Understanding the different stages of puppy behavior development can help you prepare for your new puppy’s arrival and provide the right kind of support as they grow and mature. It also helps with what things to expect as they grow
Week 1-2: Neonatal stage
During the first two weeks of their lives, puppies are entirely dependent on their mother for everything. They cannot see or hear, and they spend most of their time sleeping and nursing. They rely on their mother’s warmth and milk to survive and grow.
Week 3-4: Transitional stage
Around week three, puppies start to become more aware of their surroundings. Their eyes and ears begin to open, and they start to explore their environment. They become more mobile and start to develop basic motor skills, such as crawling and walking. They also start to play with their littermates, which helps them learn social skills and establish their place in the pack.
Week 5-7: Socialization stage
During this stage, puppies become more active and playful. They learn about their environment and social skills by playing with their littermates and interacting with people. This is a crucial stage for socialization and training. Puppies that receive proper socialization during this stage tend to be more confident, well-adjusted, and friendly as they grow older.
Week 8-12: Fear imprinting stage
Around eight weeks, puppies become more cautious and may start to exhibit fear or anxiety. This is a critical stage for socialization and training as puppies may develop lifelong fears or phobias if not handled correctly. It’s essential to expose your puppy to different experiences and stimuli, such as new people, sounds, and environments, in a safe and controlled manner. This will help them develop confidence and resilience.
Week 13-16: Juvenile stage
During this stage, puppies become more independent and may start to test their boundaries. They may exhibit more dominant or submissive behavior and may be more challenging to train. It’s essential to continue socializing and training your puppy during this stage to establish good behavior and avoid any negative behaviors that may become ingrained. At this stage you might experience some set backs in your training which is completely normal
Week 17-20: Adolescent stage
As puppies enter adolescence, they may become more defiant and less responsive to cues or commands. They may also become more territorial and protective of their resources. It’s essential to continue training and socializing your puppy during this stage to ensure they develop into well-behaved and well-adjusted adult dogs.
Understanding the different stages of puppy behavior development it’s key for you provide the right kind of support and care to your dog. Remember that patience, consistency, and proper guidance are essential to ensure your puppy grows into a confident and well-behaved adult dog.
© Gabriel Riesco, Pawmos Dog Training LLC | All Rights Reserved April 2023