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Socializing a New Puppy

(continued)

Exposure Checklist for Socialization

Use this checklist to help keep track of what your puppy has been exposed to. Place a check mark in the box corresponding to the item your puppy was exposed to and at what age.

Age in weeks

Exposure to:

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

Babies, toddlers, children

         

Teenagers, adults, elderly people

         

People with wheelchairs, crutches

         

In-line skaters, cyclists, skateboarders

         

Drunk people, people with odd gaits

         

People in uniform, veterinarians

         

Repair people, delivery people

         

People with umbrellas, helmets, masks

         

People with hats, beards, glasses

         

People with parcels, capes, sacks

         

People with strollers, wagons

         

People of various ethnicities

         

Kids at school grounds

         

Crowds, clapping, cheering

         

People yelling, loud speakers

         

People dancing, singing

         

Livestock, waterfowl

         

Other puppies, friendly adult dogs

         

Other pets

         

Traffic, busses, trains, motorcycles

         

Boats, jet skis, snow mobiles

         

Manhole covers, grates

         

Shiny floors, tiles, icy streets

         

Gravel, cement, mud

         

Revolving signs, swinging bridges

         

Walks after dark, in bad weather

         

Hot air balloons & airplanes

         

Lawn mowers

         

Elevators, automatic doors

         

Balconies, stairs

         

Drive-thru’s, car washes, tunnels

         

Electrical appliances, washers

         

Vacuum cleaners, hair dryers

         

Construction and machinery noises

         

Wind, rain, thunder, snow

         

Fireworks, sporting events, fairs

         

Veterinary hospitals and clinics

         



 

Final Remarks

Socialization is essential for helping your puppy develop into a happy, fun and safe companion. Most people find it easier and more enjoyable to live with a dog who’s relaxed with strangers, gets along well with dogs and adapts easily to new experiences. While some dogs are born with genetic predispositions that can make this difficult or impossible, most dogs are very impressionable when young and can learn to take everything in stride. Socializing your puppy gives him the greatest chance possible to develop into a dog who’s comfortable in his environment and a joy to be with.

 

 

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WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.
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