I love this as socialization cannot be a list so much as setting up positive experiences for sure in the first 14 weeks but forever really. It is you we want the pups to focus on, once they are totally invested in you, they will meet new situations and living things in a more positive way as they will feel safe with you, you and your family being the center of their world. This doesn’t mean do not socialize in the first 6-7 weeks you have your pup, just handle it in an appropriate manner and after you have the pups trust and full attention. REMEMBER this is a newborn baby, so think how would you introduce your human baby to new things and people? Sure not shoving it in a stranger's arms and expecting the pup to feel comfortable. The first few days in their new home, keep it calm and about you and the pup. As exciting as it is to want to share your new family member, wait a few days until the pup is comfortable in the home and focused upon you.
It does not take long for a puppy to focus on you if you take the correct measures. Learn your puppy's body language (i.e. Control Unleashed - the Puppy Program as an example) and the correct ways to develop your relationship and shape your pup into a perfect family member and good citizen (i.e. www.absolute-dogs.com). Keep up reinforcing your bond forever, make your feeding time, your going out to grab a few things in the hardware and ranch supply, your watching tv time all as development time. One of our best owner/trainers even with their pup now 2 ½ years old and winning in agility and herding, at night they come up with one more thing to teach Tippy several nights a week. He learned how to go downstairs and fetch a roll of toilet paper in 10 minutes. They never forget how much Border Collies love to have their brains engaged and knowing that they are pleasing their owners daily.
Research has found that the number one source of stress for Border Collies is feeling they are not pleasing their owners!
By the time your pup is 14 weeks old and safe to go on the ground in new places without the worry of Parvo, joining a weekly puppy class is a great way to socialize with other puppies and people. Do not ever let your pup turned loose with a large group and various size pups, some classes do this and all that happens is some pups attack other pups, rough play with new friends ends badly for everyone. Same with meeting a large group of new people all at once at this tender age. Choose one, maybe two people in the class each week to introduce your puppy to until in all situations your puppy eagerly wants to meet everyone. This may never happen with some pups, Border Collies have 125 years of history living and working with one person to a family and maybe a few other humans, but welcoming everyone was not normal over the history of the breed, It is how they are bred and first handled by the breeder and then the new owner that ensures a calm, well mannered, and emotionally secure and confident puppy who can grow into a dog who will excel in any and every task presented. They all need tasks.
Good luck with your new puppies. If you have not yet invested in the two referred to resources yet, please do now. If you are not fully willing to prepare for one of our pups it is better for you to realize now so I can find a more committed home for our pups.
Link to YouTube video on the Absolute Dogs YouTube channel: