Puppies Rule of 12

The critical period of socialization ends by three months of age; this is a crucial developmental stage during which puppies lean to accept and enjoy the company of other people and other dogs.

  • Experienced 12 different surfaces:
    Wood, wood chips, carpet, tile, cement, linoleum, grass, wet grass, dirt, mud, puddles, deep pea gravel, grates, uneven surfaces, on a table, on a chair, etc.
  • Played with 12 different objects:
    Fuzzy toys, big and small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper or cardboard objects, milk jugs, metal objects, vehicle keys, etc.
  • Experienced 12 different locations:
    Front yard, backyard, other people’s homes, school yard, lake, pond, river, boat, basement, elevator, car, moving vehicle, storage, laundry room, kennel, veterinarian, grooming salon, etc.
  • Met and played with 12 new people (outside of family):
    include children, adults (mostly men), elderly adults, people in wheelchairs, walkers, people with canes, crutches, hats, sunglasses, and many others.
  • Exposed to 12 specific noises (Always keep positive; watch puppies comfort level):
    Garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks, Harley motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, loud singing, pan dropping, horses neighing, vacuums, lawnmower, birthday party, etc.
  • Exposed to 12 fast moving objects (don’t allow to chase):
    Skateboards, roller-skates, bicycles, bikes, people jogging, scooters, vacuums, kids running, squirrels, cats, etc.
  • Experienced 12 different challenges:
    Climb on, in, off and around a box, go through a cardboard tunnel, climb up and down steps, jump over barriers, play hide and seek, go in and out a doorway with a step up or down, balloons, walk on a wobbly desk (plank of timber with a small rock beneath), jump over a bush, climb over a log, bath (and bathtub), etc.
  • Handled by owner (& family 12 times a week:
    Hold underarm (like a football), hold to chest, hold on floor close to owner, hold in-between owner’s legs, hold head, look in ears, mouth, in-between toes, stay and take temperature (ask veterinarian), hold like a baby, trim toenails, hold in lap, etc.
  • Eaten from 12 different containers:
    Wobbly bowl, metal, cardboard box, paper, coffee cup, china, pie plate, plastic, frying pan, Kong Toy, treat Ball, spoon fed, paper bag, etc.
  • Eaten in 12 different locations:
    Outside, the front yard, crate, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bathroom, friend’s house, car, school yard, bathtub, etc.
  • Left alone, safely, 12 times a week:
    Left alone from 5-45 minutes away from family and other animals.
  • Experienced a leash and collar 12 different times in 12 different locations