Socializing your Puppy? New Puppy Exposure & Socialization Checklist

8 week old golden retriever puppy in a box. Puppy announcement photo

Download the puppy exposure checklist below to be ready for your new dog! Early Puppy Exposure and Socialization is important for a well adjusted dog. Bringing home a new puppy home is a big deal – you suddenly become entirely responsible for a ball of fur that relies entirely on you for guidance. Now what? Puppy Socialization is our number one priority. Whether you are buying a puppy or adopting from a shelter, enjoy this checklist of what to socialize your new puppy to during those first few months. Please note; the word exposure refers to things like sounds and sights while socialization refers to interactions with people and dogs – we may accidentally use the words interchangeably in the case of this post as both are very important but there is a difference in the dog training world. We aren’t professional trainers so please always remember to check with professionals if you have any issues.

Download our full list of sounds & sights your puppy should be exposed to in the crucial socialization window
DOWNLOAD: Puppy Exposure Checklist

Socialization & Exposure with your new Puppy: New Puppy Checklist

There are varying puppy socialization and exposure methods, but we always raise our puppies to maximize exposure and desensitization. A sheltered puppy is more likely to turn into a poorly adapted adult. The risk of a poorly socialized dog has led us to expose our puppies to the outdoors from day one. Here are the guidelines that we choose to follow by the guidance of our vet and trainers:

  • We always speak to our vet prior to exposing our undervaccinated dogs to the city streets to make sure there haven’t been any recent parvo or disease outbreaks.
  • We keep the walks to clean streets and carry the dog in a bag for the remainder of the time.
  • We introduce our puppies to hundreds of humans and friendly vaccinated dogs as soon as we bring them home. Vaccinated dogs are least likely to be carriers of the diseases that are most dangerous to puppies.
  • We send our puppy to puppy day school and attend puppy playgroups in our area to allow our puppy to play with other dogs.
  • We introduce our puppy to all types of sounds, sights & surfaces

download the puppy socialization checklist. 8 week old golden retriever puppy in a box. Puppy announcement photo. Puppy wearing a crown and looking at the camera.

Why Socialize Your Puppy?

Luckily, animal behaviorists have already done extensive research on the benefits of early socialization. It is undeniable that puppies benefit from early exposure & socialization but the extent of exposure depends on how comfortable the handler is with the risks of the outside world. It is up to the handler to determine whether the low risk of disease is worth the unlimited benefits of socialization. Puppies with extensive early socialization become better adapted adults – they are more comfortable around new and unexpected things, and have a better grasp of social cues.

During the first few months of life, our dogs are eager to experience new things. Their brains are taking in and learning from every new experience. Scientists have determined that this socialization window closes by the time they reach around 16 weeks of age. Until then, they are shaped into their future selves with every interaction. Not convinced? read more on the benefits of early socialization in the links below.

Where to socialize your puppy in San Francisco: Puppy Playgroups and Puppy Training Classes in San Francisco

San Francisco has a lot of great options for socializing young puppies. A quick Google search will allow you to determine if these options are available near you. Check out new puppy training classes as well! Here are our favorite San Francisco puppy socials:

SF Puppy Prep
Bravo! Pup
Here, Doggy

golden retriever puppy in basket with a pink throw blanket. english cream golden

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