Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

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Stormi
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Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby Stormi » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:31 pm

I've noticed we have a bit of an influx of new members with new puppies, and thought perhaps a detailed layout of the developmental stages puppies go thru may be beneficial to some. We do have a sticky on socialization already, but this is more of a "when" that socialization needs to happen, and what to expect as your pup matures.

0-2 weeks: Neonatal Period
- Incapable of body tempature regulation. Puppy is fully dependant on mother for warmth, feeding, and elimination.

2-3 weeks: Transitional Period
- Eyes begin to open at 2 weeks, ears at 3 weeks.

21-28 days: Awareness Period
- Senses fully functioning.
- Sexual imprinting.
- Extremely sensitive to stress and environmental changes.
- Presence of mother and littermates imparative to mental and emotional maturity and socialization.
- Begins to be able to learn thru consequence and association.

5-7 weeks: Canine Socialization Period
- Puppy learns species specific behavior that makes him a dog: biting, chasing, barking, fighting, mounting, body posturing, and reading the body language of other dogs.
- Learns aquired bite inhibition from littermates.
-Leaving the litter before 7-8 weeks (ideally 8 weeks is truly best) can affect the puppy's ability to get along with other dogs later and they will likely have trouble learning to inhibit the force of their bite.


7-12 weeks: Human Socialization Period
- This is the age when most rapid learning occurs. Greatest impact on future social behavior will be made by any experience that happens at this point.
- Pup begins to form deep bonds with humans.
- Any traumatizing event may affect pup for the rest of his/her life.
- "100 new people by 12 weeks" - Dr. Ian Dunbar, PhD. You can't over do socialization, and you can't re-do it later in life. This is the age to expose your puppy to anything and everything he or she will encounter in his/her adult life (people, animals, sounds, sights, textures, body handling, ect.), and make those experiances positive and fun.
- BEST time to get your puppy into a puppy kindergarden class!


10-16 weeks: Seniority Classification Period
- Pushy puppy stage! This is the stage where your pup begins to spread their wings and test his or her limits, and sometimes your sanity ;)

4-8 months: Flight Instinct Period
- Think "teenager". The pup becomes independent from owner and easily distracted, may not respond as well to cues he or she previously did.
- Training should have begun long ago, but unfortunately many owners don't begin training classes until this age, resulting in undersocialized puppies and a less smooth training process.

6-14 months: Adolesence
- Second "fear" stage: due to hormonal changes, the puppy may temporarily become weary or fearful of new & familiar objects and situations.
- Lifelong behavior patterns set in.
- Sexual maturity is reached.

1-4 years: Maturity
- Behavior issues not addressed in puppyhood will become aparent.
- Will continue to build associations with people, other dogs, ojects, situations, ect. for the rest of his/her life.
- Social maturity sets in. Dependant upon the pup's early social experiances and genetic imprint, he or she may become more picky about social interactions and less tolerent of rude behavior.
- Keep up with training and socializing! Just like with humans, although we may be set in our ways once we reach adulthood, learning is never over! We get rusty if we stop practicing!

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Leslie H
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby Leslie H » Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:06 pm

Thanks for posting this.

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WackyJacki
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby WackyJacki » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:24 pm

Great post!!

Stella wasn't taken by AC from the abusive, neglectful situation she was in until she was about 11-12 weeks. Zero socialization. No wonder.... poor dog.

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Celesteandthebullies
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby Celesteandthebullies » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:33 pm

This should be a sticky! I don't think many people realize how young they are when they go through their major socialization period. :thumbsup:

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WackyJacki
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby WackyJacki » Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:41 pm

Celesteandthebullies wrote:This should be a sticky! I don't think many people realize how young they are when they go through their major socialization period. :thumbsup:


Agreed!!

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HersheyBear
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby HersheyBear » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:35 pm

this is a great thread! x3 on the sticky idea

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Mya&theSiebenDackels
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:42 pm

Thank you for posting this Stormi.

I did not get Mya until she was 5 months old from her breeder(Her breeder bought her back from the people she sold her to as a puppy). I do not know how she was socialized before I got her(I know they abused her) and wondered if some of her dog issues had to with not being socialized very well as a young puppy.

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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby chewbecca » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:05 pm

See, I got both Luke and Ophie right around 4 months old.

I am pretty sure that Ophie got ALL the socialization she could have needed since I'm pretty sure the daycare/training facility that found her and fostered her had enough people coming and going and Ophie had run of the daycare facility. She was beyond spoiled by any all humans she came into contact with there. My biggest problem was crate training her and breaking her from being held all the time.

But I have NO IDEA where Luke was at his critical socialization stage.
And, by God, YES! my pups are definitely in their "Teenage stage". lol
Especially Luke. He's all "Who, you? You? I don't...hear anything, but...SQUIRREL! Must go get SQUIRREL!"
And not a single movement I make or command I give is going to get his attention.
That stage TOTALLY explains why just 1-2 months ago his "watch me" was as perfect as it could get in ANY dog, and now it takes an act of GOD for him to actually look at me when I give the command when we first start out on our walks.

Every single sound of a flying leaf, person working in their garage, rustling of paper bag, everything seems to cause him to jump back, but then he moves forward in curiosity. IN other words, he sometimes startles easy.

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Stormi
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby Stormi » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:07 pm

I'm gonna go ahead and bump my own thread since we have a lot of new members that just got or are concidering puppies.

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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby doglove » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:31 pm

I'm actually really looking forward to over-socializing my pup! It's going to be so much fun for us.

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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby spammie » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:53 am

It's been officially stickyized!

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MomofSasha
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Re: Critical Developmental Stages of Puppies

Postby MomofSasha » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:16 am

Thanks for posting this! Great info...and as someone said you really don't realize how young the socialization starts. I need to get creative in how I socialize but protect from PARVO at the same time!


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