Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge

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Puppy Socialization

During your puppy’s life, they will be exposed to many people, places, objects and noises as outlined in the puppy socialization chart below.

Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge

Puppy socialization early on will set them up to be a more stable and resilient dog. During your puppy’s early developmental months introduce a few ‘things’ at a time and ensure that these encounters are positive and not scary!

Puppy Socialization​ Safety

Rowena Henrichs - Adventures of Nudge

For example, you can carry your puppy in a sling or place them in a basket or trolley.

Puppy socialization early on will set them up to be a more stable and resilient dog. During your puppy’s early developmental months introduce a few ‘things’ at a time and ensure that these encounters are positive and not scary!

You can take your puppy out and keep them safe while their immunity is still developing.
Keep your puppy away from the areas where there might be dog feces and urine because they could transmit disease.

How To Introduce A New ‘Thing’

If your puppy reacts strongly to anything ensure you simply remove the puppy from the situation calmly. Do not continue that day if your puppy is overwhelmed or unsure.

Nudge’s Socialization and Outings

Local Shops

Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge
Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge

Firstly, we took Nudge down to the local shops when we could. Before his final needle, he was on the walker and the noises and activity did not concern him. He had no reaction to noisy trucks unloading, and children on bikes and skateboards.

Secondly, once Nudge was walking, he became hesitate to cross the road and other activities. Therefore I spent time taking him across the road and back with heaps of rewards and praise. 

Thirdly, I then desensitized him to shopping trollies, sitting still while they were being pushed past him. He found this easy and received a piece of fish for his reward.

Most importantly, he was uncertain and would back away when people extended their hand to pat him. This was slow progress over 6 months with heaps of rewards and praise. He decides if people are allowed to pat him by keeping still or moving away from the situation.

The Beach

Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge

Nudge at 14 weeks, had his 3rd needle and weighs 15.3kgs.

Nudge at 14 weeks, had his 3rd needle and weighs 15.3kgs.

After getting Nudge’s third needle he started going to the beach. Yea water in Deception Bay we seem to only go down at low tide.

Socialization at Pet Stores

Adventures of Nudge
Nudge 8 weeks
Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge
The girls really spoil me when I come to see them.
Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge
Heaps of pats and cuddles from the staff and customers at PETstock and Petbarn.

Big Dog Pet Foods
On the first visit, Nudge got his photo taken and put on the Big Dog Facebook page. That was the start of my social media appearances.

“Meet Nudge the 8 Week old Chocolate Lab, who’s going become an assistance dog for his owner.” Posted by Big Dog Pet Foods Factory Outlet on Sunday, July 23, 2017

My 2nd trip to Big Dog.
I became scared of the bell on the door. After lots of pats and cuddles from the Girls, I calmed down.
On my next visit, I became used to the bell noise and was waiting for my cuddles.

An afternoon out, I went shopping at the pet stores in North Lakes. The automatic doors were a bit scary until I got used to them.  So many new smells to follow and big and small dogs wanting to be friends.

I saw my first cat today, we smelled each other thru the cage.

Puppy Preschool

Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge
Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge
Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge

Nudge attended puppy preschool for 6 weeks

Here he was introduced to puppies of different sizes, children and adults. Here Nudge learnt how to play and interact with the other puppies. 

He also had basic training and manners, learning to sit, down and stay.

He graduated at the end of the class. 

At 16 weeks he was too strong for me to control, that we introduced a head halter. The change in behaviour was instant. Over time the dog will accept the halter but not like wearing it.

Puppy Socialization Chart

Puppy socialization is more than playing with other puppies, it is becoming comfortable with their environment and the world they are exposed to. A small lap dog will have a different environment than a larger dog on acreage.

Here is a partial list of new experiences that your puppy could be introduced to:

In conclusion, exposure is important, your puppy needs to experience a wide variety of people, place, objects and noises to become a confident dog.

Your puppy does not need to interact with all the people and animals they meet, some they need to ignore.

Puppy Socialization - Adventures of Nudge

Download your copy of “Puppy Socialization Chart”

New Experience Exposure Uncertain or Confident New Experience Exposure Uncertain or Confident
Handling   Places  
Being picked up Confident Beach, Parks Confident 
Brushed Confident  Shops, malls, cafes Confident  
Patted  Uncertain Vet surgery Confident 
Nails clipped (or pretend touch)  Uncertain Sliding & automatic doors Confident 
Teeth examined Confident  Friends places Confident 
Ears examined Confident  Enclosed spaces, crate  
People/animals   Schools  
Men  Uncertain Streets, parking lots, Confident 
Women Confident  train stations, bus stops  
Children  Uncertain Festivals, parties  
Babies   Stairs. Elevators  
Elderly people Confident  Sounds  
Groups, Crowds Confident  Doorbells  
People with disabilities Confident  Playing, singing, laughing Confident 
People with glasses Confident  Babies crying Confident 
People with hats, helmets Confident  Dogs barking Confident 
 Men with facial hair, masks  Confident  kitchen appliances  Uncertain
Postmen   hair-dryers  Uncertain
Dogs (all shapes & sizes)  Confident  Power tools, Drills, saws  
Cats, other pets  Confident  Thunderstorms  Confident 
Birds, chickens  Confident  Fireworks  Confident 
Horses, cattle, sheep, pigs   Garbage trucks  Confident 
Objects   Skateboards  Confident 
Umbrellas  Confident  Planes  Confident 
Trolleys, prams  Confident  Sirens  Confident 
Wheelchairs, walkers, canes  Confident  Instruments, concerts  
Cars, 4×4  Confident  Loud TV  Confident 
Motorcycles, bicycles  Confident  Surfaces  
Buses, trucks, trains   Slippery  
Skateboards, scooters  Confident  Carpet  Confident 
Wheelie bins, wheelbarrows  Confident  Unstable  Uncertain
Lawn Mower, vacuum cleaner  Confident  Puddles  Confident 
Broom, mop  Confident  Slopes  
Balloons, banners, flags  Confident  Rough, stones, sand  Confident 
Fires, smoke, BBQs   Grass (wet & dry)  Confident 
Statues, fountains, lawn gnomes  Uncertain Roads  Confident 
Toys with lights or sounds  Confident  Walking on grates  

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