The Rule of 7's helps to create a dog that does not stress as easily and that is more accepting and adaptable to new stimulation and situations. The Rule of 7's as published by Pat Schaap - Puppy Development: Another Piece Of The Puzzle By the time a puppy is seven weeks old, he/she should have: 1. Been on 7 different types of surfaces - carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, etc. 2. Played with 7 different types of objects - big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper or cardboard items, metal item, sticks or hose pieces, etc. 3. Been in 7 different locations - front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, etc. 4. Met and played with 7 new people - children, older adults, someone with a cane or walking stick, som 5. Been exposed to 7 challenges - climb on a box, climb off a box, go through a tunnel, climb steps, go down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide and seek, go in and out of a doorway, run around a fence, etc. 6. Eaten from 7 different containers - metal, plastic, cardboard, glass, china, pie plate, frying pan, etc. 7. Eaten in 7 different locations - crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom, etc.
We have added a few additional items to this list - we expose the puppies to different noises: car horns,screeching brakes, different types of music, loud voices, (these are mostly provided by specialized recordings radio).
We use Behavior Conditioning beginning at around 4-5 weeks of age, giving a verbal cue for noted behaviors in puppies - simply put, when we see the puppy sit, we say the word "Sit". Done enough times, the puppy automatically links our saying of the word to the specific behavior and performs on cue. This is by far the easiest way to train puppies.
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