We recommend that you expose your puppy to as much noise and as many experiences as possible. Border Collies can be shy if not adequately socialised. Some of our recommended experiences may be easier to achieve than others. You may need to be inventive to achieve some! It is important to ensure that the puppy has positive experiences, not neutral or bad.
The following are recommended in terms of handling:
Examining mouth and gums (nice teeth!!!)
Gently squeezing feet
Handling and trimming toenails
Gently pinching skin
Poking the nose with your finger
Cradling the puppy in your arms on its back
Holding the puppy on your lap
Giving the puppy a belly rub
Hugging your puppy
Introducing a collar
Pulling the collar
Grabbing puppy by different body parts (eg. leg)
Wiping the body with a towel
Attaching a lead to the collar and let the puppy drag it around
Putting on a harness
We recommend the following in terms of unfamiliar people:
Children both playing and standing
Tolddlers walking, crawling and squealing
People of different ethnicities
Men with deep voices
Men with beards
People wearing hats/helmets
People wearing boots
People wearing hoodies
People wearing backpacks
People wearing sunglasses
People with canes, walking sticks or walkers
People running by.
The following are useful regarding unfamiliar dogs:
Attending puppy preschool
Interacting with dogs who play well
Exposure to a dog who will reprimand the puppy with appropriate force and restraint for getting into his/her personal space.
Dependant on your circumstances we recommend socialisation with the following animals:
Sheep and cattle
Any other pets you may have.
We recommend familiarisation with new surfaces:
Slippery floors (wood, tiles, lino)
Metal surfaces (eg vet tables)
Ice, frost or snow if appropriate.
If you don’t have the ability to expose the puppy to scary sounds frequently enough, or at a level where a positive experience can be achieved, you may be able to use sound CDs.
We recommend the following sounds:
Babies and small children
Objects on wheels can be particularly enticing for border collies:
Other objects that can be concerning include:
Pots and pans
Clapping and stomping feet
Blankets being shaken
Bags blowing in the wind
Waves at the beach.
Exposing your puppy to as many different experiences as possible early in their lives will give them the opportunity to become confident and adjust well to their surroundings. Older dogs who have not been adequately exposed to noise and situations will be more frightened and insecure.
It is necessary for you to be the strong pack leader for your puppy and show them that you are brave and not afraid of things. Never praise your puppy for being frightened.