DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE Birth to 21 days:Puppies are functioning with certain survival instincts: Suckling behavior for nourishment and the seeking of warmth are the two main instincts. At 21 days:The puppy’s nervous system matures and the puppy now starts to process information.
3 to 5 weeksThe puppy is really working on developing coordination. There is more play activity among the puppies in the litter.
5 to 8 weeksThis is a period of strong social imprint. Puppies start playing very active dominance games with each other. They are learning skills like the inhibited bite.
8 to 11 weeksThis is a high imprint time. This period is often referred to as the “Fear Imprint Period.” Mother Nature uses it to instill proper fears for survival.
11 to 16 weeksPuppies start cutting the apron strings during this period. Their desire to explore their world is strong and their need to be with us starts to take a back seat to the other wonders of the world. After 16 weeksPuppies have developed short term memory and now will process all information like an adult. They still neither have the attention span of an adult, nor the experience. Around 6 monthsThe puppy will start the transition into puberty. It is becoming a teenager, and may begin to go through what we like to call the “Teenage Wierds.”
GENETIC INFLUENCES When developing the different breeds of dogs, man selected individual dogs that had strong genetic predisposition to a behavior that would make them good for a given task. When we select a puppy to share our lives with, we must take into consideration what genetic predisposition the pup has. The more you understand the genetic predisposition of the type of dog you have, the better you will be at analyzing his training needs, progress, and any problem behavior that might occur. If you don’t know what your dog was bred to do, research the history of the breed first. For example, here are just a few of the many different breeds:
HERDING BREEDS They may put the strong desire they have to chase and herd to use chasing cars and bicycles.
GUARDING BREEDS Their protective nature might be considered a disadvantage if you are a highly social person that has a lot of company.
RETRIEVING BREEDS They love to have something in their mouths, especially if its one of their toys or your favorite pair of shoes.
SCENT HOUNDS The nose goes to the ground and they lock out the rest of the world as they follow an interesting scent trail. That trail might take them miles from home. TERRIERS They delight in a skirmish with vermin. The neighbor’s cat might also do, in a pinch.