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  1. Leerburg | Save a Puppy's Life
  2. What to Expect for Your Puppy's First Year
  3. Newsletter Sign Up
  4. Puppy Socialization: Why, When, and How to Do It Right
12 New Puppies -- Life in the Dog House Ep.2

Interacting with his mother and littermates, the pup learns various canine behaviors. He is now aware of the differences between canine and human societies.

The pup has the brain wave of and adult dog. The best time for going to a new home. He now has the ability to learn respect, simple behavioral responses: sit, stay, come. Housebreaking begins. He now learns by association. Try to avoid frightening the puppy during this time, since traumatic experiences can have an effect during this period.

As you can see, this period overlaps that of the previous definition and children or animal should not be allowed to hurt or scare the puppy -- either maliciously or inadvertently. It is very important now to introduce other humans, but he must be closely supervised to minimize adverse conditioning.

Learning at this age is permanent. This is the stage where you wonder if your dog is going to be a woosy butt all his life.

Leerburg | Save a Puppy's Life

Also introducing your puppy to other dogs at this time will help him become more socialized. Sometimes referred to as the "fear period," the puppy is especially impressionable now. Object-associations formed during this period leave indelible imprints. It's vital that the puppy have as many positive experiences with people, other animals, and novel situations as can be arranged. It's equally vital to avoid painful or scary experiences until after 11 weeks. Those mildly unpleasant experiences that can't be avoided like puppy shots should be turned into positive ones by your reaction.

Always "jolly up" a scared puppy by laughing, praising the puppy, and treating the event as a game. Never give the appropriately human empathetic response of soothing reassurance, as this convinces the puppy that it must be really awful since you're upset too. This is a good time to enroll in puppy training classes.

They teach you how to teach your puppy how to learn.

What to Expect for Your Puppy's First Year

Make sure all training sessions are fun and successful. Take advantage of the puppy's dependence on you and strong desire to be near you to teach him to be reliable on "come. Never punish a puppy, for any reason, if he has come to your call—or come to you at all! Get the puppy out into the world and expose him to as many new things and different ages, sexes and races of people as possible. Always make sure you can control the situation so the experiences will be positive. Have the puppy on a leash so that you can intervene if anything threatens or frightens him. At about eight weeks old, your puppy will be ready to go home with you.

They may show signs of fear, so give them lots of positive training to help them overcome it.

Week eight is about right time to take your pup to the veterinarian! Discuss the best puppy food, feeding schedule, and training tips.

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This is the ideal time to enroll your new family member with Trupanion ask your veterinarian about an Exam Day Offer! Hopefully, they stay out of trouble, but medical insurance may come in handy as your pup explores, chews, and grows. Provide lots of acceptable chew toys to avoid too much unwanted chewing on household items. At four months old, they may experience another fear stage. Social relationships start to become clear as they learn their place in the pack.

This will include other animals in the home and you! They may challenge relationships and could become territorial.

Puppy Socialization: Why, When, and How to Do It Right

This is normal, so remain patient and diligent in training. Females can get pregnant during their first heat, usually around six months old. Expect your pup to continue testing or reinforcing their status in the household. They will likely go through another chewing phase as they explore their environment, which could result in ruined dog toys and damaged household objects.

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While both have more growing to do physically, puppies from larger breeds will continue to act more like puppies until about 18 months old, and pups from smaller breeds will have socially matured by about 12 months old. With proper training and clear boundaries, your pup, will start settling into their place in the pack without the need to continue testing rules and limitations.