When you are socialising your Border Terrier, you want him to experience as many different situations as possible. Try out some of the following ideas, which will ensure your Border Terrier has an all round education.

If you are taking on a rescued dog and have little knowledge of his background, it is important to work through a programme of socialisation. A young puppy soaks up new experiences like a sponge, but an older dog can still learn. If a rescued dog shows fear or apprehension, treat him in exactly the same way as you would treat a youngster who is going through the second fear imprint period.

Accustom your puppy to household noises, such as the vacuum cleaner, the television and the washing machine.

Ask visitors to come to the door wearing different types of clothing for example, wearing a hat, a long raincoat, or carrying a stick or an umbrella.

If you do not have children at home, make sure your Border Terrier has a chance to meet and play with them. Go to a local park and watch children in the play area. You will not be able to take your dog inside the play area, but he will see children playing and will get used to their shouts of excitement.

Attend puppy classes. These are designed for puppies between the ages of 12 to 20 weeks, and gives puppies a chance to play and interact together in a controlled, supervised environment. This is particularly important for a Border Terrier, who needs to meet well-mannered dogs of a similar age. Borders get on well with other dogs particularly bigger dogs but if they are exposed to aggressive or unpredictable dogs on a few occasions, they may well become pro-active. Unfortunately, this could have a lasting effect on subsequent interactions with other dogs.

Take a walk around some quiet streets, such as a residential area, so your Border Terrier can get used to the sound of traffic. As he becomes more confident, progress to busier areas.

Go to a railway station. You don’t have to get on a train if you don’t need to, but your Border Terrier will have the chance to experience trains, people wheeling luggage, loudspeaker announcements, and going up and down stairs and over railway bridges.

If you live in the town, plan a trip to the country. You can enjoy a day out and provide an opportunity for your Border Terrier to see livestock, such as sheep, cattle and horses, in a controlled situation.

One of the best places for socialising a dog is at a country fair. There will be crowds of people, livestock in pens, tractors, bouncy castles, fairground rides and food stalls.

When your dog is over 20 weeks of age, find a training class for adult dogs. You may find that your local training class has both puppy and adult classes.

(an extract from “Border Terrier” by kind permission of Betty Judge)