Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Rule of Seven" for Puppies

We like this adaptation of Pat Schaap's "Rules" on everything a well-socialized puppy should have experienced by seven weeks of age:

By the time a puppy is seven weeks old, he or she should have:

  1. Been on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips.
  2. Played with 7 different types of toys: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items..
  3. Been in 7 different locations: outside, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate.
  4. Met and played with 7 new people and animals: including children, older adults, and healthy dogs/cats.
  5. Been exposed to 7 challenges: climb on a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence.
  6. Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan.
  7. Been exposed to 7 different noisy objects: airplanes, vacuums, garbage disposals, musical instruments, motorcycles.

Plus, they should have been in a crate, by themselves, and with the litter, and been left alone for a short time when solo and with their littermates; and been exposed to a collar and leash.  We also make sure the puppies have experienced brushing, nail trimming, and handling of their teeth and ears.

We spend a lot of time making sure the puppies already have a varied experience of normal household life before they go to their Forever Homes.

This puppy is captivated by a new ball

Puppies (and dogs) love stuffed animals

Lola's Boys are spending more time exploring new environments

Puppies learn to drink water by imitating their mothers. As Lily has not been exactly on top of this, Lola obligingly demonstrates for one of Lily's puppies, who catches on immediately.
But then Lily's puppy decides to try out the traditional method with Lola and is firmly but gently growled at and asked to move along.
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