Easy puppy foundation rules.

To ensure a well-rounded, emotionally healthy puppy you MUST expose them to these 10 things early and often! There is no grey area here, this must be done.

1. Humans

Professional trainers often assign their clients the task of introducing their puppies to 100 humans before the age of 18 to 20 weeks. The importance of healthy interactions and socialization with humans cannot be stressed enough! You want your puppy to meet and grow accustomed to as many people as possible.

2. Babies

Babies and children are in their own category. They do not have the same level of understanding as adults and therefore cannot be expected to remain calm around an adorable puppy. Even if your new dog will not be exposed to children on a regular basis, it is imperative that they become accustomed to their unexpected movements and high-pitched noises as you are sure to run into a few on walks and outings.

3. Dogs

Make sure your puppy learns the correct way to behave around other dogs of all sizes and temperaments by participating in a puppy socializing class, this is also something you can do yourself at your local park. Pups get the chance to learn and explore other dogs at the same level of social development in a controlled environment. All participating dogs have to be at a certain point in their vaccine schedule.

4. Handling

This is an extremely important aspect of puppy training that is often overlooked by owners. Chances are you hug, kiss and play with your puppy, but do you handle his paws, open his mouth, lift his tail, and touch the insides of his ears? Your vet and groomer will, and the more time you spend desensitizing your pup to these types of touches, the more comfortable he will be. Remember to make this a positive experience by using treats or toys as rewards.

5. Sounds & objects

Clearly this is a very broad category, the more experiences your puppy has, the better equipped he will be to handle similar encounters in the future. Common fearful objects for dogs include umbrellas, balloons, vacuum cleaners, lawnmowers, hair dryers, electric hair clippers, ceiling fans, power tools, automatic doors, garage doors, vehicles, motorcycles, children’s toys, bicycles, wagons, skateboards, suitcases, shopping carts and airplanes.

6. Cars

The unfamiliar sensation of traveling in a moving vehicle can be quite stressful for dogs. They will often shake, drool, vomit or even try to escape which can be extremely dangerous for the dog and the driver. Slowly desensitize your puppy to the car by sitting in your parked vehicle and enjoying treats or belly rubs. You can gradually increase the time spent in the car, advance to sitting in a running vehicle, and finally begin to take increasingly longer rides together.

These are the bare basics that you must experience with your puppy, the sooner the better.