It is important that puppies
experience a wide range of environmental stimuli and socialisation
opportunities before 16 weeks of age. Make sure all experiences are safe and
positive for the puppy.
Give your puppy appropriate feedback - all positive encounters should be accompanied with treats and lots of
praise. Slow down, add distance and do not fuss if your puppy is scared!
Make sure you cross
off each suggestion as it is experienced 3 times.
It is important that puppies experience a wide range of environmental stimuli and socialisation opportunities before 16 weeks of age. Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy.
Give your puppy appropriate feedback - all positive encounters should be accompanied with treats and lots of praise. Slow down, add distance and do not fuss if your puppy is scared!
Make sure you cross off each suggestion as it is experienced 3 times.
By the time a puppy is 16 weeks old it should have:
Experienced 12 different surfaces
Wood, woodchips, carpet, tiles, cement, linoleum , grass, wet grass, long grass, dirt, mud, puddles, sharp gravel, grates , uneven surfaces , on a table, on a chair , large boulders/riverstones, scales
Played with 12 different objects
fuzzy toys, big balls, small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper, cardboard items, plastic milk bottles, metal items, car keys, noisy things, squeaky things, funny sounds.
Experienced 12 different locations
front yard (daily) , other people’s homes, school grounds, lake, beach, pond, river, boat, basement, lift, car, moving car, garage, crate, laundry room, kennel , vet (stop by sometimes just to say hi & visit lots of treats), grooming salon etc….
Met and played with 12 new people (outside of family)
children , adults, men, elderly adults, people in wheelchairs/walkers, people with canes/crutches , hats , sunglasses , coats, different nationality
Exposed to 12 different noises
garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks, Harley motorcycles, Skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts, rolling, power boat, clapping , loud singing , sneezing, pot dropping, horses neighing, vacuums, lawnmowers, laughing, birthday party, tent flapping, shaking Tea-towel or sheets. etc…
Exposed to 12 fast moving objects (don’t allow to chase)
skateboards, roller-skates, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, vacuums, children running, children playing soccer,
rabbits, horses running, cows running etc…
Experienced 12 different challenges
climb on, in, off and around a box, go through a cardboard tunnel , climb up and down steps , climb over obstacles, play hide & seek, go in and out a doorway with a step up or down , exposed to an electric sliding door, umbrella, balloons, walk on a wobbly table (plank of wood with a small rock underneath) , jump over a broom , climb over log, bathtub/bath etc….
Handled by owner (& family) 12 times a week
hold under arm (like a football), hold to chest, hold on floor near owner, hold in-between owner’s legs , hold head, look in ears, look in mouth, feel in-between toes, hold and take temperature (pretend!), hold like a baby, trim toe nails, hold in lap
Eaten from 12 different shaped containers
Hand, wobbly bowl, metal bowl, scatter on grass, cardboard box, paper, deep coffee cup, china, pie plate, plastic, frying pan, off a fork, Kong, Treatball, Bustercube, spoon fed , paper bag, deep box, closed box
Eaten in 12 different locations
back yard, front yard, crate, kitchen, basement, laundry, bathroom, friend’s house, on a slope, car, from the grass, school, bathtub, up high (on work bench), under umbrella etc….
Played with 12 different puppies (or safe adult dogs) as much as possible.
Name the dogs.
Left alone safely (in crate or otherwise confined)
away from family & other animals (5-45 minutes) 12 times a week.
Experienced a leash and collar
12 different times in 12
Vee has no troubles sinking her head (and nose!!) into the Nose box after a biscuit or three.
Checklist for socialisation
It is produced by Dr Sophia Yin who has many resources that are helpful for puppy and dog owners.
Grading the responses to the various challenges is important.
It is also important not just to visit them once, but frequently during the dog's early upbringing (at least till 12 months old).
If they dont get to experiences lots of things and form positive associations they will become fearful of what we view as NORMAL things.