K9 Critical Growth Development

The goal of COURTEOUS CANINES is to educate people about the canine species. A knowledgeable guardian is a far better one. Just like babies, dogs must pass through a series of emotional as well as physical stages throughout their lives. Many times their behavior is misunderstood & as a result they are punished unfairly for simply acting like a dog. Unfortunately, when people do not understand their dog and how he or she thinks, they inhibit their dog’s learning. We hope that by providing you with a clear view of your dog’s developmental periods, you will understand why he does what he does and also know how to positively react to your dog’s behaviors. Use body language to communicate. Cultivate your dog’s mind.

BIRTH – 12 DAYS: “NEONATAL PERIOD”

A pup only has two functions: obtain food & to stay warm. Sleeps 90% of time. Needs anal stimulation for urination & defecation. Constant contact with mother.

13 – 20 DAYS: “TRANSITION PERIOD”

A pup’s eyes open. Begins to crawl, wobbly, walk. First tooth and noise at 20 days. Begins to lap liquids and defecates on own.

21 – 28 DAYS: “AWARENESS PERIOD”

Begins to see objects & movement. Uses senses & hearing. Pup is learning & very close to mother. Begins to bark, wag tail & bite other pups. Begins to learn bite inhibition… invaluable!

3 – 7 WEEKS: “CANINE SOCIALIZATION PERIOD”

Body postures, facial expressions, vocalization, biting, chase games. Play prey games & tires easily. Weaning begins at 5-7 weeks. Learns to accept gentle discipline. If removed from litter too soon, will become a barker or bitter. Little sense of fear. Learns bite inhibition from littermates. Second key point having a gentle mouth.

8 – 11 WEEKS: “FEAR IMPACT PERIOD”

Very critical stage! Treat pup with a lot of gentle care & only socialize in non-threatening situations. Has total hearing & visual capacity. Good time to take a pup home. Owner is responsible for teaching bite inhibition now. Pup should receive its 1st set of modified vaccination shots. Pup should not be around other animals (ie: wild animals) until series of shots are completed.

13 – 16 WEEKS: “SENIORITY CLASSIFICATION PERIOD”

Pup tests for dominance & tries for leadership or develops subordinate behavior. Has short attention span. Continue to work on bite inhibition exercises. Vaccinations completed. Each year, ask your vet to TITER for immunity annually.
Enroll in a puppy program!

4 – 8 MONTHS: “FLIGHT INSTINCT PERIOD”

Pup tests his/her wings. Ventures off to curious situations. Always keep pup in your sight – your in the living room, the pup should be there, too. NEVER off leash outside unless fenced in and in sight.

6 – 14 MONTHS: “SECOND FEAR IMPACT PERIOD”

Change in pup’s behavior into an adolescent. Fear of reluctancy. Stay on top of dog with fun yet firm rules. Start dog in a basic obedience class. Learning can and does regress. Be patient!!!

1 – 4 YEARS: “MATURITY”

Depends on size and sex of dog. Males tend to mature later than females. Large dogs slower than smaller ones. Continue with obedience classes & integrate commands into your dog’s daily routine. A dog only remains mannerly with consistency, repetition and understanding.