Just like a growing child of any other species canines have several different stages of development that they pass through on their way to becoming fully mature adults.
Points of these periods are extremely important to the development of your dog’s personality; events that take place during this time will decide what behaviors, good or bad, your pet will most likely exhibit.
Learning about these stages will help you to instill proper behavioral patterns in your pet and avoid imprinting any fears that might cause unwanted behavior in the future.
Occurring right around eight weeks of age the Fear Imprint Period lines up with the natural separation from the mother. During this stage, your puppy learns most of what it will take into adulthood. In fact, your puppy will learn more during this time frame than it will throughout the rest of its life.
This will be the point when you’ll want to start training your puppy. Avoid exerting too much pressure and try to keep things motivational and fun. Your puppy will respond better to this and you will avoid potentially traumatizing it.
The Second Fear Period is the time when a puppy can most easily develop fears of things through traumatic experiences. For example, if your puppy has a bad run-in with a vacuum cleaner during this stage they are likely to carry the fear for the rest of their lives.
The trouble is this occurs right around four to six months which is when your dog is reaching adolescence. A puppy at this age is just starting to spread its wings and is likely going to want to test their and your boundaries.
Due to this fact, you will find yourself needing to discipline your pup. Do not yell at your pup during this stage and never, ever swing or hit your dog.
Canines can develop fears of people or entire human sexes (males or females) if they suffer verbal or physical abuse at this time. In order to avoid this, stay calm yet firm at all times around your puppy. They can pick up on your moods and will act accordingly.
You may develop a sort of paralysis for fear of traumatizing your dog, a calm cool demeanor will go a long way getting you and your pup thought it alive and unscathed.
Canines made it just fine in the world long before humans domesticated them. They are incredibly resilient and will make it through okay as long as you take your proper role.
Using common sense and patience will help you to develop a lasting relationship with your dog and to instill proper behavioral patterns.