Pet Articles

Socializing your Puppy


Until they reach 16 to 18 weeks of age, a puppy will be in a socialization period. This period is the most important and critical in its life. Every effort should be made to socialize your puppy; meaning to expose him or her to a variety of positive and pleasant meetings. The greater the exposure you can give to your dog during this period, the more it will lead to improved social flexibility, emotional stability and trainability.

You must socialize you puppy to a number of different things; people, adults and children of various ages, animals and environments. Use the socialization table for ideas or for tracking your progress. Place a check mark beside the experience that your puppy has had the opportunity to add to his repertoire. Notice which spaces are blank and take you puppy out! The more experiences in its repertoire, the better equipped the puppy will be to socially to deal with new situations. Take advantage of puppyhood, because after this period, socializing your dog will take longer and be much more difficult…

Remember that before the puppy has its second shot, the puppy’s immunity won’t be as strong. Exposure to only vaccinated dogs at this time is highly recommended.

An unsocialized puppy is likely to fear some people or situations.
Fearful reactions are too often related to biting…

You have everything in your hands to prevent these alarming reactions…

Below is a socialization checklist for your puppy – Puppies should be exposed to all the items on this list with your direct supervision at the following frequency; 6-7 weeks, 7-8 weeks, 8-9 weeks, 10-11 weeks, 13-14 weeks, 15-16 weeks, 4-6 months, 6-9 months and 9-12 months.


  • Women and Men
  • Young Adults / Adults
  • Elderly People
  • Disabled / Infirm
  • Loud, Confident People
  • Shy, Timid People
  • Joggers
  • Delivery / Wearing Uniforms
  • People Wearing Hats
  • People With Beards
  • People Wearing Glasses


  • Babies
  • Toddlers
  • Juniors
  • Teenagers


  • Adult Dogs
  • Puppies
  • Cats
  • Small Pets / Birds
  • Livestock / Horses Environments
  • Friend’s House
  • Shopping Centre
  • Park
  • School / Play Grounds
  • Day Care
  • Country Walks
  • Party
  • Slippery Floor
  • Bus
  • Bridges
  • Tunnels
  • Elevators
  • Stairs
  • Veterinary Practice
  • Groomer
  • Boarding Kennels


  • Motorbikes
  • Bicycles
  • Breed Related Stimuli
  • Wheel Chairs
  • Traffic

Julie Sansregret – AHT, Dog trainer
Guides Canins
1313, rue PineRidge,
St-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Qué.
J7T 2M7 (450) 424-1469

3 Responses to this Article, So Far

  1. Avatar Charles says:

    Very important to expose them to different races of people. It is quite uncomfortable when your dog snarls viciously at a person of a different skin-color because they hardly ever see them. My dogs are always with me, so they see everybody, but a dog that is only around a white family or a black family could react protectively to this new “strange looking” person.

  2. Avatar Joanne says:

    Hi! I have been socializing my puppy to everything and anything I can think of and she is pretty good. She does bark at strange people until she is close enough to them and then she is happy and excited. I don’t know the best way to react when she does this. Also, although she has met and seems to enjoy new dogs, she does bark at them as well and if they get too close to me she wants to protect me. I have done what I know to be her pack leader but obviously have done something wrong to create this issue. I would also like to know the best way to react when she does this as well.

    Thanks in advance for your time.

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