Creating kinder, gentler experiences for pets


     

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Puppy Socialization Checklist

The goal is for the puppy to show no fear or trepidation around new situations.

If introduced before 3 months of age, most puppies show no fear, and this is good.

If the pup does show fear, do not try to comfort, as this soothing talk and stroking is perceived as praise and may increase the fearful behavior.

The correct response is to ignore the fear, and YOU approach the object and act relaxed. If still fearful, move away until the pet is acting friendly and confident again.

Then act very relaxed. Move slowly closer and praise in a happy tone any movement by the puppy toward the object.

Once the pup shows no fear in the situation, you can check it off the list. Continue socialization throughout the first year of life. Try for multiple contacts for each category.

Gently examine ears, teeth, paws, tail, when the pup is relaxed. Offer treats.
Put pup up on a table until relaxed, then put down
Sidewalk mail box
Horses (Keep him so her safely on a leash)
Wheelchair
Vacuum cleaner
Inside a pet friendly store
Crowd (e.g. Mall or Theatre exit area, if not fearful of people)
Accept touched by a cat (cat must be willing or apathetic)
Playful with another dog
Give a firm hug for a slow count of 10 (Start with 2 and work up. No Fear!)
Go for a walk wearing a "Head Halter"
Dog obedience class
Baby stroller
Dog show
Tunnel (Hint, you go through first if convenient.)

A puppy needs many positive experiences before 4 months of age to promote a confident, friendly adult personality.

Count out 10 "Sit for a cookie" dog treats. The idea is to find 10 new people to ask your puppy to sit for each treat.
Mail Person (Hint, give the Mail Person a treat 3 days in a row)
Youth on roller blades
Delivery person
Person wearing a hat
Person holding an umbrella
Person in a costume (unusual
clothes)
Friendly Person Friendly Person  Friendly Person  Friendly Person

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Copyright 2001-Present with All Rights Reserved by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS | Animal Behavior Network & Affiliates