Dogs generally follow developmental stages. It is important to learn these developmental stages in order for you to understand your dog.
Understanding these developmental stages is also important to prevent unwanted dog behaviors such as dog aggression.
Here are the developmental stages of puppy behavior:
0 – 2 weeks: Neonatal
.Puppy’s behavior is molded by her mother
.Sense of taste and touch are present during birth
2 – 4 weeks: Transitional
.Puppy’s behavior is influenced largely by mother and littermates
.This time, puppy’s eyes are opened, teeth erupts, sense of smell and hearing develops
.Puppy begins to wag, bark, stand and take a little walk
.At four weeks, puppy’s sight is well developed
3 – 12 weeks: Socialization
.This time, a puppy needs opportunities to interplay not only with other dogs but also with people
.At four to six weeks, a puppy is largely influenced and gets much learning from littermates.
.At three to five weeks, a puppy becomes aware of her surroundings, including dogs and people around her.
.At four to 12 weeks, a puppy is largely influenced not just my littermates but also by people. As such, this stage is important in educating the puppy the appropriate dog skills and people skills as well. This is the time your puppy learns social skills, social structure, social ranking. This is also the time that your puppy learns physical coordination.
.At five to seven weeks, a puppy develops her sense of curiosity and at this time tries to explore her surroundings. At this time also a puppy needs positive experiences with people.
.At seven to nine weeks, a puppy refines her physical skills, physical coordination, and has the full use of her senses.
.At eight to ten weeks, a puppy can already experience fear. At this time, the puppy can fear normal objects. Thus, positive training is needed at this time.
.At nine to 12 weeks, a puppy refines her reactions, her social skills towards littermates and towards people, explores her surroundings. Most importantly, this time, a puppy begins to focus on people. As such, this is a great time to train a puppy.
3 – 6 months: Ranking
.At this time, a puppy is largely influence by playmates that also include other species.
.This time, a puppy begins to comprehend ranking within a pack that includes humans.
.This time, a puppy is teething and oftens chews things
.At four months, a puppy experience another stage of fear.
6 – 18 months: Adolescence
.During adolescence stage, a puppy is largely influenced by dog and human pack members.
.At seven to nine months, a puppy goes through a second phase of chewing – the time when a puppy explores territory.
.Exploration of dominance, including challenging humans, is heightened.
.If not neutered or spayed, begins to exhibit sexual behavior.
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