• Rosie Pascall

Growing pains - A map to guide you through the stages of your dog's life.

Neonatal; Newborn to 2 weeks old

. No learning

. Instinctual only

. Deaf

. Blind but reactive to light

. Can crawl after 2-3 days

. Cries for mum

Transitional period; 2- 3 weeks

. Eyes and ears open

. Increased motor skills

. Tail wagging

. Begin chewing

. Teeth appear at 3 weeks

. Bite inhibition begins

. Can start to eat food

Socialization period; 3- 16 weeks

. Develop social relationships

. Full visual function

. Sense of smell develops

. Can be clumsy

. Max Vocalisation (6-7 weeks)

. Before 12 weeks will stay close

. After 12 weeks will become adventurous

. Wean off mum's milk by 10 weeks old

. Socialisation learning period

( dog to dog 3-7 weeks old)

. Socialisation learning period

( Human to Dog 7-12 weeks old)

. Surface preference; 8-9 weeks old. This is when they can decide where they love to pee !

. Socialization period closes 14- 16 weeks old. Introduce your puppy to as many new things, people and situations as possible before this period ends.


1ST FEAR PERIOD; 8-11 Weeks old ( this is a vital time to get your pup acclimatised to all sorts of stimulus ! Get out that vacuum cleaner ! ride a bike past them, wear funny hats, ride the lift multiple times a day, introduce them to new people and children (always under supervision) and everything life will throw at them, in a calm and understanding way. Always reward and use positive associations in fearful situations.

The Juvenile period; 4- 6 months

. Permanent teeth come out

. Leg lifting in males can start

. Form hierarchies

. Great time to train

. Solidify your bond

. Inappropriate chewing can occur

Adolescence period; 6 months - 2 years

. Able to reproduce

. Regressions in house training can occur

. Regression in training overall

. Aggression to people and things can . occur

. Go back a step in training and get professional help if required.

2ND FEAR PERIOD; 6- 14 months . This is when you may need to enlist the help of a professional or be understanding your dog may be suddenly fearful of new things. Try to use positive reinforcement in your training to help with this second fear period.

Maturity; 2 years- 6 years

. Reduced hormone levels

. House training solid

. Try new and more complicated behaviors and training

Senior years ; 6 years large dog, 9 years small dog

. Physical issues

. Increase in Dental Tartar

. Increase or decrease in body fat

. Potty accidents in house

Understanding your dogs developmental stages can go along way to knowing why socialisation and training are crucially important at certain ages. Having an increased understanding will make sure your expectations are reasonable and help solidify your bond with your pup.

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