The Rule of Sevens in Puppy Training - Pet Hub USA

The Rule of Sevens in Puppy Training

Share this Article:

Have you ever heard of the Rule of Sevens? It’s a rule of thumb for training puppies and helps you keep them socialized and ready for anything. If you follow this rule, your puppy has a better chance of growing up to be a socialized, well-behaved dog.

What is the Rule of Sevens?

Brown and Black German Shepherd Puppy Sitting on Gray Textile
Photo by Torsten Dettlaff on Pexels

The Rule of Sevens is a series of socialization guidelines for a puppy. It includes several milestones your puppy should have reached by the time they’ve reached seven weeks old. If you hit these milestones, you can expect your dog to have a good personality as they grow up.

Been in Seven Different Locations

brown long coated small dog
Photo by sq lim on Unsplash

Your puppy needs to have seen seven different locations aside from home by the time they’re seven weeks old. Even if that’s just the backyard, front yard, neighbor’s house, car, dog park, vet’s office, and pet store, exposing them to these different environments will help show them the great wide world isn’t scary.

Eaten from Seven Different Containers

brown french bulldog in yellow shirt holding blue ceramic mug
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Make your puppy more adaptable by having them eat from seven different containers at mealtimes. It’s important to keep their food the same, though. Dogs, and especially puppies, really like routines and schedules. Stick to vet-approved puppy chow.

Met at Least Seven People

selective focus photography of puppy on sweater
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Some dog owners are scared of having new people around their precious puppy. However, you need to let your dog meet at least seven people who aren’t you before they reach seven weeks old. If you don’t, they might never learn to trust other people!

Been for a Seven Mile Car Ride

a dog sticking its tongue out of a car window
Photo by Judy Beth Morris on Unsplash

Riding in the car is just a part of life for dogs. Between going to the groomer, the vet, and the dog park, your dog is going to need to learn how to be a good passenger. Make sure to take them for at least one ride in the car for at least seven miles before they turn seven weeks old.

Want more pet content and exclusive offers? Sign up for our newsletter today!

Been in a Crate Seven Times

a small black and white dog sleeping on a couch
Photo by Julie Marsh on Unsplash

Being in a crate is also part of being a dog. Not all dogs can sleep in the bed with their owners all the time. Sure, your puppy might be adorable when they sleep on your pillow, but when they grow up that might not be feasible. Get them used to the crate early.

Played with Seven Different Toys

short-coated black and white puppy playing on gray sands
Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

Don’t let your dog get too possessive and attached when it comes to toys. Mix their toys up and let them play with a wide variety of different toys so they can experience positive playtime and also not develop unhealthy attachments to objects.

Been Exposed to Seven Contexts

white dog and gray cat hugging each other on grass
Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

This one might be a bit strange at first glance. By “contexts,” we mean that your dog should have been in places with different “feels,” like the store, the vet’s office, large public gatherings, the dog park, and so forth. This one is usually covered at the same time as the tip that they encounter seven different locations, but it’s good to double-check.

Read More: New Puppy Housetraining Tips

Had Solo Playtime Seven Times

four assorted-color puppies on window
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

You should make sure you play with your puppy without other dogs around them at least seven times before they turn seven. You don’t want them to only feel comfortable with playtime when their siblings or parents are around, so give them plenty of hands-on playtime without them nearby.

Read More: 10 Tips to Stop Puppy Biting

What if You’re Too Late?

white and brown long coat large dog
Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

If you miss any of these benchmarks, you’re not going to have a “broken” dog. It just means you might have to spend some more time training them to be sociable as they get older! As long as you’re a patient and kind owner and you give them lots of positive reinforcement, your dog is going to turn out fine.

Read More: 10 Things Every New Puppy Owner Should Do

Share this Article:

Providing expert tips, practical advice, and personalized product recommendations for happy and healthy pets. Part of the Castaway Studios media network.

As an Amazon Associate, PetHub USA earns from qualifying purchases.

Scroll to Top