The clock is ticking for them to experience as many sights, smells and sounds as possible before they are around 14 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, environment, 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.  Even if you are worried try and remain calm and happy so not to unintentionally reinforce the worry they are experiencing.    Avoiding eye contact, remaining calm and keeping food treats / their favourite toy (whichever they work for) at the ready to distract them when necessary.

We 100% advice all owner to brush up on their understanding of doggy body language signs so you can identify when your puppy is feeling anxious.   Ignoring subtle dog language signs can be problematic.  If you need further advice with this please contact us and we will help you with key resources. 

This checklist is by no means exhaustive and is here as a guide.  Many of these are important life skills for your puppy.  It is advisable for each household to make their own check list of new experiences for their puppy as each pups environment and expected life style ahead will vary in some way.  Plan for a couple of new experiences each day and repeat them as often as you can.  A happy puppy learns better so focus on little and often rather than overwhelming them with many new experiences all at once.  Practicing 'home alone' time and 'car travel' are both very important, on a daily basis in the initial weeks - for further help please contact us.   

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
  • Hairdryer
  • 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 

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

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 sociable’ sound files.   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 download this for free from the Dogs Trust website along with the user manual (please read this carefully before starting to play the sound clips), click here.

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.