Puppy Socialization: 100 new things in 100 days

Socializing your dog means helping them become comfortable with everything in their environment — not just other dogs. Ideally, your new dog should SAFELY experience (at least) 100 new things in their first 100 days, regardless of their age. All of these new experiences need to be positive and rewarding to achieve the desired effect, so make sure to do these exposures at your pup’s pace and always with an eye on their safety and emotional comfort level. If an object or person is stressing your dog, or your pace is too fast, stop, reassess your plan, and talk with a trainer. The potential emotional trauma from “socialization done wrong” isn’t worth it.

The list of things to socialize your dog to ranges from the vacuum, doorbell, and stairs (or elevator) to umbrellas, skateboards, and even people wearing hats! There’s also the wide variety of different flooring and surfaces (tile, wood, pavement, grass) your dog will be walking on. And don’t forget about people of all different races, ages, and heights, too! See below for a “100” checklist you can use with your dog, as well as the steps and tips to help you do their socialization right.

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