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Rules of 12

The Rules of 12 is a guideline intended to help you to expose your puppy to lots of novel objects, environments, sights and sounds. Learning that novel things are exciting and fun will make your puppy more confident in new environments and when something unexpected happens. Properly socialising your puppy means you will end up with a dog you can take anywhere and everywhere with you.

Keep in mind that these are suggestions. What you choose to expose your puppy to will depend on what you're planning to use your dog for, and whether you live in the city, suburbs or in the country. 

If your puppy is worried about anything you expose her to, make sure you take the time to make it a positive experience. Scaring your puppy is not beneficial.

To properly socialise your puppy, the puppy should:

Experience 12 different surfaces: wood, wood chips, carpet, tile, cement, linoleum, grass, dirt, mud, puddles, deep pea gravel, grates, uneven surfaces, table, chair, etc.

Play with 12 different objects:   fuzzy toys, big balls, small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, plastic toys, rubber toys, paper, cardboard, wooden toys, milk cartons, metal items, car keys, etc...

Experience 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 (just to say Hi and visit for treats, no vaccinations), grooming salon (just to say Hi), etc.

Met and played with 12 new people (outside of family), including: children, adults (mostly men), elderly adults, people in wheelchairs, walkers, people with canes, crutches, hats, sunglasses, patches, masks, umbrellas, etc... 

Exposed to 12 different noises: Always remain positive and watch puppy's comfort level.  garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, baby crying/screaming, big trucks, motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts rolling, power boat, clapping, loud singing, pan dropping, vacuums, lawnmowers, animal noises, machines, etc.

Exposed to 12 fast moving objects (don't allow to chase): skateboards, motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, vacuums, children running, dogs running, squirrels, horses running, etc.

Experience 12 different challenges:  climb on, in, off and around a box, go through a tunnel, climb up and down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide & seek, expose to an electric sliding door (e.g. pet store), umbrella, balloons, walk on a wobbly table (plank of wood with a small rock underneath), jump over a broom, climb over a leg, bathtub (and bath), etc...  

Handled minimum of 12 times a day (by owner/family):  hold under arm (like a football), hold to chest, hold on floor near owner, hold in-between owner's legs, hold head, hold toes, hold like a baby, hold in lap, trim toe nails, etc.

Eat from 12 different shaped containers:  wobbly bowl, metal, cardboard box, paper, coffee cup, china, pie plate, plastic, frying pan, Kong, treatball, Bustercube, spoon fed, paperbag, etc.

Eat in 12 different locations:  backyard, frontyard, crate, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bathroom, friend's house, car, school yard, bathtub, up high (work bench - supervised of course), under umbrella, etc.

Play with 12 different puppies, or safe adult dog. 

Be left alone safely, away from family & other animals (5 to 45 minutes) 12 times a week.

Experience a  leash and collar 12 different times in 12 different locations.



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