Welcome to our second blog dedicated to the Critical Periods in your Dogs Development. This week we will look a little deeper into the first 3 of these phases in your dog’s development and how these can impact them in their young life and as they grow.
Canine Socialization Period: 21-49 Days
A dog learns basic behaviours during this period, from interacting with both its mother and litter mates. At this stage a dog begins to understand that it is a dog and that there is indeed a difference between dogs and humans. It begins to understand that there are in fact different types of animals and that perhaps the world unfortunately is not ruled by dogs!
Critical Socialization Period: 7-16 Weeks
At this stage, the dogs brain waves are fully developed and it is able comprehend much of the world around it. Now is a good time to start your toilet training , They can respond to simple commands, such a sit, wait, and down. & the bond between man ( & woman) begins. At this time your dog is developing their confidence in themselves and you as their handler. So you can see why it’s a wonderful advantage to take your puppy home from the breeder around 8 weeks of age – this is the time where you want and need to have them socialize with as many other calm dogs, humans, take them to places where there are lots of other noises and smells BUT there is also another consideration and that is the first fear impact period – see below.
Fear Impact Period: 8-11 Weeks
Any traumatic experiences that occur during this time can have a dramatic impact on a young pup and can stay with them their whole life so it is extremely important that other animals or humans (including children) to not scare the puppy during this time. Although, introduction to other humans, dogs and other species is important, they must be closely monitored to ensure all goes well. Unfortunately, Parvo Virus is a huge worry at this age, the importance of proper socialization cannot be ignored – if you have a neighbour that has a fully vaccinated calm dog that they can have play dates with – great! If not, you may want to ask your Vet. about Puppy Classes – where they recommend – as well as ask your friends and neighbours. Make sure you do your research!! Go and watch a class – talk to the trainer about their training philosophies – watch how they work with both the students and their dogs. ASK QUESTIONS!! Most puppy classes they will allow them to join the class with proof of their second vaccination.
Just remember, after this CRITICAL SOCIALIZATION PERIOD/FEAR PERIOD INCLUDED, Learning has become permanent – hence they will remember EVERYTHING TAUGHT OR LEARNED – GOOD OR BAD – SO PLEASE MAKE THEM AMAZING MEMORIES