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  • Writer's pictureCaryl Wolff

Precursor to Puppy Socialization - One Hour in the Lives of My Dogs

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

two scruffy white dogs
We need to learn the sights, sounds, and smells of our neighborhood.

One Hour in the Lives of My Dogs

Before we get to puppy socialization, I want to illustrate one day – actually one hour in my and my dogs’ lives. They are adults, and I walk them three or four times a day for about one hour total time. During that time, every day they encounter new experiences.

A brief explanation – technically, this is not puppy socialization but habituation. “Puppy socialization” refers to puppies meeting other animals – humans included! Since almost everyone misuses the term “puppy socialization,” I have used that term for simplification.

Just for fun, I decided to inventory only the things that I noticed that were different from the day before, things I saw and heard and to some extent smelled. Our dogs’ perception of the world is different from ours because their primary sense is smell while ours is sight. I have included here things that I saw and to a lesser extent smelled.

I have included ages and races of people because each encounter is different for our dogs. Dogs can tell how old someone is both by looking at their size and by their scent. Dogs may also be able to identify people by their race because different races may eat different core foods, which smell differently to dogs (although many of us including myself eat anything that tastes good and have a multi-cultural palate!).

How Walks Contribute to Puppy Experiences

  • Someone going through the garbage looking for plastic bottles

  • Homeless man

  • Man on a bicycle exercising his Akita

  • Pile of leaves

  • Bike tied to lamp post

  • Bird poop

  • Crows flying and pecking at grass

  • Middle aged man walking small black dog

  • The smell of coffee brewing

  • Older woman walking two Yorkies

  • Young Caucasian woman walking black and white aggressive mid-sized dog

  • Hispanic man walking French bulldog

  • Asian woman walking Shiba Inu

  • Teenage male with baseball cap on skateboard

  • Candy bar wrapper

  • Motorcycle

  • Garbage truck

  • Hispanic woman walking little boy to school

  • African-American female school crossing guard

  • For Rent sign

  • Styrofoam plate on the ground

  • Fast food cup with straw

  • Young Caucasian man getting into car

  • Asian man opening trunk of car

  • Newly-planted flowers

  • Garbage cans set at the curb for pickup

  • Sprinklers watering grass

  • Metal security door closing

  • Teenage girl talking on phone

  • Cigarette butts on the ground

  • Middle-aged woman smoking

  • Blind Asian woman with service dog

  • Large branch broken and hanging from the tree

  • Shopping cart on the sidewalk

  • Old sofa by the curb

  • Dogs barking from a balcony

  • Three elderly men jogging down the street

  • Car racing down the street

  • Old baby seat left outside

  • The smell of baking bread

  • Tow truck

  • Man pushing vacuum cleaner

  • Crumpled up paper on the ground (People seem to be slobs in my neighborhood…….)

  • Motorcycle

  • Teenage girl washing car on the lawn (honest!)

  • Old newspapers

  • Candy wrappers

  • Dog barking from inside a house

  • African-American female postal worker pushing cart

  • Two men working on car engine

  • The smell of grilling chicken

  • Apartment for rent sign

  • Trees being trimmed

  • Wood chipper

  • Car backfiring

  • Horns honking

  • Palm fronds on ground

Again, these were different experiences from the previous day, included pretty much in the order that they happened as we were walking. My dogs took them in stride because they are exposed to novel events every day.

There are many, many things that I have omitted, the first one coming to mind is the different cars and trucks that passed us were definitely not the same nor were they in the same order as yesterday – and, of course, the smells. But you get the picture.

Please read my other articles on puppy socialization and training.

Thanks for visiting Precursor to Puppy Socialization - One Hour in the Lives of My Dogs. I make a small commission on any products or books I recommend.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It does not replace a consultation with a dog trainer, dog behavior consultant, or veterinarian and may not be used to diagnose or treat any conditions in your dog.

If you need help with puppy or dog training, we do both private in-person and virtual lessons via Zoom. Please contact us by calling or texting (310) 804-2392 or sending an email to . We look forward to working with you.


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