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Your puppy is going through numerous critical development phases; physically, mentally and emotionally. 

My advice is that your puppy meet and interact with many different people and enjoy the experience in the safest way possible.

  • Keep it short, before the puppy tires and becomes grumpy. Include babies, toddlers, young children, teenagers, adults, elderly people, etc. Your puppy should meet new people every day with maximum positive reinforcement.


  • Invite neighbors, friends and relatives to your home to interact with your puppy after your puppy has settled in your home with your family members.

  • Take your puppy out and about in the big, wide world even if he is not fully vaccinated yet.

    • In my experience, the chance of contracting Parvovirus in areas that a clean, well kept and where dogs are vaccinated and well-cared-for, is nominal. The greater risk is in raising a puppy who cannot cope with the world around him.  

    • We just want it done in the safest way possible to minimize exposer to harmful viruses and bacteria.

  • Ensure the puppy’s experiences are enjoyable. If the puppy becomes panicked at any point, the stimulation is too intense and must be reduced immediately. A panicked puppy will be developing sensitivity, rather than desensitization.

  • Reintroduce the scary stimulus on another occasion at the lowest intensity possible, with the greatest positive reinforcement and then gradually increase.

Example: Rather than taking puppy to a busy road of trucks, buses, cars and motorbikes; start down a side street where

the distance from the busy road greatly reduces the intensity.

• Absolutely avoid off-lead dog parks or any place dogs would normally frequent. No “ifs” or “buts”; stay away from them!

  • Avoid interactions with other puppies or adolescent dogs. They have not fully developed their own emotional self-regulation to ensure a beneficial experience for your new puppy who also lacks development in this respect.

• Some interaction with adult dogs is beneficial if they are also in or around your home and know the extensive whereabouts and vaccine history. See our pamphlet on Introducing you Puppy to your Resident Dog.

Age Appropriate Socialization Chart

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