Puppy Stages Knowing Them Makes Them Easier

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Puppy Stages Knowing Them Makes Them Easier

by Chris Glatte

If you?ve ever owned a puppy you know they go through many puppy stages on their way to adulthood. Their bodies grow very quickly and their mental state is constantly changing as they grow and interact with the world.

Some puppy stages are difficult to deal with, while others are a joy. It?s important to know the different stages so you?ll know what to expect from your little ball of fur.

The first stage is from birth to 3 weeks old. They?re still in the litter and are just figuring out their basic bodily functions. They are best left alone with their mother and littermates during this stage.

From 3 to 6 weeks of age they are on par with human toddlers in their development. They venture out from the litter and do some exploring. They learn how to tussle with their littermates. They learn about different body postures and signals through play and experimentation. They learn about biting and being bitten?what hurts and what?s fun.

They will also be taught basic manners from their mother. They will learn to be submissive and take direction from her. For example the mother may want to be left alone, she may nip or growl at the pup to get her point across. The puppy will react to this lesson quickly.

If this puppy stage is interrupted it will be harder to train the puppy. The socialization and learning that goes on here is very important and can?t be replaced by people. If interrupted the dog will be prone to biting and hard to discipline.

The 7 to 12 week period is one of the most important puppy stages. This is when the puppies? brain is fully developed. This is the stage that a puppy should be going home with his new master. Lots of learning occurs in this stage. Most importantly they will learn how to interact with you and your family.

Keep in mind the puppy will learn behavior whether or not you teach him; so it?s best that you do the teaching. For instance when he meets new people he needs to know how to react. If he runs up and jumps on them and isn?t shown that this is not the way to greet people then he will continue to do so throughout his life.

He will also need to be exposed to other dogs (ask your vet about vaccinations first). Basically, your puppy should be exposed and become used to as much of the world as is possible during this stage. The more you direct him in how to react to different experiences the better off he, and you, will be.

At 12 to 16 weeks the puppy will start to challenge you more. Depending on the individual puppy this may be a big challenge or just a ?how much can I get away with? challenge. This puppy stage is all about who?s in command?who?s the alpha pack leader. It?s because of this that serious training should be started.

During this stage your pup may try to bite, or growl at you. Both of these are challenges to your dominance and should be dealt with by a harsh ?no? command and a cessation of whatever it was you were doing with your dog. Roughhouse play should be avoided during this stage, as the puppy won?t perceive it as a game but as a power struggle.

At 4- 8 months of age your puppy will go through the most dangerous of the puppy stages: the independent stage. He will be unreliable and may not listen to your commands. He?ll want to wander and will do so if given half a chance.

It?s important during this stage to keep close tabs on your puppy. Even if you are confident in your puppies? coming on command abilities. He may ignore all his training and take off. Always be sure to have him leashed when not in a confined area.

Another frustrating activity during this stage is chewing anything and everything. He is teething and won?t be able to help himself. It is your responsibility to provide him with safe and acceptable chew toys. Avoid furry toys, they?ll be destroyed quickly and may cause problems if ingested.

At some point during the 4 month to 2 year old stage your dog will go through adolescence. During this time they?ll grow by leaps and bounds. They?ll be gangly and awkward just like their human counterpart.

During this stage the dog may go through a shyness or fear stage. Things that never bothered it before may become scary to the dog. Don?t worry, this will pass. It may be frustrating but don?t force the dog to do things they don?t want to do. Doing so will only make matters worse.

For more information on puppy stages and virtually all aspects of dog training please visit my site http://dog-training-is-easy.com/index.html


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