The Rule of Twelve

Not sure where this came from originally, but it’s a good guide for all puppy raisers and pet owners. By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old (or as soon as you can) it should have experienced the following:

  • 12 Different surfaces to walk on—Wood, mulch, carpet, tile, cement, linoleum, wet grass, dirt, mud, puddles, deep pea gravel, grates, sand, uneven surfaces, grooming table, etc.
  • 12 Different locations to potty on—see above
    Play with 12 different objects—fuzzy toys, large and small balls, hard rubber toys, toys with funny sounds, milk jugs, metal items, keys, etc. (Service dogs, please no wood or paper)
  • 12 Different locations—your yard, other people’s homes, school, lake, pond, river, boat, basement, elevator, different cars, garage, laundry room, vet, etc.
  • Met and played with 12 new people outside of your family—kids, adults, elderly, different ethnicities, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches, hats, sunglasses, etc.
  • Exposed to 12 different noises—Be aware of your pup’s body language, please do not put your puppy toward any noise. Garage door opener, doorbell, kids playing, babies crying, trucks, motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts, boat motor, clapping, singing, live music, pots and pans, animal noises, vacuums, lawnmower, etc.
  • 12 Different fast moving objects—do not allow your puppy to chase! Skateboards, rollerblades, running kids, bikes, motor cycles, cars, runners, cats running, squirrels, scooters, birds, etc.
  • 12 Different challenges—climb into a box, through a tunnel, up and down stairs (short ones) obstacles, Fitpaws equipment, through doorways, sliders, umbrella, balloons, wobble boards, over a log, tub, etc.
  • Handled by owner and family, 12 times a week—hold under arm, to chest, hold on floor, hug, hold head, examine ears, feet, mouth, toes, trim nails.
  • Eaten from 12 different containers—wobbly bowl, metal, cardboard box, paper cup, pie plate, china, frying pan, kong, treat ball, spoon, hand, paper bag, grocery bag, travel bowls, etc.
  • Eaten in 12 different locations—kitchen, outside, all rooms of home, etc. (Service dogs, on a field trip)
  • Played with 12 different puppies or safe adult dogs.
  • Left alone safely in crate, away from family and other animals from 5 to 45 minutes, 12 times a week