Puppy Socialisation Checklist

Socialisation is one of the most important roles of a new puppy owner. Puppies’ brains develop considerably from 6 weeks-16 weeks of age.  During this time, the puppy learns a lot about their world.  It is a unique window of time that will impact the puppy for life. Socialisation is the process by which your puppy is exposed to as many facets of life as possible.

Puppies that are well socialised are more secure adults, and more adaptable adults.  If nothing else is done, the most important thing a puppy owner can do is expose the puppy to as many things as possible.  To be beneficial, these exposures must be positive.

Puppies should be exposed, in a positive or neutral way, to as many things as possible.  Negative experiences that occur during the socialisation window can affect a puppy for life. Some recent research suggests that puppies need to be exposed to things several times over the socialisation period.

The below list is also available as a PDF: Puppy Socialisation Checklist

A special thanks to the folk on the DogzOnline Forums for their collaborative efforts in establishing this list.

Weird things
Big plastic objects
Plastic bags
Balloons
Umbrellas
Mirrors
Big balls
Thrown things
Shopping trolleys
Prams
Fast movement
Kids toys
Wind socks
Brooms
Vaccuum cleaner
The wind
The wind blowing bushes/trees
Flags
Balls and frisbees
Tents
Flashlights

Travelling
Escalators
Lifts
The car
Planes

Other animals
Puppy school
Big dog
Little dog
Shaggy dog
Smooth dog
Goats
Cows
Sheep
Alpacas
Chickens
Horses
Cats
Bull breed dogs
Rabbits
Birds

Different Types of People
Men
Women
Boys
Girls
Shuffling people
Slouched people
People with glasses
People on crutches
People with walking sticks
People with walking frames
People walking strangely
Babies
Parties
People on roller blades
Wheelchairs
Fat people
Thin people
Tall people
Short people
People in dress ups (masks, costumes, big hats, etc)
People in big coats
People with beards
People with sunglasses
People of all races
Bald people
People exercising (running, jogging, star jumps, etc)
Children and babies
Dancing people
Busking people

Different surfaces
Bean bags
Tiles
Floorboards
Bubble wrap
Different walking surfaces
Wobbly bridges
Heights
Agility Equipment
Gravel

Water stuff
Sprinklers
Hoses
Being wet by the hose
Water
The beach
The bath
Swimming pools
People swimming
Water feature
Rain

Places
Airport
Skate park
Bus depot
Train station
Shopping malls
Loud fun places ( e.g. Luna Park, show, fair)
Football game
Supermarket
School
Coffee shop
Building site
Bunnings
Wreckers yard
The gym
Tennis game
Office
Speed way
Place with crowds
Main roads

Moving and making noise
Lawn mower
Bikes
Vaccum cleaner
Skate boards
Scooters
Bus
Train
Tractors
Whipper snippers
Ride on lawn mowers
Bob cats
Cars
Trucks
Motorbikes
Chainsaws
Fork lift
Helicopters
Aeroplanes
Sirens
Hair dryer
Suit cases
Go Karts
Wheelie Bins
Remote control cars
Ceiling fans
‘Life sized’ pictures of people
Glass sliding doors
Boats

Noises
Fireworks
Storms (e.g. thunder and lightning)
Parties
Computer dial up
Musical instruments (piano, guitar, saxophone)
Gunshot
Cheering
School bell
Sound effects CD
Saucepans
Radio
Lawn mower
Loud noises
The sound of a carbonated drink opening

Being restrained
Leads
Harnesses
Halti/head harness
Muzzle
Opening mouth
Cutting nails
Grooming (as appropriate to the breed)
Clippers
Being tethered
Having ears cleaned
Having eyes cleared
Having every part of the body handled
Being picked up
Teeth cleaning
Being carried on a stretcher
Being bandaged
Elizabethan collar
The vet

7 thoughts on “Puppy Socialisation Checklist

  1. Pingback: socialization done right? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums

  2. Pingback: Socialize your puppy our checklist will help | OutVon

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