Puppies And Their Development
From 3-12 Weeks Old
For Puppies the most important developmental period, starts around 3 weeks old, and ends at around 12 weeks old. The biggest part of this period is social play. Curiosity, playful fighting and playful sexual behavior (body contact) is very important to developing social relationships.
Behavior patterns are directly influenced by their interaction with their mother and litter mates.
At 3-5 weeks of age they will actively approach strangers, but shortly after that stranger avoidance begins and slowly increases until it peaks around 12-14 weeks of age. While this natural fear of strangers could serve as a way to keep a curious one away from danger, it can also make normal relationships with people more difficult. This is why you should start Socialization Training early.
Around this time, startle reactions to sudden movement and sounds begin. This helps them learn the difference between what is dangerous, and what is safe.
They begin to show attachment to certain locations, around 4-6 weeks of age, and may become very disturbed when there is a change in location. This tapers off after 6-7 weeks old, and a change in location is no longer distressing.
A Dog that is handled by humans regularly during the first eight weeks of life are generally much more acceptable to being trained and living in human households.
Ideally, they should be placed in their permanent homes between about 8 and 10 weeks of age. So you can begin Bonding with you new little one.
In some places it is against the law to take pups away from their mothers before the age of 8 weeks. Before this age, they are still learning tremendous amounts of socialization skills from their mother. Young Dogs are far more fearful of new things during the period from 10 to 12 weeks, which makes it harder for them to adapt to a new home.
Keep this in mind if you bring a 3 to 4 month old pup into your home.
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