The 7 Stages of Puppy Development

Written by Charlie Lafave

In order to understand why your puppy doesn’t listen to you at times, you need to understand each stage of development a puppy goes through as it matures. Let’s take a look atrepparttar different stages, but before we do, keep in mind that these stages are generalizations – each dog will progress at its own pace.

Stage 1: The Transitional Stage 2-3 Weeks The Transitional stage generally lasts from age two to three weeks, and it’s during this time that your puppy’s eyes will open, and he’ll slowly start to respond to light and movement and sounds around him. He’ll become a little more mobile during this period, trying to get his feet underneath him and crawling around inrepparttar 125714 box (or wherever home is.) He’ll start to recognize mom and his littermates, and any objects you might place inrepparttar 125715 box.

Stage 2: The Almost Ready To Meet The World Stage 3-4 Weeks The Almost ready to meetrepparttar 125716 world stage lasts from 3 to about 4 weeks, and your puppy undergoes rapid sensory development during this time. Fully alert to his environment, he’ll begin to recognize you and other family members. It’s best to avoid loud noises or sudden changes during this period – negative events can have a serious impact on his personality and development right now. Puppies learn how to be a dog during this time, so it’s essential that they stay with mom and littermates.

Stage 3: The Overlap Stage 4-7 Weeks From 3-4 weeks your puppy beginsrepparttar 125717 most critical social development period of his life – he learns social interaction with his littermates, learns how to play and learns bite inhibition. He’ll also learn discipline at this point – Mom will begin weaningrepparttar 125718 pups around this time, and will start teaching them basic manners, including accepting her asrepparttar 125719 leader ofrepparttar 125720 pack. You can begin to introduce food torepparttar 125721 pups starting aroundrepparttar 125722 4th week – transition gradually as Mom weans them. Continue handlingrepparttar 125723 pups daily, but don’t separate them from either Mom or litter mates for more than about 10 minutes per day. Puppies that are removed fromrepparttar 125724 nest too early frequently are nervous, more prone to barking and biting and have a more difficult time with socialization and training. Puppies need to be left with Mom and siblings until at least 7 weeks of age - and preferably a little longer - for optimum social development. Experts say thatrepparttar 125725 best time in a puppy’s life to learn social skills is between 3 and 16 weeks of age – that’srepparttar 125726 window of opportunity you have to make sure your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted dog. It’s extremely important to leave your puppy with Mom and his littermates during as much of this period as possible. Don’t discipline for play fighting, housebreaking mistakes or mouthing – that’s all normal behavior for a puppy at this stage.

Stage 4: The “I’m Afraid of Everything” Stage 8 Weeks to 3 Months The “I’m Afraid of Everything” Stage lasts from about 8 weeks to 3 months, and is characterized by rapid learning as well as a “fearful period” that usually pops up at around 8 to 10 weeks. Not all dogs experience this, but most do, and they’ll appear terrified over things that they took in stride before. This is not a good time to engage in harsh discipline (not that you ever should anyway!), loud voices or traumatic events. At this time your puppy’s bladder and bowels are starting to come under much better control, and he’s capable of sleeping throughrepparttar 125727 night. (At last, you can get some rest!) You can begin teaching simple commands like: come, sit, stay, down, etc. Leash training can begin. It’s important not to isolate your puppy from human contact at this time, as he’ll continue to learn behaviors and manners that will affect him in later years.

Should You Correct A Puppy With A Pinch Collar?

Written by Adam G. Katz

Hi, Adam!

My husband and I recently purchased a white German Shepherd. She is 12 weeks old today and quite a handful. Sometimes she can be so sweet, but other times she is actually quite vicious. Well, I don't know if vicious isrepparttar right word, but when I tell her “No!” she just gets more agitated and lunges at me with her teeth bared. I got a small pinch collar since she's a puppy but I have a question as to how it should fit. When I take 2 prongs out it is snug against her neck and I worry about it being too tight. When I only take 1 prong out, it sort of slides down her neck a little bit and she constantly scratches at it and it circles around her neck and doesn't stay put. Which isrepparttar 125713 right fit? She is really a handful and I thinkrepparttar 125714 pinch collar is a great tool, but I want to make sure it fits right so as not to cause her any discomfort. You say inrepparttar 125715 book that you should be able to slide half a finger in there, but I guess I am just confused as to how you should judgerepparttar 125716 fit. Please help! I'm afraid my time is running out to get her to start obeying me. She doesn't see me asrepparttar 125717 Alpha dog quite yet and it is very frustrating to be with her for long periods of time. When I say "Duchess, come" she only comes when she feels like it. Withrepparttar 125718 pinch collar, what isrepparttar 125719 best way to make sure she comes each time I call her? I don't want to go around yanking on her neck, but atrepparttar 125720 same time she needs to respect me. Any tips you can give me on making sure she sees me asrepparttar 125721 boss would be very helpful! Thanks, Cassidy

Dear Cassidy: When I refer to “half a finger space” in regard torepparttar 125722 proper fitting ofrepparttar 125723 pinch collar, what I mean is: - Ifrepparttar 125724 average person’s finger is ½ inch wide, then there should be aproximately ¼ inch of space betweenrepparttar 125725 end ofrepparttar 125726 prong andrepparttar 125727 skin ofrepparttar 125728 dog’s neck. So, why don’t I just say, “1/4 inch of space”? Because it’s easier to judge by sticking your finger beneathrepparttar 125729 prong than it is to break out your old high school ruler. Many of you (newsletter subscribers) are no doubt wondering why I would recommend a pinch collar for a puppy. And my answer is: I’m not. At least not for most puppies. But there are some puppies who will not respond to a simple diversion or verbal, “No.” They will bite and cause puncture wounds on your legs and arms if they are not corrected for this behavior. So, if you've triedrepparttar 125730 other methods for dealing with “puppy nipping” that I’ve outlined inrepparttar 125731 book, then you’ll need to progress to a small pinch collar. (Also described inrepparttar 125732 book.)

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