111 Socialization Opportunities for Puppies


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Hannah Branigan's Belgian Shepherd Tervuren puppies are introduced to agility equipment

The focus of all puppy training should be on socialization and prevention of unwanted behaviors in the adult dog (teaching to greet politely vs. jumping, teaching dogs that human skin is gentle so they can control their mouths, preventing resource guarding, etc.). Here are 111 socialization opportunities for puppies. I bet I could come up with at least 111 more! Please help improve this list by adding your own suggestions for additional socialization opportunities in the comments!

1.) Walking in the rain

2.) Walking on ice/snow

3.) Walking on sidewalk grates

4.) Walking on bubble wrap

5.) Walking on grass

6.) Walking on pavement

7.) Walking through sand

8.) Walking in mud

9.) Walking through a creek

10.) Walking on a mirror

11.) Walking on the scale at the vets office

12.) Walking over an A-frame

13.) Going through a tunnel

14.) Going over an a-frame

15.) Crawling under a chair, table, or your leg

16.) Riding in a wagon

17.) Walking on a buja board

18.) Being picked up/carried

19.) Having her ears examined/cleaned

20.) Having her eyes examined

21.) Eye drops (practice with room temperature water in a dropper)

22.) Having water sprayed on her

23.) Nail trimmings

24.) Veterinary holds

25.) Teeth brushing

26.) Being poked with various items

27.) Lying on her back while her belly and legs are examined

28.) Training her to voluntarily shove her nose into a muzzle for reinforcement.

29.) Being wrapped in ACE bandages

30.) Wearing clothes

31.) Wearing harness or collar

32.) Vacuum sounds

33.) Hair dryer (sound and use in grooming)

34.) Sounds of power tools

35.) Firework and thunderstorm c.d./sounds

36.) Doorbell/knocking sounds

37.) High pitched voices

38.) Low, gruff voices

39.) Raised voices

40.) People with sunglasses

41.) People wearing puffy coats

42.) People of various ethnicities

43.) People in wheelchairs, using crutches or a walker

44.) Traffic cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses

45.) Children

46.) Infants

47.) Tall people

48.) Short people

49.) Bicyclists

50.) Skateboarders

51.) Children running or playing

52.) Joggers

53.) Larger dogs

54.) Similar sized dogs

55.) Smaller dogs

56.) Adult dogs

57.) Senior dogs

58.) Adolescent dogs

59.) Other puppies

60.) Fluffy dogs

61.) Tall dogs

62.) Long dogs

63.) Black dogs

64.) Dogs representing as many breeds and groups as possible

65.) Cats

66.) Other small animals (gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, etc.)

67.) Farm animals (sheep, cows, pigs, ducks, horses, chickens, etc.)

68.) Walks in the city

69.) Walks in the suburbs

70.) Walks in rural environments

71.) Bathing

72.) Brushing

73.) Acclimation to carriers

74.) Remote control cars

75.) Loud music

76.) Stomping noises

77.) Car rides

78.) Fun visits to vets or groomers (just for treats and fun no procedures! Aim for 3 fun visits for each actual appt.)

79.) Baby sounds

80.) Swimming

81.) Squeaky toys

82.) Chew toys

83.) KONG toys

84.) Food dispensing puzzle toys (buster cube, Nina Ottosson toys, tug a jug, etc.)

85.) Tug toys

86.) Flirt pole

87.) Let your puppy spend the night at a friends house

88.) Practice separations

89.) Ask friends to puppy sit for you

90.) Gently restraining by holding collar, harness, or scruff

91.) Delivery people

92.) Visitors to your home

93.) People dancing

94.) Being placed on a table

95.) Being crated

96.) Stairs

97.) Going down a slide

98.) Start clicker training

99.) Start whistle training recall through classical conditioning

100.) Sound of balloons popping

101.) Sound of dropped pot, plate, or utensil

102.) Clapping noises

103.) Sandbox/digging pit

104.) Umbrellas

105.) People wearing hats

106.) Men with facial hair

107.) Crowds

108.) Ball toys tossed/rolled

109.) Going to a beach

110.) Going on a camping trip

111.) Attending puppy class

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