Neonatal Period (0-12 Days):
The puppy responds only to warmth, touch, and smell. He cannot regulate body functions such as temperature and elimination.
Transition Period (13 - 20 Days):
Eyes and ears are open, but sight and hearing are limited. Tail wagging begins and the puppy begins to control body functions.
Awareness Period (21 - 28 Days):
Sight and hearing functions well. The puppy is learning to be a dog and has a great deal of need for a stable environment.
Canine Socialization Period (21 - 49 Days):
Interacting with mother and litter-mates, the pup learns various canine behaviors. Pup is now aware of the differences between canine and human societies.
Human Socialization Period (7 to 12 Weeks):
The pup has the brain wave of an adult dog. This is the best time for pups to go to a new home. The pup now has the ability to learn simple behavioral responses: sit, stay, come. Housebreaking begins. The pup now learns by association. The permanent man/dog bonding begins. Pups are able to accept gentle discipline and establish confidence.
Fear Period (8 - 11 Weeks):
Try to avoid frightening the puppy during this time, since traumatic experiences can have an effect during this period. This is a good time to introduce other humans. Learning at this age is permanent so make sure the puppy's environment is good. Also introducing your puppy to other dogs at this time will help the pup become more socialized. If available in your area, a doggy day care is great for this.
Seniority Classification Period (13 - 16 Weeks):
At this age, the puppy begins testing your relationship. Biting behavior should be discouraged from thirteen weeks on. Praise for the correct behavior response is the most effective tool.
Flight Instinct Period (4 to 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.
Second Fear impact period (6 - 14 Months):
This critical age may depend on the size of the dog. Small dogs tend to experience these periods earlier than large dogs. Care must be taken to not reinforce negative behavior. Force can frighten the dog, and soothing tones can encourage fear. Fear should be handled with patience and kindness and training during this period puts the dog in a position of success, while allowing the pup to work things out while building self-confidence.
Maturity (1 - 4 years):
The average dog develops to full maturity between 1-1 1/2 years and three 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. Use regular training throughout this testing period. Give praise for the proper response.