Puppy Socialisation Checklist

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We can not over emphasize the importance of well planned socialisation for your puppy.   The clock is ticking for them to experience as many sights, smells and sounds as possible before they are around 16 weeks of age....

The following list can be used as a starting point for your puppy’s  socialisation.   You can adapt this to suit your puppy’s needs, experiences and situations. 

Every effort should be made to control how your puppy experiences these to ensure your puppy doesn't become frightened.  They will look to you when they are worried and if you make a fuss of them at this point it will only reinforce the worry they are feeling.   In the future this can manifest itself into serious behavioural problems, e.g being frightened of loud bangs or becoming very stressed when you leave them.   Avoid eye contact, remain calm and keep food treats / their favorite toy (whichever they work for) at the ready to distract them.
 
Places to go:
 
Veterinary Practice
Kennels
Groomers
Other people’s houses
Pub
Parties
School
Recreation Ground
Shows and Fetes
Roadside
Public transport
Park
Rural Areas
Towns/cities
Markets
Lifts
Stairs
Water (river/sea)
Training classes
 
Travel in the car
 
Things to encounter:
Hoover
Washing machine
Tumble dryer
Hair dryer
Vehicles
Children’s toys
Pushchairs
Bicycles
Wheelchairs
Hot Air Balloons
Other dog breeds, size and colour
Cats
Other domestic pets
Livestock
Balloons
Different types of people (age/sex/ethnicity etc)
People of different appearance (hair/beard/hats/glasses etc)
Delivery people/postman/milkman/lollipop person
 
BEING LEFT ALONE
 
Activities to accept:
 
Wearing a collar / harness
Walking on a lead
Grooming
Bathing
Medical examination e.g. examine of mouth, touching feet
Brushing teeth
Clipping claws
Leaving of a toy/treat (will happily give up a stolen item)
Greeting a stranger
Greeting new dogs
Basic Commands e.g. come, sit, stay, down, heal and re-call off lead to owner
 
Puppy crate training (if relevant)

People and Animals to Meet:
 
Men
Women
Children
Babies
Elderly People
Disabled and infirm e.g. using walking sticks and walking frames etc..
Confident / Loud People
Shy / Quiet People
Delivery People  (encourage interaction indoors & outdoors)
People with headgear
People with glasses
People with breads
People in wheelchairs
People on bikes
People on skateboards
People pushing prams
Joggers / Runners
People significantly different in appearance from family members
Veterinary Practice Staff & Others in distinctive clothing
 
We would also recommend you consider using a ‘sounds scary’ CD.   This specially made CD helps your puppy get used to some of the more scary sounds which are not so easy to experience, e.g. to fireworks/thunder.   These are common causes of noise phobias in dogs.    You can purchase this from our in-house shop and the CD's instructions should be followed.

If you would like more information on your puppies socialisation or any other area of your puppies care then please contact us on 01376 325511.

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