So...... Now You Have A Puppy......
The following information is what I have learnt from research & breeding....... There are five crucial development periods for a puppy. These periods are from birth to sixteen weeks of age. The fourth crucial period is at the start of the eighth week & it is extremely important that the pup remains with its litter till the end of it’s seventh week. The period before this is when your pup learns to be a socially accepted friend by taking part in specific play times with its brothers & sisters. A pup who has had a great beginning in life with a knowledgeable breeder is much easier for you to mould into a happy member of your family.
The First Stage - this is from birth to twenty days of age. This is when the pup needs warmth & food from its mother as well as plenty of sleep. Only small amounts of handling from humans is required. It has practically no mental capacity at this stage & its trainability is nil.
The Second Stage - is from twenty-one days to twenty-eight days (the fourth week). The pup will still need warmth, its mother, sleep & food but its senses are now fully functional & it is aware of its surroundings. This is an extremely important period. It should not be removed from its litter mates or its mother. Human contact should be introduced but must be well controlled & supervised.
The Third Stage - being the twenty-ninth day to the forty-ninth day (fifth to seventh week). The pup will now respond to voices & will start to recognize people. It is important that it still remains with its litter mates as it socializes with them along with different people. It learns how to play/fight & how to adjust its bite through playing with its brothers & sisters. Without this period the puppy may never learn how to be a dog. During this stage its mother is also helping in the social development of the pup. The pups trainability is now developing & it is aware of the difference between other dogs & humans.
The Fourth Stage - This period is from the fiftieth day to the eighty-fourth day (eighth to twelfth week). The pups brain is waiting for information & what you teach your pup from now on will be accepted & held in his memory. It is at a stage where it is now capable of having gentle discipline & gentle methods of training. This is the IMPRINT period when it will retain what you teach & is able to learn the respect of the alpha leader & will learn by association. This is when you can start teaching small games such as fetching & start house training. It needs plenty of love & security at this time as it has been removed from its litter mates & all socializing with other people, dogs & children should be strictly supervised. What your pup learns & experiences during this fourth & fifth period will form the basis of your dog’s adult life.
The Fifth Crucial Period - is the eighty-fifth day to the one-hundred & twelfth (thirteenth to sixteenth week). The pup still requires socializing, love, attention & security within the family structure. Its brain is now fully developed, & it is more capable of understanding all you show & tell it.
IF IT IS CAPABLE OF LEARNING BAD HABITS, REMEMBER, IT IS EQUALLY CAPABLE OF LEARNING GOOD ONES!
This is when your pup will try to become the dominant one within the family. It is still influenced by all it sees, hears & is taught. It is now developing an attitude towards training & this can be either positive or negative. Teach it firmly, but gently. What it learns between the ages of 8 & 16 weeks of age is vitally important. This is the most important time of influence in a dog’s life. This is when the foundations are laid for a family friend, a well adjusted, happy, confident dog. If the pup is traumatized during this time by another dog, human or circumstances, it can remain antisocial all of its life. Your pup will become what you allow it to become.
Your pup learns from you, its owner, what is acceptable behaviour & what is not.
The dog/human interaction sets its pattern during this time.
If you understand these 5 stages you will have a super dog!