(Seven by Seven)
This is a practice that we use with our puppies to be sure they are well socialized so when you take them home, you'll have fewer problems with them acclimating into your household. A well socialized pup is easier trained, less afraid of new people, places and experiences. We start this with all of our pups at 3-4 weeks of age and make sure each pup gets plenty of time with people as soon as their eyes are ears are open. Before two weeks of age, a puppy is both blind and deaf. He relies solely on his sense of smell and of course touch. We do not like to cause excessive stress on either the pups or their mother, so we do not handle them more than twice daily. But we always handle them and turn them upside down, right side up and belly up twice daily so they get used to being handled by humans, even before they can see us. All of these simple steps play an extremely important role in proper socialization of a puppy.
All puppies should go through the puppy socialization called the “Rule of Seven.”
By the time a puppy is seven months old he should have:
1. Been on seven different types of surfaces:
The different surfaces could include carpet, linoleum, tile, grass, gravel, wood, concrete, dirt, and vinyl.
2. Exposed to seven different types of material:
Different objects could
be from big to small balls, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, metal items, and soft
fabric toys, sticks, etc.
3. Been in seven different locations:
Front and back yard, basement, kitchen, car, bathroom, living room, buildings, and garage are different locations.
4. Met and played with seven new people:
Children and older adults or someone in a wheelchair or walker are good examples of new people they should meet, when possible.
5. Been exposed to seven challenges:
Some challenges are: having to climb over obstacles, go up and down stairs, going through a tunnel, and playing hide and seek.
6. Eaten from seven different containers:
The containers that they should eat from could be plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper.
7. Eaten in seven different locations:
They could eat from inside a crate, living room, bathroom, kitchen, various places in the yard, the basement, etc.
Puppies should always be exposed to a variety of people, places, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures while they are still developing. A new stimulus should be introduced to the puppy about every four to seven days and the puppy will could act differently to each one.