Socialisation: is it the ‘be all and end all’ of creating resilience in companion animals?

Claire Hargrave
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

A lack of socialisation is often referred to as a predisposing factor for the problem behaviours that companion animal owners report in their cats and dogs. Yet, many of the kittens and puppies that found new homes during 2020 will have experienced limitations in, or disruptions to, their opportunities for socialisation as a result of the complexities of the ‘normal’ environment both inside and outside their homes. This article examines the terms ‘socialisation’ and ‘socialise’ that are often used interchangeably when discussing the social competencies of companion animals. In addition, it considers the likely outcome of limited opportunities for comprehensive socialisation for the kittens and puppies of 2020, and whether such shortcomings in early development may be overcome.

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