For a puppy the big wide world is a scary place and socialisation helps them to make sense of the world we live in and gain confidence. The main socialisation period is from 3-12 weeks of age but really it is a lifelong process.
When you expose your puppy to new experiences do this slowly and at their own pace, everything you do with your puppy is an opportunity to increase your bond, the last thing you want to do is force them to go near something when they are scared. Give your puppy time to investigate, to sniff something, look at it from all angles and make their own assessment about whether it is scary. You may need to give your puppy more distance from new experiences, and always allow your puppy an escape route.
Signs your puppy may fear something:
- Lip licking (tongue flicks at the front of the mouth)
- Dilated pupils
- Tail tucked
- Furrowed brow
- Paw raised
- Crouched back
- Deliberately not looking at something
- Hiding behind your legs!
If your puppy shows any of these signs, move away and try again another day.