Puppy socialization diary: day 1


As you know, a major soapbox of mine is how important socialization is for puppies. When puppies arrive at 8 or 9 weeks, they’re like little sponges – ready to experience all kinds of things and primed to fit those things into their view of the world. Once they hit 12 weeks, they’ll respond to new situations, people, stimuli, and animals (including other dogs) with substantially more caution or fear. So you have to flood them with as many positive associations and different experiences as you possibly can, so they’ll have very few encounters that they don’t feel happy and comfortable with throughout their whole lives.


Friday is a SUPER happy puppy. Nothing bothers her and nothing scares her, but she’s not hyper (at least not yet!). We want to keep it that way. I could absolutely wreck her by isolating her or not exposing her to new stuff.


So I thought I’d keep a diary of what we do for the next four weeks, because having to write it down will keep me on track. Every day counts.

First walk around the apartment complex! Met three other people and a Min Pin.


At the house to work on fencing and paint the basement. Got to hang out with Bronte (who was the only big dog we brought). Met one adult, two other dogs, both male. One of the other dogs was a large breed. Got substantially covered with paint. She doesn’t have white beauty marks on her ears – that’s paint.


Was cute.


Demonstrated how quickly she could get absolutely filthy.


12 thoughts on “Puppy socialization diary: day 1

    • I know, isn’t she? She was, either intentionally or unintentionally, mirroring Bronte the whole time they were sitting there; I have a ton of pictures of them looking exactly the same. I have noticed dogs doing that a lot, and wondered how critical a communication tool it is. I am sure they were having a conversation, and I’d LOVE to know what it was.

  1. She is just the most adorable thing – especially since she’s helping you paint the low parts of the house. 🙂

    And what is Bronte’s take on all of this? Especially after having pups of her own. How about the rest of the 4-legged clan (both canine & feline)?

    • Bronte is definitely more maternal toward her than Clue is. Clue wants to PLAY! and the puppy isn’t quite ready for that. I’m not separating them, but Friday is definitely letting her know that she doesn’t appreciate being dragged around. Bronte just likes to hang out, walk together, lick her bottom, and so on. Within a very few weeks, Friday’s going to be a playing fool and Clue will be her best bud.

  2. what was that you said once, that one of Kate’s puppies was “tasty with chocolate sauce”? or was it BBQ sauce? Methinks the statement applies here. OMGosh, this puppy is sooooooooooooooooo yummy!!! You are indeed a strong woman because I could get NO work done if I had such cuteness around me, I’d just be playing with it all day 😛

  3. When we brought Lu home and introduced her to Johan they were bff’s the first moment they met. On the second day, he (very accidently) broke her leg while playing and I thought, ” #$(*!, how am I going to socialize this puppy? and follow the 100 ppl, situations,etc in a 100 days if her leg is fractured?” We had plenty of opportunities (the best being loads and loads of vet visits) and I am very thankful that she is a very happy, friendly and confident dog.

    Friday is beautiful! Enjoy socializing her, I think it is one of the best things about owning a puppy.

    • I’ve had two puppies that had similar things happen – one hurt her leg and one got pretty sick. They both turned into the BEST socialized dogs in their litters, because they had to interact so frequently with so many people.

  4. She really is very sweet. I hope the pant came out easy.

    I was wondering since I know absolutely nothing about cardis the puppies ears lay flat will they start to stand on their own as she ages or will you have to do something to make them?

    • Some puppies will stand up their ears on their own and some need taping. I’ve heard breeders make all kinds of statements about how ears that stand early always ending up too small, or ears that don’t stand up until late ending up too wide, yada yada, but I think it depends on the individual puppy and the line the puppy comes from. Bronte’s puppies had small, pointy ears that stood on their own (except for a few of them) and then their ears grew like crazy and got giant and round and are not at all too small. That’s what Bronte herself did, so it didn’t surprise me. Clue’s ears needed taping but only for a few days. This puppy looks like she’s going to try to get the bases up on her own but I’ll tape them if she hasn’t put them up by about 10 weeks old. Some people tape really early (8 weeks) but I like to wait until the cartilage is a little stronger. Others don’t tape until 14 or even 16 weeks, but I get scared that they’re going to harden in the down position if I wait that long. Obviously, it’s not a hard and fast set of rules or processes.

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