0 to 8 Weeks
Neonatal, Transition, Awareness, and Canine
Puppy is with mother and littermates up to seven weeks .
During this period, your puppy learns about social
interaction, play, and inhibiting aggression from its mother and litter mates. Puppies must stay with their
mother and littermates
through this critical period. As
the puppies learn the most important lesson in their
lives, they learn to accept discipline. It is at this
time that they also learn not to toilet in the nest.
to 16 Weeks
Human Socialisation Period.
The best time to take a puppy
home is 7 weeks then you have nine whole weeks to work
with the dog over this
incredibly important period. The puppy now has the brain
waves of an adult dog,
but his attention span is short. This period is when the
most rapid learning occurs.
Learning at this age is permanent so this is a perfect
time to start training, but make
it fun. This is also the time to introduce the puppy to
things that will play an important part in his life.
Different people, places, animals, hoovers, washing
machines and unusual sounds, in a positive,
8 to 10 / 12 Weeks
Whilst the Pup is going through human socialisation is
will also go through an important fear/hazard avoidance
period. Avoid frightening the puppy during this period.
Any traumatic, frightening or painful experience will
have a more lasting effect on the puppy than if it
occurred at any other time in its life. This is the
period that if you do not handle it correctly will give
your dog a lasting fear of traffic and other frightening
noises. Never ever praise or sympathise with your pup
when it is showing fear. This only serves to confirm the
13 to 16 Weeks
Seniority Classification Period.
Puppy starts to cut teeth and apron strings! Puppy
begins testing its position in the family unit. You must
discourage all biting; the dog should have started to
learn and understand bite inhibition by this time! It is
important that you are a strong and consistent leader.
The period between 0 and 16 weeks is the most important
period in your dog’s life. He will learn more during
that short space of time than at any other time in his
life. Other windows of opportunity for learning will
open during your dog’s life. However, what you see at 16
weeks without extensive training and behavioural
modification is about what you are going to get as as
adult. Therefore, work hard on giving your pet the best
start in life.
4 to 8 Months
Instinct Period. Flight Instinct Period.
Puppy may wander and ignore you. It is very important
that you keep the puppy on a leash at this time! The way
that you handle your pup at this time determines if he
will come to you when called. At about 4-1/2 months,
your puppy loses his milk teeth and gets his adult
teeth. That's when he begins serious chewing! A dog's
teeth don't set in his jaw until between 6 /10 months.
During this time, the puppy has a physical need to
exercise his mouth by chewing. Training must continue
through this period or all your good work may revert
back to stage one. Occasionally the puppy will start to
urinate in the house again if this happens, just go back
to basic toilet training.
6 to 14 Months
Fear Imprint Period or Fear of New Situations Period.
Dog again shows fear of new situations and even familiar
situations. Dog may be reluctant to approach someone or
something new. It is important that you are patient and
act very matter of fact in these situations. Never force
the dog to face the situation. DO NOT pet the frightened
puppy or talk in soothing tones. The puppy will interpret such responses as praise for being frightened.
Training will help improve the dog's confidence. This
fear period is normally more marked in male dogs.
1 to 4 Years
Maturity Period. You
may encounter some increased aggression and renewed
testing for position and authority however if you have
spent lots of time with your dog and trained consistently and regularly, then this should not present
itself as a problem - in fact you may hardly notice this
change, it is just something to keep in mind. Continue
to train your dog during this period. It is possible that your dog may have another fear period between 12 -
16 months of age.