Puppy Socialisation Checklist | Rachel's Dog Club | Dog Walkers in Manchester
Rachel's Dog Club

Puppy Socialisation Checklist

Throughout your dog’s life it will be exposed to so many different things, whether this is people, animals, objects, sounds, places, surfaces or situations. This is why good puppy socialisation is vital. It is important that your puppy is introduced to these things during their critical socialisation and habituation period which is their first 17 weeks of their life.  The younger your pup is, the easier it will be to expose them to new circumstances as they are less likely to be fearful. As soon as your pup is vaccinated, take them out to explore the world together! If they are behind on their vaccinations, carry them or put them in a sling so they can still be introduced to many of these things.

Positive and negative experiences
The experiences your puppy has will determine their future temperament and character. If you can give them positive experiences when introducing them to these things in the checklist then they will go through life finding these encounters positive and not scary! A puppy with negative experiences or lack of socialisation and habituation will become a worried and anxious dog and therefore more likely to develop behavioural problems. Reactive dogs (barking, growling etc.) are often as result of a dog being fearful of the thing in front of them. This is why working through this checklist (or similar) is a vital part of raising your dog.

Important things to consider:

  1. Always stay calm and settled. Teach your dog that the thing you’re introducing them to isn’t a big deal!
  2. Try to only introduce your puppy to one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm your dog with too many new things at once as this may create stress.
  3. Allow your puppy to move towards the new thing but also move away. Do not force your dog to be next to the new ‘thing’ as this will only create fear. If your dog is fearful leave it and come back to it at a later date. Contact us if they are still fearful next time.
  4. If your puppy approaches the new thing reward them. Have plenty of treats handy and give them to your dog when the approach the new thing. Let them learn to associate all these news things with something positive.

If your puppy is very fearful of anything contact us and we can guide you through helping them free of charge.

Download and print our checklist here:
Socialisation Checklist

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For information on how to socialise your puppy during this time visit the RSPCA website.