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The Ultimate Puppy Socialization Exposure Checklist

Updated: May 27, 2021

The goal of socialization is to get your pup accustomed to and comfortable with the world around him. It takes time and planning to manage your puppy’s social life but it’s very important since it can have a positive/negative influence on any of their interactions for the rest of their lives. A well-socialized dog is a happy dog.

You want to teach your dog that the world is a happy and safe place for them. Take your puppy into situations where you can control the environment to a reasonable degree. Small social gatherings, controlled groups of children, and well-run force-free puppy classes are. The more relaxed your puppy is, the better.

Here’s the ultimate checklist of puppy socialization ideas:


  • Infants and toddlers

  • Older kids and teenagers

  • Adults and elderly ones

  • Men and women

  • People of different ethnicities and races

  • People with sunglasses, hats, hoods, backpacks and umbrellas

  • People in uniforms like police and medical workers

  • People with canes, crutches or in wheelchairs

  • People of different sizes (big, small, short and tall)

People doing activities:

  • Running

  • Throwing and playing with balls

  • Standing on a ladder

  • Using tools and power tools included

  • Vacuuming

  • Carrying bags and boxes

  • Swimming

Other animals:

  • Other dogs of different sizes and ages

  • Cats

  • Horses

  • Chickens

  • Squirrels

  • Birds

  • Any other animals your dog might come in contact with

Moving Things:

  • Bicycles

  • Skateboards/scooters

  • Kites

  • Motorcycles

  • Cars

  • Trucks


  • Your vehicle

  • The veterinarian’s office

  • Parks

  • Beaches

  • Shopping areas

  • Other people’s houses

  • The groomer's

  • Sidewalks with cars passing by


  • Doorbells

  • Vacuums

  • Babies crying and kids playing

  • Wind, thunder and heavy rain

  • Fireworks

  • Trucking backing up

  • Blow dryers


  • Touching for vet visits (ears, feet, mouth, etc.)

  • Grooming

  • Taking things from them (their toys, blanket, etc.)

  • Handling their food

  • Water splashing on them and being bathed

Remember that this is a process. Don’t expose your puppy to everything at once so you don’t overwhelm them. Have treats, praise and lots of love ready to make it a joyful experience.

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