Tips for Puppy Socialization Okemos

Week 8 through Week 16 is most important for puppy socialization. During this period, your puppy will need to learn how to live within human society so he can be confident and well-adjusted later in life.

Introduce your puppy to as many different people, places, objects, sounds, and environments as possible with the help of our fun scavenger hunt.

Start Puppy Socialization Early

From Week 9 through Week 16, your puppy will be more likely to accept new things he encounters during his walks, playtime, and cuddle time. Once your dog gets older, he'll become naturally suspicious of anything new. While this caution is great for keeping your dog out of trouble, it can also make it more difficult for him to adjust to new environments or people. Puppy socialization helps your dog become less fearful or aggressive.

Reinforce Positive Experiences

Give your puppy a treat when he encounters something new so he can form as many good impressions as possible. For example, if you want your dog to feel comfortable around children, have a child feed them a treat or piece of kibble. That way, your puppy will associate children with something good and be on best behavior when he meets children later in life. It's not enough to simply expose your dog to new experiences. You must also make sure his new experiences are positive.

Enroll in our Puppy Program

We recommend enrolling in our Puppy Program so you can reinforce puppy socialization as soon as possible. During our puppy training classes, your puppy will encounter new people, dogs, smells, situations, and environments so he can grow up well-adjusted. We also show you how to strengthen your bond with your puppy by getting him to recognize his name, obey simple commands, and get along well with others.

  • Requirements

    The Puppy Program is for puppies between 12 weeks to 8 months old. To enroll, your puppy must have their first two sets of puppy shots and the Bordetella vaccination. Be sure to let your veterinarian know that your puppy will be exposed to lots of other dogs so they can receive appropriate vaccinations.

  • Schedule

    Puppy training classes run Monday through Friday starting at 9:00 a.m. Although puppy classes don't start until mid-morning, you can drop off your puppy as soon as we open at 7:00 a.m. Our latest pickup time is 6:30 p.m.

To enroll in our puppy training classes in Okemos, call Dog Gone Fun at (517) 657-4300.

Socialization Scavenger Hunt

Cross off as many items as possible before your puppy reaches 16 weeks of age so he can grow up confident and well-behaved. Keep track of what your puppy has already had good experiences with so you can reduce the chance of him developing fears and aggression later on in life.

People

  • Babies
  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Women
  • Men (with and without beards)
  • Elderly people
  • People of many ethnicities
  • Joggers
  • Bicyclists
  • Skateboarders
  • Wearing hats
  • Wearing coats
  • Wearing sunglasses
  • Holding umbrellas
  • Holding balloons
  • Wheelchairs
  • Walkers
  • Strollers

Handling

  • Riding in car
  • Put on leash with collar or harness
  • Grab collar
  • Crate training
  • Examine ears
  • Examine nose
  • Examine eyes
  • Touch each paw
  • Touch each toe
  • Gently pinch between toes
  • Nail clipping
  • Baths
  • Dry paws and body with towel
  • Open mouth
  • Examine teeth and gums
  • Lift tail
  • Hold tail
  • Gently squeeze tummy
  • Gently hug
  • Cradle like a baby

Animals

  • Fish
  • Reptiles
  • Horses
  • Livestock
  • Any other animals you may come across

Environments

  • Doggy day care
  • Busy city street
  • Quiet suburban street
  • Parking lots
  • Inside buildings
  • Elevators
  • Beach
  • Woods
  • Retail stores that allow pets
  • Veterinarian's office

Surfaces

  • Paved surfaces
  • Metal grates
  • Grass (dry and wet)
  • Frost
  • Ice and snow
  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Shiny floors
  • Slippery floors
  • Stairs
  • Shallow water
  • Deep Water

Sounds

  • Vacuum
  • Hair dryer
  • Kitchen timers
  • Doorbells & buzzers
  • Knocking on doors
  • Phone ringing
  • Babies crying
  • Construction
  • Fireworks
  • Thunder
  • Sirens
  • Car horn