Well I am looking for the next dog to be great in the performance venue so I have been keeping an updated list on what to do. Dora is great listening but she is very submissive and has "issues" working far away from me. Dora was bought as a pet and I socialized her a lot but at 6 months, she had a lot of her personality developed. We had to do a lot of back work in socialization.
A woman on my agility list posted this for what she thought is the way best way to socialize pups that are going into performance homes (dogs that will work well with people, be inquisitive, social, and outgoing). Warning it is a bit long so if you want just skim it
Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy. Each
encounter should include treats and lots of praise. Slow down and
add distance if your puppy is scared!
By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have:
(If your puppy is over 12 weeks start right away with this
Experienced 12 different surfaces: wood, woodchips, 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 & small balls,
hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper or cardboard
items, milk jugs, metal items, car keys, etc.......
Experienced 12 different locations: front yard (daily), other
people's homes, school yard, lake, pond, river, boat, basement,
elevator, car, moving car, garage, laundry room, kennel,
veterinarian hospital (just to say hi & visit, lots of cookies, no
vaccinations) , grooming salon (just to say hi), 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,
Exposed to 12 different noises (ALWAYS keep positive and watch
puppy's comfort level – we don't want the puppy scared): garage door
opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks,
Harley motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts
rolling, power boat, clapping, loud singing, pan dropping, horses
neighing, vacuums, lawnmowers, birthday party, etc…
Exposed to 12 fast moving objects (don't allow to chase):
skateboards, roller-skates, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, people
running, cats running, scooters, vacuums, children running, children
playing soccer, squirrels, cats, horses running, cows running, etc…
Experienced 12 different challenges: climb on, in, off and around a
box, go through a cardboard tunnel, climb up and down steps, climb
over obstacles, play hide & seek, go in and out a doorway with a
step up or down, exposed to an electric sliding door, umbrella,
balloons, walk on a wobbly table (plank of wood with a small rock
underneath), jump over a broom, climb over a log, bathtub (and bath)
Handled by owner (& family) 12 times a week: hold under arm (like a
football), hold to chest, hold on floor near owner, hold in-between
owner's legs, hold head, look in ears, mouth, in-between toes, hold
and take temperature (ask veterinarian) , hold like a baby, trim toe
nails, hold in lap, etc…
Eaten from 12 different shaped containers: wobbly bowl, metal,
cardboard box, paper, coffee cup, china, pie plate, plastic, frying
pan, Kong, Treatball, Bustercube, spoon fed, paper bag, etc......
Eaten in 12 different locations: back yard, front yard, crate,
kitchen, basement, laundry room, bathroom, friend's house, car,
school yard, bathtub, up high (on work bench), under umbrella,
Played with 12 different puppies (or safe adult dogs) as much as
Left alone safely, away from family & other animals (5-45 minutes)
12 times a week.
Experienced a leash and collar 12 different times in 12 different
Positive Paws Dog Training ©2002 – Margaret Hughes
Adapted with permission from Pat Schaap's "RULE OF 7's" for 7 week