7 Reasons Dogs Develop Behavior Problems


Next time you find yourself saying the words “bad dog,” you might want to take a step back and think about what’s really behind that undesirable behavior. Dogs exhibit “bad” behavior for a variety of reasons, from lack of exercise to health issues, and addressing the root cause of the issue can help. Below are seven reasons dogs develop behavior problems:

1. Lack of Exercise:
A tired dog is usually a happy dog, and one that’s less likely to chew up your shoes or bark at the mailman. A lot of owners don’t realize that a stroll around the block isn’t enough physical stimulation to ward of problem behavior. A run, an afternoon at doggy daycare, or a game of fetch is necessary for many dogs to get the proper amount of exercise. Speak with your vet about the right amount of physical activity for your individual dog.

2. Lack of Mental Stimulation:
Just as crucial as physical activity, dogs need mental activity to keep them at their best behavior. Work on some training or try a food puzzle toy to ensure balanced mental health and help deter unwanted behavior.

3. Health Problems:
If your dog starts displaying an uncharacteristic problem behavior, like aggression or using the bathroom indoors, it’s very possible that a health issue could be to blame. Any painful condition, from arthritis to an ear infection, can cause a dog to act out aggressively. A urinary tract infection could be the culprit for your dog’s sudden inability to hold it while you’re away. Be sure to discuss any sudden changes in behavior with your vet to rule out possible health issues.

4. Inconsistency:
If you let your dog jump up on you in your everyday clothes, but scold him when you’re dressed up, this sends an unclear message. Inconsistency can also come in the form of everyone in the household not being on the same page about the rules. To ensure inconstancy doesn’t hinder your pup’s good behavior, work on training on a regular basis and be sure that the whole family is in agreement about expectations.

5. Lack of Socialization:
Not having enough experience with other people, animals, and experiences outside of the home can result in fearful or aggressive behavior. Puppies should be exposed to a variety of experiences at a young age to develop healthy social skills. If you’re adopting an adult dog, speak with the shelter staff to determine what kind of training and exposure is recommended (many adoptable dogs have great social skills, while other may need a little work).

6. Disruption of Routine:
Changes in routine can cause canine stress, which can lead to undesirable behaviors as a coping mechanism. Whenever something major happens in your household, whether it be a new four-legged addition or a move, keep your pet’s wellbeing in mind. Stick to your dog’s regular feeding and walking routine, offer comfort items like toys  and a soft bed, and be sure to spend a lot of quality time together to help combat anxiety.

7. Genetics:
Although proper training and socialization can help curb some genetic traits, some breeds are just more prone to certain behaviors than others. For example, terriers are more likely to try to chase that neighborhood cat because of their prey instinct, and hounds are likely to express themselves by howling. While these aren’t necessarily negatives and training can definitely help, potential owners should do their research about a breed’s behavior quirks before bringing a new pet home.

Bringing a New Dog Home!

October 5, 2014

Planning On Bringing a New Dog Home?

Or perhaps you’ve already brought a new dog home and are having problems?

There are several things to consider when bringing a new dog home and I’m here to tell you about a way you can make adjusting easier.

Stacie Sparks is the person I originally heard about the “Two Week Shutdown” from and she deserves much of the credit for our promoting this method. It WORKS and it’s something everyone needs to keep in mind, especially those with multi-dog homes.

What IS the Two Week Shutdown?

Here’s a break down of the basics

A very brief overview of the Two Week Shutdown is this:

Your new dog needs time to adjust and there are many scenarios that people put their new dog through that only encourage negative behaviors to surface. Dogs may be resilient creatures, but they do also need to know that we are in control of situations, that we will protect and provide for them, and give them clear expectations and routines to follow.

Two weeks is just a guideline. Most dogs advance faster but depending on the individual dog and how closely you follow the guidelines, it may take longer.

The Items You’ll Need for Success! – Read the item descriptions on WHY you need these!

Midwest Life-stages 36-by-24-by-27-inch Single-door Folding Metal Dog Crate

This will be your dog’s safe zone; the place your dog can retreat to when they need quiet time.

Guardian Gear 6-Feet Cotton Web Dog Training Lead, Red

You can find these in different lengths but 20 ft is pretty standard and really helps you to let the dog run about while still maintaining control.

Cardinal Laboratories Pet Botanics Grain-Free Rolled Dog Food, 4-Pound, Lamb

These food rolls make EXCELLENT training treats! You can cut up the rolls into slices or into little pieces – any size you want! They’re also quick to consume for the dog and a good, QUALITY item to feed your pooch!

What Does The Two Week Shutdown Mean To Me?

When you bring home a new dog, young or old, we KNOW you are so excited and you want to share your new addition with everyone you can!

Did you know that by taking your dog to pet stores, friends and families homes, dog parks, pet events, or other really busy, social settings, you may inadvertently be telling your dog to act out?

Think about this: the majority of us when put into new situations do not put all of ourselves out there. We put forth what we want people to see or think they want to see. Also, we are much more likely to withdraw from situations that make us uncomfortable. What would you do if you were on a date with someone new and they took you to meet their family who constantly hugged you, kissed you, or otherwise invaded your space? What would you do if they then took you to meet all their friends and they did the same? Would you consider your date sane? Would you consider your date someone you could trust? Sure, you liked them initially to go out with them on a first date, but wouldn’t their actions throughout that first date dictate whether you would see them again? Would you see them again if they put you in so many situations that made you uncomfortable? Consider this as well; say you had to go live with a new family who spoke a language you didn’t understand. You’ll be reserved, perhaps a bit detached. What if they doted on you, as a new family member, speaking to you in a language you don’t understand, expecting you to interact with all their family members and friends? Would you feel comfortable? Would you want to retreat to a safe place? Would you know where a safe place was? Would they give you one?

Things many people forget is that we expect our new dogs to be so accepting of everything and we put them in these very similar situations and then become alarmed when they “act out.” Your new dog is acting out or misbehaving because they don’t view you as the decision maker. Remember, to them, you are putting them in situations that make them feel uncomfortable.

Keep reading to find out how to help your dog adjust and begin to view you as the decision maker of the home and to help them put their trust in YOU, where it belongs!

So, How Do I Get Started?

Even if you’ve had your dog a few days and are beginning to notice some issues behaviorally, you can still start fresh and get them started on the shutdown.

Some things you want to keep in mind with your new dog when you first get them:

    1. A tired dog is a happy dog! Exercising your dog(s) regularly and thoroughly will help ensure they relax into their new household a little easier. Without that pent up energy, they’ve GOT to relax! However!
    2. Do not take them on walks yet. Walks provide an overabundance of stimulation and there are many variables you may encounter that you need that trust built FIRST before subjecting them to those new situations. Instead, exercise your dog in the yard on a long lead (20ft plus) and spend some time getting to know one another 🙂
    3. Do not take them to pet stores, dog parks, other people’s homes, etc. Again, these situations provide an overabundance of stimulation that your dog needs to have the trust built in you for YOU to handle the situation so they don’t have to.
    4. Keep them leashed to you at ALL times when they are not crated. Yes, even in the house and yes, even if you have a fully fenced yard. Why? It builds the precedence with them that YOU are the bringer of everything in life. Additionally, keeping them leashed to you keeps them from getting in trouble. If they aren’t housetrained, they can’t very well go run out of your line of sight and have an “accident” if you have them leashed to you huh? Or, if someone new comes in the home, keeping them leashed to you can help prevent them reinforcing undesirable behaviors like jumping on people. When the dog is leashed to you, YOU are in control. The dog WILL begin to understand this.
    5. Do not allow your new dog and your existing pets into a 24/7 free for all. Remember, your existing pets don’t know this new “intruder” and the new dog doesn’t know the routine of the home and what’s permissible. Setting a routine with the new dog first, without the full distraction of other pets will make life 1000 times easier when you begin integrating them.
    6. Do not allow your new dog furniture privileges. They haven’t earned them yet. Create a spot for them to be when they are out lounging around in each room. Furniture privileges can be given later on down the road if you so please 🙂

The Basics

When bringing your new dog home, give them a brief tour of their primary living area or the places they will be most often. Now, it’s crate time! It’s time to give the dog some time to itself to take in everything that’s happened thus far.

The crate will be used as a tool in the shutdown, not as a prison. Think of it more like their safe place. Sure, some may cry initially but with positive reinforcement (yummy crate-only treats, no coddling, etc.) they’ll learn to accept their time alone and realize, it’s not so bad! Something to remember is to NOT let the dog out of the crate while they are crying. Do NOT give in as this will only serve to reinforce their crying and barking to be let out of the crate. Being inconsistent will likely train your dog to be a screamer in the crate and that’s not what you want at all!

Special considerations should be given to dogs with Separation Anxiety. Read more about it here!

Initially, keep out of crate interactions short, just like time in the crate should be short. 20-30 minutes at a time initially will help keep interactions with you positive and help reinforce positive crate training. You will increase the time as needed as the days move forward. Little by little. You are using the crate as a way to give them a time out to collect their thoughts and to process the new information they received in their interactions with you. If this is a new and only dog, you’ll likely find that progress will move swiftly! No worries! Patience is a virtue and you will be handsomely rewarded!

For more information on integrating your new dog with existing pets, keep reading!

Have Other Pets?

Take things SLOW and easy!

When bringing home a new dog to a home with existing pets, its important to realize that everyone in the household will need time to adjust to the new living arrangements and routine. It’s important to take things very slow initially and keep things positive and upbeat.

First, let me go ahead and say that the initial meeting of the new dog with resident dog(s) needs to happen OFF your property in a quiet, neutral setting. We don’t need your resident dogs to feel the need to “protect what is theirs” without having the opportunity to get to know one another first.

Now, after the initial meeting if things go well and you choose to bring the new dog home (or this can be tweaked if you’ve already introduced some other way that wasn’t recommended here), it’s time to crate and rotate initially. I’d say for at least the first 48 hours, keep the new dog and your existing pets separated. Sure, let them sniff around. Shoot, crate them side by side (never nose to nose!) to help them get used to the other being around. But, keep at least the first 2 days for yourselves and don’t expect the new dog and existing dogs to interact and everything be hunky dory.

After the initial time has passed, do another outdoors meeting on leash first, then bring them indoors and let them further interact. KEEP LEASHES ON. This is just in case something unexpected DOES happen. You’ve got leashes on to help keep things under control. It can also help when you interject a too hyper play session to encourage the dogs to settle and relax. Keep new interactions VERY short initially. I’m talking 10-15 minutes. End things on a positive note and give the dogs time to process everything that happened. Doing things this way does a couple of things. It gives the dogs the opportunity to enjoy one another’s company without becoming overstimulated and it also gives them the desire to want MORE interaction. Sure, you might have to deal with a bit more whining from them because they want to play, but remember, YOU call the shots. Not them. Being very deliberate in the amount of time they have to play together and WHEN they get to play together sets that precedence of YOU being the person they look to for direction. And with multiple dogs, that’s what you WANT!

Over the course of a few days, slowly increase the time they are out together. Remember to end things on a positive note and be on top of their play 100% of the time. Do not allow over excited play because it can quickly amplify. If one of the dogs is walking away from play, step in and separate. Pay attention and supervise and you can help keep a peaceful multi-dog home 🙂

Make sure to monitor toys. Actually, at the very beginning of interactions, I recommend not having any toys at all for them to play with. Let the dogs learn one another first before introducing things which may be of high value to one or all. Give them the chance to realize one another’s signals for play and for agitation. It is also YOUR responsibility to learn these things as well. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Kinda confused about it all still? Read the next section about my personal experience with the Two Week Shutdown and how it helped me 🙂

Hand’s On Experience!

Deja was my first dog. I adopted her in October of 2005. We stayed a single dog home until March of 2007 when I decided I was ready for another one.

We drove out 3 hours to the rescue who had the dog we wanted and brought Deja along for the ride. She was so smitten with him at the meeting and he was just a little in his own world as he’d gotten into a tiff the day before with another dog. Because of the tiff, I left him at the rescue so as not to stress him out. A few days later, they brought him down to me and that was that 🙂

I initially let Cyrus and Deja pretty much have a free for all. I also let Cyrus have the run of the house too and lost some blinds to the experiment. I began crating him after that. 🙂

Anywho, I’d say within about 3 days, our first issue arose. Cyrus snapped at Deja over a toy. Poor Deja was SO offended and concerned that for the rest of the night she came and sat down by me. I’d picked up all the toys and began searching the internet for some immediate ideas I could put into play with the situation that was going on.

Something I feel I should let you guys know, I’m a savvy ‘net searcher and a frequent forum user. I’d joined Pit Bull Forum a few months prior and went there to explain my issues. This is where Stacie came into play and laid it down for me HARD. She point blank told me that I was moving entirely too fast and that I needed to separate the dogs and move VERY slowly.

Honestly, at the time, none of that made sense to me. Cyrus was such a laid back and chilled out kinda guy that I didn’t see why I needed to make those changes. I asked a few more questions and explained the dogs a little more and again was told that none of that mattered, I was moving too fast and that’s what the problem was.

I was skeptical at first but you know what? I had NOTHING to lose by trying it out. Well, except a dog I had just adopted and had started bonding with deeply.

The dogs immediately went on a crate and rotate schedule. What this means is that they did NOT interact with one another at all and only saw each other in passing as they were being crated and taken out individually. One crate was set up on one side of my bed and the other crate set up on the other side of the bed. I kept them separated like this for about one week. I kept each dog out for an hour at a time when I was home. I also had to work with Cyrus on his “crate issues” because he would SCREAM in his crate. Initially, I’d have to wait an hour after getting home to even remotely venture upstairs to get him to start reinforcing the “I’ll let you out when you’re quiet” routine. I thank doG Deja was so wonderful during this because she got the “short end of the stick” in waiting while he was worked with.

When we were ready to reintroduce the dogs, we took them outside for a sniff first and then brought them back in to play. We kept both dogs leashed at first and then eventually took them off when letting them play. They got about 10-15 minutes of time together then I stepped in, leashed one and took that one up stairs to be crated for quiet time and to give the other dog some one on one attention.

Over the next couple of weeks, their time out together supervised was extended. It was a slow process that WORKED. It may have taken time, however, it set the precedence of who was who in the home and what was expected of them. It was at least a month before I reintroduced toys and at the first sign of any attitude, I stepped in and took them all away.

Now, years later, they are out together when I’m home. They can have toys out and play quite well with them. The difference from then to now is REMARKABLE and so worth mentioning. Cyrus took a couple of months of conditioning with the crate but he no longer throws fits and waits quietly for the most part.

Slowing things down and setting a solid routine helped tremendously. It helped him learn who makes the decisions and it helped build the relationship between him and Deja. It helped KEEP him in his new home as it likely would have gotten out of control if I hadn’t been proactive and stepped in.

It may sound like tough work, but it’s worth it!

Duke and his thundershirt

duke2We wanted to thank Macho’s family, the Sweeney’s, for sending Duke a much needed thundershirt.

Thundershirts help dogs and cats with some anxiety in the same way that swaddling offers comfort to human babies.

What happens to fear if left untreated?

We felt it was important to share this article.

Posted originally on August 5, 2013Jennifer Cattet Ph.D. for

Barking, lunging, bolting, running away, tucking their tail, avoiding, etc. Dogs have many ways to express their fear. How we react in return will often determine whether they get over it or whether it gets worse. Some fears can be hard to explain, like my own dog who runs away as soon as I cut my own nails, but is perfectly relaxed if I cut hers… Others are quite obvious, like the reaction to fireworks or thunderstorms. Many owners tend to allow the dog to simply avoid the fearful situation, but what happens to the fear? Does it subside on its own? Does the dog ‘grow out of it’? Or can it get worse?

Wes Anderson & TD

Wes Anderson and TD


One story, that I heard from Wes Anderson, founder of Smart Animal Training Systems but also, volunteer service dog trainer, struck me as a perfect example of what can happen to fear when left untreated. Walking through the long hallways of the company he works for, he noticed that Willow, a Golden Retriever, was gradually developing resistance to going under the arched doorways. She was slowing down, hesitating and gradually needed more and more encouragement to go through. She never reacted that way before and to his knowledge, nothing unpleasant had ever happened to her under one of those doorways. He was using high value treats to help her associate them with good things coming her way and gain confidence, but saw no improvement. One day, as he was bending over to drink from one of the water fountains, he glanced at the dog. Because he would always turn his back to her, he had never noticed that Willow was scared every time he turned the water on. This water fountain made a particular sound that seemed to affect her. Over time, she had developed a strong reaction to it. As he looked around, Wes suddenly understood where her fear of the arched doorways came from. To get to this particular water fountain, they had to go through an arched doorway! Willow had then generalized to all similar doorways of the building. Working on the doorways alone wasn’t getting better because the source of the fear was not the doorway, but the water fountain. The water fountain was still acting as an aversive to that particular kind of doorway. Once Wes was able to desensitize her to the sound of the water fountain, the doorways ceased to be an issue.


When an animal is afraid, they’ll want to avoid what they consider as dangerous. Whether real danger or just perception really doesn’t make a difference, fear is fear and keeping distance from what’s scary is always the safest option. If the animal doesn’t have the opportunity to learn that the scary situation is actually safe, over time, they will develop strategies to avoid it altogether. Any cue leading to the situation will start triggering the emotional reaction. For Willow, any arched doorway, no matter where they were located became triggers for the reaction; like an ‘oh-oh!’ moment that sets the dog on the lookout for the potential scary water fountain. This is when the fear to a specific trigger can generalize and occur in seemingly unrelated situations. When that happens, going back to the origin of the fear can sometimes be difficult. It’s always much easier to treat the fear as soon as we first notice it.


Stray dog in Maras


There are of course some fears that the dog may naturally grow out of without human intervention, but most of the time, untreated fears don’t just go away and may increase into actual phobias. Fears also have the potential to develop into problematic behaviors such as: reactivity to other dogs or people, vocalization or destructive behaviors when left alone, panic at the sound of thunder or fireworks, biting the vet’s hand when manipulated, running away at the first sign that it’s time to take a bath, barking when hearing the doorbell or random noises in the neighborhood, etc… Helping the dog overcome his fears will not only prevent many of these behaviors to develop, but will also help him gain more confidence in general. A confident dog that walks around the world without being on the lookout for potential scary things is happier and easier to manage.


Our natural instinct generally leads us to try to reassure the dog and remove him from any scary situation altogether. But once we’ve noticed that the dog has anxieties or fears of a particular situation, person, animal or object, it pays in the long run to work on them and help him/her get over them.


One popular way to deal with fear is through a process called flooding. When dogs are repeatedly exposed to uncomfortable (but safe) situations, they may gradually develop a sense of trust and confidence. A dog that comes out of the pound and introduced into a new family will typically adjust over time. Over the course of a few weeks, the dog is usually able to get familiar with the people and surroundings that are now part of his/her life. Through a process called ‘habituation’, the dogs can get used to the presence of something that used to scare them. However, forcing a dog to ‘face his fears’ by keeping him in a situation where the scary thing is always present, also has the potential to backfire.


Flooding was invented in the late 60s to treat human patients from their phobias. It has proven to be an effective, quick, yet traumatic way to deal with the issue. With humans, the therapist can help the patient with relaxation techniques while exposing him/her to virtual or imagined forms of the stimulus. With dogs, most flooding techniques have generally involved repeatedly or continuously exposing them to what scares them. A typical example is to treat a dog’s reactivity to other dogs by throwing him/her in an enclosure with lots of dogs. When faced with such a high level of exposure to what scares them, the dog may appear calm but is likely to be overwhelmed and shut down. Once out of the stressful situation, his reaction to the stimulus is likely to be the same as before or worse. The repeat exposure has the potential to sensitize the dog to the stimulus, increasing his/her chances to react faster, sooner and stronger, but also to generalize the fear to other similar situations. With a high chance of failure of this technique and the potential to make things worse, I certainly would not recommend it’s use when dealing with fear.


Comforting the Watchdog


A far safer and effective approach consists of desensitizing the dog to the scary stimulus. In the example above, the dog’s emotions are generally so high that it’s hardly possible to engage him into any kind of thinking. Exposure should always be kept sub-threshold, in other words at a level where the dog is not reacting emotionally. Whatever it is, there is a threshold to everything, distance, sound level, pressure level, height, intensity, time, etc. Through classical conditioning, as soon as the dog notices the stimulus, we can pair it with something that the dog likes. Food of course is the easiest to use in those situations, but depending on the dog, there is always room for creativity.


When the scary trigger is visual, I love the ‘Look at that’ (LAT) game from Leslie McDevitt where we click and treat the dog every time he/she looks at the scary dog, object or person. As long as we stay sub-threshold, where the dog is still calm and relaxed, the game quickly goes from LAT to ‘look at me’ where the dog can be rewarded for looking back at us. Whatever the stimulus, as we pair it with all good things happening to the dog, we can gradually increase the level or intensity of the exposure, until the dog is completely comfortable with it.


Helping the dog work through his fears has true benefits. The dog gradually develops better coping skills and overall confidence. It also limits the chances for future problematic behaviors. Working on fears takes time and commitment but it always pays off in the long run.




Jennifer Cattet, Ph.D.

The Puppy’s Rule of Twelve

*Please be sure that your puppy is vaccinated and uptd for their health.  Do not take your puppy out and socialize until it has received it’s first round of “5 to 1” or “6 to 1 “Distemper shot to prevent diseases that it may catch.

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!

By the time a puppy is 12 weeks old, it should have:
(If your puppy is over 12 weeks start right away with this socialization guide.)

Experienced 12 different surfaces:

wood, woodchips, carpet, tile, cement, linoleum, grass, wet
grass, dirt, mud, puddles, deep pea gravel, grates, uneven surfaces, 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, car keys, 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, veterinarian hospital (just to say hi & visit, lots of cookies, no vaccinations), grooming salon (just to say hi), etc….

Met and played with 12 new people (outside of family):

include children, adults (mostly men),
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 the puppy scared): garage door opening, doorbell, children playing, babies screaming, big trucks, Harley motorcycles, skateboards, washing machine, shopping carts rolling, power boat, clapping, loud singing, pan dropping, horses neighing, vacuums, lawnmowers, birthday party, etc…

Exposed to 12 fast moving objects

(don’t allow to chase): skateboards, roller-skates, bicycles,
motorcycles, cars, people running, cats running, scooters, vacuums, children running, children playing soccer, squirrels, cats, horses running, cows running, etc…

Experienced 12 different challenges:

climb on, in, off and around a box, go through a cardboard
tunnel, climb up and down steps, climb over obstacles, play hide & seek, go in and out a doorway with a step up or down, exposed to an electric sliding door, umbrella, balloons, walk on a wobbly table (plank of wood with a small rock underneath), jump over a broom, climb over a log, bathtub (and bath) etc….

Handled by owner (& family) 12 times a week:

hold under arm (like a football), hold to chest,
hold on floor near owner, hold in-between owner’s legs, hold head, look in ears, mouth, in-between toes, hold and take temperature (ask veterinarian), hold like a baby, trim toe nails, hold in lap, etc…

Eaten from 12 different shaped containers:

wobbly bowl, metal, cardboard box, paper, coffee cup, china, pie plate, plastic, frying pan, Kong, Treatball, Bustercube, spoon fed, paper bag, etc……

Eaten in 12 different locations:

back yard, front yard, crate, kitchen, basement, laundry room,
bathroom, friend’s house, car, school yard, bathtub, up high (on work bench), under umbrella, etc….

Played with 12 different puppies

(or safe adult dogs) as much as possible.
Left alone safely, away from family & other animals (5-45 minutes) 12 times a week.

Experienced a leash and collar:

12 different times in 12 different locations.

-Positive Paws Dog Training ©2002 – Margaret Hughes Adapted with permission from Pat Schaap’s “RULE OF 7’s” for 7 week old puppies

The Rule of 7’s

Socialization is crucial for puppies.

By the time a puppy is seven weeks old he/she should have:

Been on 7 different types of surfaces: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips.
Played with 7 different types of objects: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy toys, squeaky toys, paper of cardboard items, metal items, sticks or hose pieces.

Been in 7 different locations: front yard, back yard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom

Met and played with 7 new people: include children and older adults, someone walking with a cane or stick, someone in a wheelchair or walker.

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, in and out of a doorway with a step up or down, run around a fence.

Eaten from 7 different containers; metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan.

Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, living room, bathroom.