I have been working with a lovely puppy recently who was bought from a puppy farm. Unfortunately, the puppy wasn’t socialised with humans and is very frightened of all humans. Now the family who have brought him home have a lot of work to do in rehabilitating this fearful puppy and integrate him into family life. It is very important that puppies are socialised within a certain window at the breeder’s home for this to be prevented. Below are the critical stages of puppy development:
1. Neonatal Period at 0-2 weeks. This is when the puppy is born, eyes and ears closed. At this stage, puppies only have the sense of touch and taste.
2. Transitional Period at 2-4 weeks. Their senses are now developing, such as their hearing and sense of smell. They’ll also start to have their puppy teeth coming through and their eyes will begin to open. They can now play with their litter-mates, wag their tails, stand, walk a little and are able to bark.
3. Socialisation Period at 3-12 weeks. This is the most important stage of a puppy’s development. At the time the puppies should be handled many times by the breeder before the go home to their new families at 7 – 9 weeks. Miss this window and fear sets in making it difficult for the new owners to overcome this.
4. Ranking Period at 3-6 months. This is when your puppy will be gaining confidence and discovering new skills. He’ll be displaying all the normal “puppy problems”. Play biting, chewing, jumping up etc. A good time to start puppy class.
5. Adolescent at 6-18 months. This is the final stage of puppy development – your tiny puppy will be growing into an adult. Hormones will be playing a part in their behaviour and neutering or spaying may take place during this stage under the guidance of your veterinary surgeon. Small dogs reach full maturity at 18 mths and larger breeds reach maturity much later at about 3 years.
To follow up or make an appointment or find out more information about Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Dorset, Hampshire and New Forest border, please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your dogs.
Teaching Owners – Training Dogs. Happy dog training.