Retriever Puppy Socialization

Duck Tolling Retriever Socialization

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Puppy Socialization


An essential period in the life of your Toller pup is the ‘main socializing stage’. This begins around 3 weeks of age and ends somewhere in between weeks 9 and 14 (depending upon the type of dog breed). Throughout that “advancement” stage, the young puppy is extremely open and up for discovering brand-new things without rapidly ending up being scared of them. 

It is for that reason the period in his life in which he needs to get to deal and understand with whatever that he might come across in his later life.

We call this socializing and the socializing period. Your puppy needs to discover to handle all sorts of various situations, individuals, and of course other animals that he can run into at home and otherwise definitely outdoors. He needs to find out that there are kids playing outside, trucks driving, mopeds racing by, other dogs with their owners and a lot more.

The puppy already went through his or her very 1st part of the main socializing stage with the breeder. In this stage the puppy will need to begin mingling with the other the pups in the litter and present them to local new type of sounds, get familiar with different individuals, kids, other pups and ideally if already possible to go outdoors with them.

The minute you get the pup into your house, it will be at completion of this 1st stage. Important is to spend enough quality time with the pup as soon he is arriving as they are open to adapt and adopt in this phase and therefore a little simpler at this phase than after. 

Make your young puppy more acquainted with the world, so that you lay an excellent structure for a steady and social adult dog. By the way, you should likewise continue to mingle after this very first socializing stage!

Retriever Puppy Socialization Cats

How do you start and execute puppy socialization?

Slowly present and introduce  your Toller puppy to a range of things around you, such as family, sounds, traffic, and various individuals and other dogs. Do this in a well-thought-out way.

When mingling around in the new world, attention is required to guarantee that the brand-new experiences that the young puppy gains are positive experiences. Therefore you need to be aware and help the puppy understand that these things are indeed positive and not negative, as a dog owner you will notice that the pup will continue to monitor all your reactions as well, as this will be the “standard” for the future! 

Just facing the pup with a brand-new stimulus is not advised. You will need to scan and plan your events carefully.  After all, you do not know yet how the pup will respond.

What I did to get familiarized with other people , groups of people, kids etc.… I went to a school during the morning break and within 1 minute the kids gathered around and tried to stroke our puppy, in this way he realized the kids are friendly. The same we did when we went to a shopping mall, just to ensure he experienced a crowd. Also here folks came towards our pup to ask questions and the pup did realize that it was OK as we as owners were also interacting with these folk, it must be oke then!

I have seen new dog owners being very protective  with their new pup, this translates into pulling the pup away from anything that is new, including other dogs. This is not OK! The result will be that the pup realizes that as soon he wants to step towards another dog and is pulled away and even received a verbal NO, this will trigger his awareness as there must be something wrong. If you continue doing this your dog could end up aggressively towards other dogs and in worse case even people.

Other mistakes made are to keep the pup ONLY for you, this will not socialize your puppy! Let him experience life, he will in some cases be warned by other dogs or cats, this can be a verbal correction from the other dog… they will let your pup know where the boundaries are, that’s what dogs do without being too aggressive.

Of course this is not a guarantee that other dogs are always socialized, in some cases they can overreact towards your pup, always pay attention when these situations will occur, you will notice when you have to step in or gently move away from the situation without making a big fuss about it. Remember, you will be the “walking example” for your pup!

Retriever Puppy Socialization Training

Get used to touching your Toller Pup

Another important part of the initial upbringing is teaching your puppy to get used to being touched. This mainly concerns body parts that you may have to be able to check and care for in the future and that you would skip with the normal cuddling.

Practice with the pup from an early stage. Look in his ears, lift his lip and look at his teeth, touch his paws, feet and tail, and maybe cut a very small tip of a nail, without this being annoying to your puppy.

By giving a reward like a dog treat while practicing touching your puppy, the puppy learns that being examined is something pleasant. Practice when the puppy is already calm. By getting the puppy used to the examination at an early age, you can prevent him from being startled and perhaps getting gasped if you do this later in the care or when the vet examines him.

Also get your puppy used to being touched by other people. In addition, care must be taken that the puppy is not shocked and that it is a fun experience. For example, it can be combined with giving tasty treats. This can be helpful when you want to groom your dog of let your dog be groomed at the grooming salon.

Great Tips, your Toller pup, and other dogs

When you have your new Toller pup in the house and he or she is used to the new surroundings, if possible you ought to present your puppy to other pets or dogs. After all, he needs to find out that these other designed animals are simply pets in which he can interact with his typical doggy method. Do not wait until your pup has actually had all his vaccinations, due to the fact that then the delicate duration for socializing with pet dogs is over!

However, naturally, it is not advised to go to a Dog strolling location, as there might be non-vaccinated pets walking there. It is much better to go for a walk with numerous other pups and as we have done, go to a puppy training session, definitely advised! You can also go to friends or family of which you know their dogs or pets are vaccinated.

728X90 07

If your young puppy show’s a bit of fear when getting acquainted with another dog, you can take the pup on your arm well prior to the introduction and welcome the other pet together. You can also raise a pup of a small breed prior to the introduction, particularly if the other dog is large or lively or if you are uncertain how the other dog will respond to your puppy. Do not wait up until the dogs are currently nose to nose, however, do this as quickly as you see the other pet coming: sidetrack your young puppy and raise it carefully.

Nevertheless, you should avoid doing this lifting frequently and you stop doing this if you discover that your puppy is going to ask to be picked up. (they are quick learners and have to go through this introduction-period with other dogs himself)

When meeting the owner of the other dog, ask how it is with puppies. If the other dog owner indicates that his or her dog is sweet with puppies, you can quietly introduce your puppy. You can first get used to a frightened or small puppy on your lap. Then you can just put it down and let it sniff or even let it play with the other dog. Don’t let them play when they are on the leach: if the lines get tangled up, it can be an annoying experience.

Don’t let your Toller pup run towards other dogs just like that. Not all dogs like puppies, especially older dogs or dogs with, for example, pain complaints can sniff your puppy. However, it is not the intention that you always pull your puppy away when he wants to go to another dog. That can be annoying, painful, and frustrating for him, and it can make him want to keep other dogs at bay.

Therefore, try to distract your puppy in time and draw his attention to you when the other dog is still at a distance (otherwise that often will not work). If necessary, stand between your puppy and the other dog. Teach the puppy to sit before he can go to the other dog, so you build in rest. If you are late and the dogs are already moving towards each other, it is better to let them finish the greeting.

Make sure that you keep the leash with a bit of slack and that the dogs cannot get caught in the leashes. If the other dog reacts aggressively or differently, lift your puppy or stand between the dogs.

Toller pup needs time to process new impressions

Of course, puppies also need their rest to be able to process all those new impressions. So don’t do too much in a row and give your puppy time to relax. If you (unconsciously) do too much with your puppy, he or she can become over-stimulated. It sometimes happens that a puppy is accidentally made hypersensitive, instead of socialized. For example, the puppy may find touch annoying or even scary.

By taking a good look at your pup’s behavior and body language, you can ensure that he gets rest in time. For example, if the puppy gets very hyper, starts to pant a lot, turns away from the stimulus, or shows many other signs of stress, then that is one reason to take the puppy out of the situation and give him rest. An example is a puppy who sits on the lap of the girl next door but when the puppy is licking the corners of his or her mouth and yawns a lot it’s a sign of stress.

Often a dog initially only gives subtle signals that he does not like something, is stressed by something or feels threatened. You can read more about stress signals on our website

Is your Toller pup shocked?

If your Toller puppy is very shocked or frightened by an event, find a similar situation as soon as possible after the puppy has calmed down, and make it fun by giving the puppy some treats, giving attention or playing with him. Please note that you do not immediately make the situation too scary again.

For example, if your puppy was shocked by a large truck, do not start right next to the road again, but start playing with the puppy at a little more distance. If that goes well, you will get closer to what scared him. Repeat this several times. This way you can prevent an unpleasant event from becoming a traumatic experience, which the dog will suffer from later on.

This also applies if your puppy has been grabbed or knocked over by a larger dog. Within a day, try to find a dog of the same breed that is puppy-friendly and ensure that your puppy has a pleasant experience.

Retriever Puppy Socialization Focus

The Toller pup fear phase

From about 12 weeks the Toller puppy enters the next phase of socialization. This phase is also known as the fear phase. Many dogs are now more cautious about new things than at a younger age and are a bit more afraid.

It is therefore very important that you continue to socialize, especially until puberty and at least until he is one year old. In this way he continues to learn that new things are not scary. In addition, you can see how his behavior may change (from looking at mopeds to wanting to chase after it) and you can respond to that.

Learn your Toller pup to ignore too.

In addition to learning to interact with people and animals, the puppy should also learn to ignore certain people or situations, such as cyclists, joggers, running children, loud noises. You don’t want him to learn that it’s fun to go after them or become scared of loud noises like thunder or fireworks.

Teach the puppy to focus on you and that all is good and safe when you meet such fast moving people, for example using a toy or dog treat. Do the same with loud noises such as thunder. He must also learn from animals such as sheep, cats or ducks that they are there, but not that they are interesting to your dog or fun to chase.

Retriever Puppy Socialization Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


Don’t underestimate the importance to actively think about and plan to get your Toller pup socialized. It will not be done automatically and you have to invest time and effort into your pup to get him socialized. 

Also, you will not regret the time that you have spend to get your puppy through this phase as this will provide you a tremendous PAYBACK during the rest of his life, every day and having a socialized pup will bring so much more joy and happiness for all involved.  

There are many types of training that can help you socialize your puppy. With some guidance which is often just that extra that will help you to hang in there, we made an overview of some recommended materials and training.

backup image Pet Insurance V4
Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever

About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.


Latest posts

Our top 10 Recommended Grooming Items

Protect your car seats

4Knines Dog Seat Cover with Hammock for Cars, Trucks, and SUVs – Heavy Duty, Non-Slip, Waterproof