Saturday, October 30, 2010

Well Socialized Pups - The Rules of Seven

Easy Steps to Well Socialized Pups - The Rules of Seven
                                                                               author unknown

Here are the Rules of Seven:

By the Time a Puppy is Seven Weeks old he or she should have:
Walked on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, plastic tarps, etc.

Played with 7 different types of objects: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items, metal items, sticks or hose pieces

Been in 7 different home-based locations: front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, workshop or rec room.

Met and played with 7 new people: include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or stick, someone in a wheelchair or walker, tall people, short people, men with beards, people who smoke (or people who do not smoke if you do), people in yellow rain slickers, people with an umbrella over their heads

Been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, climb off a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence, ride in a child’s wagon

Eaten from 7 different containers; metal, plastic, cardboard, paper plate, china, pie plate, frying pan

Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom

During the next 7 weeks of pup’s life (ages 8-15 weeks), he should experience at least 7 of the following things every week:

Car rides (preferably 2-3 times a week)
New people (preferably 2-3 times a week)
New locations off the premises (at least twice a week - Grandma’s house, the park, Lowe's, Home Depot or other stores that allow dogs, friend’s homes, puppy classes, quick visit to the reception area of the vet’s office just to get a cookie from the  employees)
New toys and novel noises (dishwasher, child’s fire engine toy, vacuum,  CD of baby noises if you don’t have an infant, various noisemakers)
Children of all ages (never allow pup to jump up or nibble on them, keep pup under control on leash)

As with all socializing, it is important not only to expose your puppy to new things, but to set things up so that each experience will be a positive one.

If you have followed the “rules of seven”, then by the age of 16 weeks, your pup should be ready for formal training, he should have very little fear of anything novel because he is feeling confident and ready to face the world!

Photo used with permission, may not be reproduced in any form or fashion.  

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