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:
Checking ears Examining mouth and gums (nice teeth!!!) Opening eyelids 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:
Women Men Teenagers Children both playing and standing Tolddlers walking, crawling and squealing People of different ethnicities Men with deep voices Men with beards Elderly folk 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:
Cats Horses Sheep and cattle Chooks Any other pets you may have.
We recommend familiarisation with new surfaces:
Concrete Slippery floors (wood, tiles, lino) Metal surfaces (eg vet tables) Stairs Wet grass 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:
Vacuum cleaner Lawn mowers Music Thunder Fireworks Babies and small children Alarms Dogs barking Doorbell ringing Traffic Sirens.
Objects on wheels can be particularly enticing for border collies:
Skateboards Wheelie bins Shopping trolleys Baby prams Wheelchairs Bikes Trains Cars Buses Motor bikes Airoplanes
Other objects that can be concerning include:
Pots and pans Clapping and stomping feet Blankets being shaken Brooms Ballons Umbrellas Bags blowing in the wind Signs 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.