Customized Dog Training Services to meet
and Your Dog’s Unique Needs

Puppy Socialization Checklist

Puppy socialization is essential to raising a happy and well-balanced dog. Use this Puppy Socialization Checklist to help you socialize your puppy.

Proper puppy socialization is a critical component to raising a happy and well-balanced dog. A puppy’s formative period has a direct correlation to their long-term well-being. It is imperative that you provide proper socialization to your puppy between 8 weeks and 16 weeks of age.  Below is a Puppy Socialization Checklist to help you get started.

When socializing a puppy, it’s critical that all interactions be positive, however do not stop socialization just because of one of a few non positive experiences. Keep on socializing as you will have more frequent positive experiences.  Socialization is with a variety of people, objects, noises, settings, etc. it will help develop their confidence, ability to handle stress, and overall knowledge of the world.

Below is a list of various elements that a dog will encounter though out life. Use your discretion to determine with is safe and appropriate for your puppy. You can also note your dog’s response to each exposure: Ex. displays of aggression (growl, bark, lunge), Avoidance, Freezing, Calm/Relaxed, Able to Take Treats, etc. If your dog display and aggression, avoidance, freezing, do not stop socializing keep on going and do not reward the aggression, avoidance freezing. Contact Value Dog Training and schedule a training session to stop the aggression, avoidance and or freezing.

In conjunction to socializing with items on the list you also want to incorporate sound effects to help positively condition your puppy to noises.

Touch & Handling:

    Checking Ears

    Examining Teeth and Gums

    Squeezing Paws

    Trimming Toenails

    Holding Puppy in Your Arms

    Holding in Your Lap

    Laying Puppy on its Back for a Bell Rub

    Grabbing Collar

    Giving a Bath

    Drying With a Towel

Unfamiliar People:

    Women / with Variations (Wearing a Hat, Scarf, Tall Women, Low Voice, etc.)

    People of Varying Ethnicities

    Men / with Variations (Wearing a Hat, Tall Men, Deep Voice, etc.)

    People Wearing Sunglasses

    People with Canes or Walkers


    People Running

    Children Playing Near By


    Well-Behaved Dog

    Well-Behaved Dog Who Will Appropriately Correct for Over-Stepping Boundaries

Not so Well- Behaved Dog

    Other Puppies

Other Animals:


    Farm Animals

    Other Household Pets

Varying Surfaces:


    Hardwood Floors, Linoleum, Tile, Marble

    Steel Surfaces (Manhole Covers or Vet Scales)

    Elevated Surfaces

    Uneven Surfaces

    Stairs of Different Material (Wood, Concrete, Steel, etc.)

    Wet Grass


Objects With Wheels:



    Garbage Cans

    Shopping Carts

    Baby Strollers

    Wheel Chairs



    Busses/Large Trucks


Man-Made Objects & Buildings:

    Pots and Pans





    Plastic Bags Blowing

    Inside Dog-Friendly Buildings

    Suburban Neighborhoods

    City Streets

And everything around us

As I said from the beginning, positive frequent socialization between 8-16 weeks of age is critical to raising a happy and healthy puppy. Exposing your puppy to various sounds and noises is also critical.

In conjunction with the above, make sure you are housebreaking your puppy, developing a bond with your dog, and utilizing Obedience Commands to Make Your Life Easier.

This information is brought to you as a public service by Value Dog Training – In Home Dog Training.

For more information, contact us at 916-201-7080 

© Value Dog Training. All Rights Reserved.