult dog, socialisation takes time in new and familiar places, with known dogs and people. Unfamiliar places will change a dog’s behaviour, so this should be introduced slowly.” - Bella & Duke


What is puppy socialisation? 

Puppy socialisation is the process of exposing young puppies to various experiences, environments, people, and animals in a positive and controlled manner.

This helps puppies develop confidence, resilience, and appropriate social skills, laying the foundation for well-adjusted adult dogs.

What is an introductory handbook to puppy socialisation for dog mummies of small breed dogs? 

An introductory handbook to puppy socialisation for dog mummies of small breed dogs provides essential guidance and tips for effectively socialising small breed puppies.

It may cover topics such as the importance of socialisation, key developmental stages, safe socialisation practices, and strategies for introducing puppies to new people, places, and experiences.

How can dog mummies socialise their small breed puppies?

Dog mummies can socialise their small breed puppies by exposing them to various stimuli in a positive and controlled manner.

This may involve gradually introducing puppies to new environments, people, animals, sounds, and situations, using rewards and encouragement to reinforce positive associations.

What are the steps in the puppy socialisation process for small breed dogs? 

The steps in the puppy socialisation process for small breed dogs typically include:

1. Early introduction to various environments, surfaces, and objects.

2. Positive exposure to people of varying ages, genders, and appearances.

3. Gentle interaction with other friendly and vaccinated dogs in safe settings.

4. Experiencing different sounds and stimuli to build confidence and resilience.

5. Ongoing training and reinforcement of basic commands and good manners.

6. Regular visits to the veterinarian for health check-ups and vaccinations.

Why is puppy socialisation important for small breed dogs? 

Puppy socialisation is vital for small breed dogs to help them develop into well-rounded, confident, and well-behaved adult dogs.

Early socialisation can prevent behaviour problems, fearfulness, and aggression later in life, promoting positive interactions with people, animals, and the environment.

It also lays the foundation for a lifetime of learning and adaptation.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

BOOK NOW via our website. We have limited places and get booked up super fast. Give your little dog the five-star VIP holiday they deserve, while you enjoy yours.

Mary Puppins dog boarding Cheshire

Mary Puppins, puppy socialisation, dog mummies

mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.



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We provide free, useful information for pet parents of small dog breeds UK. 

Please be aware that our opinions may differ to yours and that's ok. We encourage healthy, positive discussion. 


We all love our small dogs! And want them to live a long and happy life. 

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