Socializing Your New Puppy





new puppy, puppy socialization, introducing new puppy, new pet, behavior

My new addition, Gidget

Welcome back to Tales & Tails with Dr. Andrea Ferrell.

As a lot of you know, I’ve recently added another small furry ball of crazy to my family. She’s a 17 week old French Bulldog/Shih tzu mix and she’s hilarious. Apparently a “breeder” had decided to “hybridize” the two breeds, but when they arrived, she unfortunately didn’t think they were cute enough to sell at a premium and dumped the four puppies. Luckily, Midwest Animal Rescue was kind enough to take them in and find them homes. So here I am with the first puppy I’ve had in twenty years and it’s been quite the adventure over the last couple months. Going through all the puppy training myself for the first time in a long time, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reprint this blog from last year. And I’ll be taking my own advice as well! :)


We’ve had several new puppies join our Perimeter family over the last few months! If you’ve been through a new puppy appointment with us, you know we take a lot of time just talking about caring for your new family member. We discuss nutrition, preventative care, vaccines, house training, kennel training, and anything else you have questions about. One very important thing we focus on at Perimeter is socializing your puppy during the critical developmental periods. Socialization is something that’s easy to overlook as you’re learning about feeding and wellness care and trying to develop a new routine that incorporates all the walks, play time, and potty breaks your new friend needs. But socialization is just as important to your puppy’s health as feeding the right food and giving the correct vaccines.


Pet Health Network has provided some great information on new puppy needs and this link is well worth a read. In addition, Dr. Regehr has put together a great socialization checklist that we include in all our puppy kits. Take a look at the list and make sure you’re covering all your bases when it comes to puppy socialization. And of course, any time you have questions, feel free to give us a call and we’re always happy to help.




At Perimeter Veterinary Center we are committed to all aspects of your puppy’s health, including the development of good social behaviors.  Sometimes pet families can be surprised by their adult dog’s response to new people or places.  This is typically not related to a previous bad experience, but a lack of exposure during the critical social development time as puppies.  We’ve accumulated a list of items we recommend puppies to be exposed to in the first 3 – 12 months of life.


 What type of people/animals should your puppy meet?


ð       Adults:  All ages, sizes, ethnicity, gender, and facial appearance (bald, beard, piercings)


ð       Children and babies


ð       People with accessories:  coats, bags, hats, umbrellas, glasses, towels, etc.


ð       People with medical equipment:  wheel chairs, oxygen, mobility aids


ð       Dogs (all sizes and levels of enthusiasm), cats, rabbits, caged pets (birds/rodents), horses and livestock


 Other environments different from home yard:


ð       Weather:  rain, thunderstorm, snow, wind


ð       Locations:  Pools/ponds, parks, school, busy streets, veterinary clinic, grooming facility, boarding facility, pet supply store


ð       Surfaces:  Solid surface flooring (tile, vinyl, wood), carpet, concrete, gravel, mulch, plastic, leaves, mud/dirt, sand


 Common sights and sounds at home and on walks:


ð       Moving objects:  Bikes, skateboards, runners, vehicles, planes, elevators, lawn mower, remote control toys, fans, garage doors, balloons


ð       Sounds:  Cars, horns, alarms, phones, fireworks, thunder, party, children playing, musical instruments/singing, gunshots, sirens, radio/television


ð       Handling:  Leashes, collars, harnesses, reaching toward face/head, open mouth, handling ears for cleaning, handling feet for nail trimming, being held/restrained, confinement, brushing, bathing and drying


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