Puppy 101
5200 E Landersdale Road
Mooresville, Indiana 46158
Phone: 317-831-1869
email: vondietrichgsd@msn.com
Von Dietrich German Shepherds
The Rule of Sevens
Pat Hastings, AKC Judge and coauthor of "Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development", offers these hints for socializing very young puppies.

By the time a puppy is 7 weeks old, it should have:

  • Been on 7 different surfaces, such as: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, newspaper, etc.

  • Played with 7 different types of objects, such as: big balls, small balls, soft fabric, toys, fuzzy balls, squeaky toys, metal items, wooden items, paper/cardboard items, milk/soda jugs, etc.

  • Been in 7 different locations, including: front yard, backyard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, kennel, etc.

  • Been exposed to 7 challenges, such as: climbed in a box, climbed off a box, gone through a tunnel, climbed up steps, climbed down steps, climbed over obstacles, played hide & seek, gone in & out of a doorway with a step, etc.

  • Eaten from 7 different containers, such as: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plates, frying pan, etc.

  • Eaten in 7 different locations, such as: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bedroom, x-pen, etc.

  • Met and Played with 7 new people, including children and the elderly.



Early socialization, which includes stimulation from a variety of sources, can go a long way toward producing an outgoing, confident adult.

Puppy's Rule of 12
Margaret Hughes, owner of The Puppy's Rule of Twelve, is author of "Positive Paws Dog Training"

By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have:
(if over 12 weeks, start right away)

  • Experienced 12 different sufaces: wood, woodchips, carpet tile, cement, linoleum, grass, wet grass, dirt, mud, puddles, grates, uneven sufaces, on a table, on a chair, etc.

  • Played with 12 different objects: fuzzy toys, big & small balls, hard toys, funny sounding toys, wooden items, paper or cardboard items, milk jugs, metal items, etc.

  • Experienced 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, vet hospital (just to say hi and visit, lots of cookies, vaccinations), grooming salon (just to say hi), etc.

  • Met and Played with 12 new people: (outside of the family) include children, adults (male and female), elderly adults, people in wheelchairs/walkers, people with canes/crutches/hats/sunglasses, etc.

  • Exposed to 12 different noises: (ALWAYS keep positive and watch puppy's comfort level- we don't want puppy scared) like garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks, Harley motorcycles, skateboards, washing machines, shopping carts, power boat, clapping, pan dropping, vacuums, lawn mowers, etc.

  • Exposed to 12 fast moving objects: (Don't allow to chase) like skateboards, roller blades, bikes, motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, children running, squirrels, horses running, etc.

Make sure all experiences are safe and positive for the puppy. Each encounter should include treats and lots of praise. Slow down and add distance if your puppy is scared!