Puppy Development


Neonatal Period (0-12 Days)

Stimulation Exercises: Touch the puppy all over from head to toe. Hold puppy with the head up and tail down. Reverse direction with tail up. Hold puppy in a level position parallel to ground. Cradle puppies in your arms/hands on his back and rub his softness against your check (I throw in a few kisses as well)
Milestones: Puppies are blind, deaf and can’t regulate their body temperatures. Puppies will sleep almost constantly. Their mother will take care of everything, keeping them warm, feeding them, and keeping them clean.
Transition Period (13 - 20 Days)
Stimulation Exercises: Previous exercises plus turn the puppies in a circle to the right then circle to the left.
Milestones: Puppies will open their eyes, but sight and hearing are limited. Tail wagging begins and the puppies respond to sounds, light, and movement around them. This is also when the puppies begin to control body functions without their mother’s help. The puppies become more mobile, they have enough strength to stand up, but will stumble a lot
Awareness Period (21 - 28 Days)
Stimulation Exercises: Previous exercises plus this week add more specific stressors. One day, give him a little pinch to the ear, another day a light pinch between the toes, different foot or ear each day.
Milestones: Puppies at this stage begin recognize their siblings and mother. Sight and hearing function well. The puppy is learning that he is a dog, and he may even take a lick of mother’s food out of curiosity, but still only requires mother’s milk for survival.
Canine Socialization Period (21 - 49 Days)
Stimulation Exercises: Puppies now need stimulation of people, sights, and sounds. Take each pup away from littermates and interact with each pup for ten minutes or so, playing with them individually. Sit down on the ground inside or outside alternating providing weather permits, get your face close to theirs, make eye contact and facial expressions,.Be sure not to separate them from their siblings and or mother for more than ten minutes, since this can lead to issues with training and socialization. A puppies’ socialization is based on their mother’s attitude–relaxed or skittish–toward people. Playing, petting, and talking with your puppy can help him develop the “people skills” needed to be a good member of the family. During this period, let the mother dog take care of discipline; do not correct the puppy for mouthing or housebreaking mistakes until later in life.
Milestones: Mom will continue weaning her puppies and teaching them manners and canine behaviors, like acknowledging she is in charge. He is now aware of the differences between canine and human societies.

Human Socialization Period (7 to 12 Weeks)

Stimulation Exercises: Continue the twice a day, 10 minute one on one “play times”. The pup has the brain wave of and adult dog. He now has the ability to learn respect, simple behavioral responses: sit, stay, here and housebreaking begins. He now learns by association. The permanent man/dog bonding begins, and he is able to accept gentle discipline and establish confidence.

Milestones: The puppies continue learning the 2 way communication between human and dog. They begin to learn simple commands and begin housetraining and housebreaking.

Fear Impact Period (8-11 Weeks)

Stimulation Exercises: Avoid frightening the puppy during this time, since traumatic experiences can have an ill effect during this period. Children and or other animals should not be allowed to hurt or scare the puppy - either maliciously or inadvertently. It is very important now to introduce other humans, but must be closely supervised to minimize adverse incidents. Learning at this age is permanent. Introduce your puppy to other dogs to him become more socialized.
Milestones: Puppies will become more secure and socialized

Seniority Classification Period (13-16 Weeks)

Stimulation Exercises: Puppies begin testing dominance and leadership. Biting behavior is absolutely discouraged from thirteen weeks on. Praise for the correct behavior response is the most effective tool. Meaningful praise is highly important to shape positive attitude
Milestones: Puppies learn that the humans are alpha.

Flight Instinct Period (4-8 Months)

During this period puppies test their wings- they will turn a deaf ear when called. This period lasts from a few days to several weeks. It is critical to praise the positive and minimize the negative behavior during this time. However, you must learn how to achieve the correct response. This period corresponds to teething periods, and behavioral problems become compounded by physiological development chewing.

Second Fear Impact Period (6-14 Months)

Also called, "The fear of situations period", usually corresponds to growths spurts. Great care must be taken not to reinforce negative behavior Force can frighten the dog, and soothing tones serve to encourage his fear. His fear should be handled with patience and kindness, and training during this period puts the dog in a position of success, while allowing him to work things out while building self-confidence. Do NOT allow the puppy to get away with shying away. If they are allowed to be shy and run AWAY from a situation, they will remain that way for life. Be Firm and Gentle; let them know you are there for them, but never allow them to back away. When they are hunching down and acting fearful, never say "It's ok; it won't hurt you, etc." All they will remember is that you said "It's Ok", and interpret that as "It's Ok to Act Fearful, And Pull Away." When encountering this behavior, tell them "NO, straighten up and act right." Hold them gently to the fearful situation and make them submit. They will soon find that their fears are unfounded and everything will be back to normal in a very short period of time If he shows aggression DO NOT tolerate any misbehavior or dominance during this time. Males start to go through "testosterone poisoning" and will challenge you. You should keep playing with your puppy on a regular basis at this time, but don’t wrestle or play tug of war, either can end up teaching your pooch that it is okay to fight with you and challenge your authority. You must always keep your pup informed of the fact that YOU are Alpha. He will remember this for life and will be easier to live with. . After six months, your pup is already in the final stage of puppy development but is still young. This is a fun and exciting time for your pooch since they will be learning, full of energy, and exuberant. During this time, it is important to remember that even if the puppy looks like a grown up dog, they are still puppies, at least in their mental capacity and emotional maturity

Maturity (1-4 Years)

Puppies will reach full maturity at approximately 2 years of age. This period is often marked by an increase in aggression and by a renewed testing for leadership. During this time, while testing for leadership, the dog should be handled firmly. Regular training throughout this testing period, praise him for the proper response. Giving him no chance to affirm his leadership and remind him that this issue has already been settled.