Puppy Socialisation and Dog Behaviour

One of the big secrets to having a friendly dog who is happy to meet people, and which you can confidently take anywhere, is early socialisation.

Early vaccination means that puppies can safely start going for walks at 11 weeks of age. Before then, carrying your young puppy out and about lets it experience the sights, smells and sounds of the big wide world without any risk of serious infection like parvo virus.

The more positive experiences a puppy has in its first few months, the better prepared it will be for life with its human family. New experiences should be introduced slowly, carefully and calmly and at the pup’s own pace, to prevent it from becoming overwhelmed and fearful. If your pup seems anxious about anything, don’t force the issue, but don’t over-reassure either – remain calm yourself and reward good behaviour with praise or a small treat.

To help you make the most of early socialisation for your puppy we run two classes at our Kilmarnock branch. Clients from all of our branch surgeries are welcome to attend. Pups and owners not registered at MBM are also very welcome – please bring your pup’s vaccination certificate.


*NEW* Puppy Preschool (for pups 8 - 10 weeks old after their first vaccination)

This is an introductory class for puppies that have had their first vaccination, run by our nurses who can advise on house training, parasite control and other topics. Please carry your puppy until you have reached the preschool room, which will have been cleaned specifically to be safe for young pups to play in.

Fridays (except Christmas/New Year) 3.30 – 4.30pm at our Kilmarnock surgery*


Puppy Playgroup (for pups 11 - 17 weeks old)

Puppy PlaygroupMBM has run a Puppy Playgroup at our Kilmarnock branch since 1993. Developed and led by the inspirational Sheila Murray, the methods she pioneered are kind, fair and effective, as advocated by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). We aspire to help forge strong, positive bonds between you and your pup.

These classes, for fully vaccinated pups, are held in controlled, secure indoor and outdoor facilities. Each session is attended by several trainers, who have years of experience and continue to improve their skills by attending relevant training courses. Our training team includes a member of the APDT and a registered veterinary nurse.  A great deal of guidance and advice on many puppy care topics is available, to help prevent problem behaviour developing.

At playgroup your pup learns not only how to behave with other dogs, but also how to follow commands from you while distractions are present! Many puppy owners come back with their next pup as they have found the service helpful, interesting and enjoyable.

Thursdays (except Christmas/New Year) at our Kilmarnock surgery*

7pm to 8pm  

£3 per session

Pups must have completed their vaccination course to attend



*On rare occasions we may have to cancel classes at short notice due to circumstances beyond our control. In this event we will place a notice on our Facebook page “MBM Vets Kilmarnock”.


Behaviour Problems in Adult Dogs

A well behaved dog is a pleasure to own, but it takes time, patience and understanding to achieve that goal. Remember that training your dog never stops: using reward-based methods should continue throughout your dog’s life.

If you have concerns about your dog’s behaviour please contact us early rather than allowing a problem to escalate. Our vet nurses offer behaviour counselling and a vet check can address any medical issues which may be affecting your dog. We encourage all family members who are involved with the dog to attend, as consistency in the way the problem is dealt with is vital to success.

We may recommend referral to a behaviouralist in some cases.