What does socialisation and environmental training mean?

Once your puppy has settled into its new home and learned who belongs to the new pack/family, it's time to start environmental training and socializing the puppy. This is among the most important things you do with your puppy. With most puppies, you can start about a week after you bring the puppy home. It is important not to wait too long, as the so-called "puppy syndrome" can occur. The "socialisation window" closes at about 3-4 months of age and after that it is more difficult for the puppy to bond with and learn to trust new people.
What is the difference between socialisation and environmental training? Socialisation refers to getting the puppy used to and comfortable around people and animals, whereas environmental training refers to getting the puppy used to all the smells, sounds, surfaces and more.
A distinction is usually made between active and passive training within the two categories. Taking the puppy to sit on an outdoor patio and watch people can be classified as both environmental training (because it is a new environment with new smells and sounds) and socialisation (because the puppy gets to see many new people pass by), but passive in both cases. Active socialisation is instead about letting the dog greet new people: children, the elderly, someone walking with a crutch or in a wheelchair, etc. and active environmental training is about seeking out new environments such as different surfaces/ statues/ riding the bus/ listening to traffic, noise and the like.

More articles