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Puppy Development Calender What to expect & watch out for...

#1 User is offline   Steve K9Pro 

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 04:30 PM

K9: This is a development calendar that is the result of many puppy growth & development cycles under observation.

The purpose of this calendar is to be used as a tool or guide for those raising pups to use to identify temperament changes in their pups during development. The reason for such a calendar is that by knowing certain temperament traits are common in all breeds at certain times, this can allow the owner/handler/trainer to allow for certain changes in the pups temperament at certain times..

One important feature that can be of great value are knowing when the "periods of fear" will be present. These are development periods in pups lives that see the pups' thresholds to negative, often nervous behaviours, lowered. Meaning it takes less stimuli to trigger fear in these periods than would be considered normal for that pup. Meaning, you will see fear in your pup at almost everything... Knowing these periods exist & observing the pup going into these periods has helped me develop training programs & strategies to train & socialize a pup correctly based on what period of temperament growth the pup is in & avoid the pitfalls...

It is also very helpful in diagnosing how, when & why behaviour problems begin, for example, a pup that has been challenged in Fear Period one may turn into a very active alert barker, this is because the pup has learned to bark, under a normal amount of stimuli, when the period of fear had reduced the dogs genetic thresholds to fear through a learned experience…

It is thought that these periods exist to add some apprehension to what would be a wild dogs hunting pattern, so that they don't feel they are invincible & injured or killed in early hunting episodes.

I have posted my version of this Calender here, free for members to use to help raise their pups correctly.

It should be read as a guide only, your pup may fall perfectly into these age groups or slightly out of them, it may have severe fear periods or rank periods or quite mild ones, but from my experience, all pups go through each & every one of them at some time to some degree..

The only condition I ask for is that if this is distributed, its done by linking to this page & my contact details are included or my website www.k9force.net. This ensures I can be contacted for any difficulties...


Dogs growth cycles in terms of temperament
New born puppy (birth to 2 weeks)
Puppies in this period can only communicate by feel, temperature & scent. Things such as bowel & bladder control are not yet within puppies control nor can they control their body temperature. If I was going to purchase a puppy from a breeder, I would be dropping off one of my sweaty t shirts to be left in the whelping box for the pups first 8 weeks of life… Believe it or not, this is when toilet training starts...

Transition from new born to early puppy hood (2 - 3 weeks.)
Eyes and ears are open but sight and hearing are limited. Movements are more confident, crawling can begin as soon as 2 weeks. Tail wagging & head movements are beginning to be driven by sound. Good breeders will spend a lot of time with the litter at this time, talking to the pups & touching them…

Awareness Period (3 - 4 weeks.)
The puppy is learning that he is a dog and has a great need for a stable environment. It's a great time to cuddle & talk to the pup. Hearing can now be tested as it will be developed & sight as developed also. I like to remove the pups for short periods & spend time with them without the rest of the litter.

• Pack skills development period (3 - 8 weeks)
This is a crucial time for the puppy to spend with mother & litter mates, interaction skills are learned at this time & various canine behaviours are learned too, such as calming, greeting signals etc. He is now aware of the differences between canine and human societies.

• Human Socialization Period (6-12 Weeks)
The puppy has a developed brain that can think like an adult dog. This is the best time to interact with the puppy, bring it inside for the night in front of the TV etc. Crate training is possible & should be attempted as early as possible..

He now has the ability to learn respect, simple training steps such as come, sit, stay. We teach the elimination command at 6 week mark so the dog will toilet on command. He can now learn by association.

The permanent man-dog bonding begins, we do not use any corrective measures when training puppies at this stage, other than removal of an available reward. My Triangle of Temptation program is perfect for a pp of this age.. See it here...http://www.dolforums...showtopic=64101

Confidence building is now possible too. This is where I would begin drive training with a dog that will be used for this type of work… See this thread http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?show...95&hl=drive

I also outline the rules as soon as the pup gets home, such as where the pup will sleep, eat & toilet & I also set boundaries to some behaviours like play..

• Period of fear 12-16 Weeks
The puppy will spook very easily in this period, & frightening experiences can have a lasting effect on the puppy.

In this period, we don't allow children to carry or pick up puppies, nor play with them without close supervision. People are told to socialise the hell out of their pups, I dont subscribe to that idea at all, see this thread on my views to socialsiation http://www.dolforums.com.au/index.php?show...79&hl=drive

We try not to allow the pup in contact with dogs we don't know that are gentle with pups. A puppy subjected to an attack by another dog in this period will most likely suffer from fear aggression its whole life.

Things learned by negative association in this period can be permanent.


• Rank & shaping (14-18 Weeks)
Puppies teethe at this point, this makes them chew & people are good chew toys. They begin to realise the power of their jaw & should be taught bite inhibition (for pets) at this age.

They can also start to show signs of dominance, good pack leadership should be exercised now, a large breed dog let go at this point can be quite a handful, yes at 18 weeks.. They can learn the skills they need to dominate you & excercise these skills when they get big & strong enough, it may be funny to watch a 16 week old pup growling at you, not so funny at 16 months & 40 plus kgs..

Keep up with positive training at this point; learning a new behaviour at this stage is easier than breaking a bad habit later. I really train often in this period, putting formality to the work the puppy can do, asking for more focus etc.

• Selective deafness? (5-9 Months)
It's no surprise to see puppies pretend not to hear your known commands at this age. It's at this age we introduce more formal training including consequences for disobedience.

Dogs often chew & destroy things that have your scent on them at this point too, many pups are dumped before 9 months... why? Because they now have strength, they getting bigger, faster & less reactive to a simple "no"… By now they have either been taught to walk on a loose leash or pull on the leash..

• Second Fear Period (8 - 16 Months)
As puppies become what is called gangly, long legs due to growth spurts, they seem to become a little weaker in nerve than previously noted.

It's strange sounds, new sights that often spook a dog more easily than just a week ago... It's at this time we need to be good leaders, when your dog baulks at a stairway, keep walking at full pace to show your pup all is ok. Coddling him when he shows fear will re enforce that fear & you will have to work to get over it later.

More training now is crucial to his behavioural development.

• Maturity (1-4 Years)
We have so many people with German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Boxers etc that come to us at 2 years old wondering when the puppy will leave this dog? I have seen some dogs that are big pups at 4 years old.

If the dog is a pain then it's because you haven't completed the training as suggested earlier, but better late than never. If you allow your large dog to reach maturity without any training, you're in for a hard time, possibly a dangerous one if your dog becomes dominant.

You need to buy a mirror, take a look in it & change the person you see to an Alpha Leader..

Dogs approaching maturity need firm handling & discipline which = positive & nagative R

*********************************

I am happy to answer any questions about anything in this post....

This article is copyright protected (2007) © and can not be used or distributed without K9 force consent. You are, however, allowed to distribute this link to direct people to this site or our website www.k9force.net


Steve Courtney
K9 Force Professional Dog Training & Behaviour Consultancy.

Nationally Accredited Dog Behaviour Consultant.
Nationally Accredited Dog Obedience Trainer.
Nationally Accredited Law Enforcement Dog Trainer.


Website: www.k9force.net

Email: [email protected]

This post has been edited by K9 Force: 01 November 2007 - 04:38 PM


#2 User is offline   WinGus 

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Posted 01 November 2007 - 09:08 PM

Great article K9!

I think my puppy is now in the Selective Deafness stage. When you say you introduce consequences for disobedience, what does that entail? Also how do you get the dog to obey you on the first command? I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record!

Is there a difference between the dog going through these stages and lack of respect for me because of lack of leadership, or not very strong leadership?

#3 User is offline   Steve K9Pro 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:17 AM

Quote

think my puppy is now in the Selective Deafness stage. When you say you introduce consequences for disobedience, what does that entail? Also how do you get the dog to obey you on the first command? I think I'm starting to sound like a broken record!

Is there a difference between the dog going through these stages and lack of respect for me because of lack of leadership, or not very strong leadership?


K9: to teach anything, you will need to establish a motivator (reward system) for your pup, then there are ways that you can use this with a method like show/place & reward system..

Yes there is a difference, in reality respect comes from discipline which is you setting boundaries for your pup... Consequences can be from time outs to physical corrections..

#4 User is offline   peibe 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:38 AM

Fantastic read K9 and very helpful

Would you mind if I gave a copy of this with the link to your webpage of cource with the puppies I adopt out through rescue?

#5 User is offline   littlelabrador 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:57 AM

Very interesting , thanks. I am having lots of problems, or what i perceive as problems, with our 11 wk old lab. She is so sweet during the day, with me alone, but with daughter and husband around, seems aggressive, with barking, biting/nipping ( i dont know the difference), jumping etc.

Can i ask, as i looked at your website, do you have people trained in your methods, who work on the NSW Central Coast ?? Or does everyone have to come to your for your services ?? I'm sort of looking for someone who will come to our home and see the behaviour in action.

cheers.

#6 User is offline   Steve K9Pro 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:31 PM

Quote

Would you mind if I gave a copy of this with the link to your webpage of cource with the puppies I adopt out through rescue?



K9: By all means, I give this out to my puppy clients, with my version of the NILIF program (its a lot better than the standard NILIF), my Triangle of temptation program & I give them advice on socialisation as per my thread.. That gets them started..

We have a pack with all this info in that some other breeders give out as well, it comes at a small fee...

Quote

LL: Can i ask, as i looked at your website, do you have people trained in your methods, who work on the NSW Central Coast ?? Or does everyone have to come to your for your services ?? I'm sort of looking for someone who will come to our home and see the behaviour in action.

K9: we have people travel from the CC weekly, it really isnt that far & I had a look at your thread & I would really recommend you make the trip...

#7 User is offline   ShellyBeggs 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:11 PM

As usual Steve.....Thanks Heaps!
:rainbowbridge:

This is one to print out and keep!!!!


I am in the "selective deafness" stage and 2nd fear period.....with Anzac at 10mo.

although for the last 3 weeks he has been scared of squeaky toys......last night when I was on the phone to someone to organise dog transport.....he decided he loved them again and lay squeaking it the whole time I was on the phone.

So maybe coming out of the fear stage....

#8 User is offline   prism 

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  Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:29 PM

Absolutely awesome article!

thanks for all the info :rainbowbridge:


this is certainly a keeper - will print off

#9 User is offline   peibe 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:58 PM

I already hand out the NILIF and TOT but thanks for letting me add this to it

Cheers

#10 User is offline   Monah 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 04:03 PM

:)

#11 User is offline   chloebear 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:01 PM

9

View PostK9 Force, on 1st Nov 2007 - 04:30 PM, said:

• Rank & shaping (14-18 Weeks)
Puppies teethe at this point, this makes them chew & people are good chew toys. They begin to realise the power of their jaw & should be taught bite inhibition (for pets) at this age.

They can also start to show signs of dominance, good pack leadership should be exercised now, a large breed dog let go at this point can be quite a handful, yes at 18 weeks.. They can learn the skills they need to dominate you & excercise these skills when they get big & strong enough, it may be funny to watch a 16 week old pup growling at you, not so funny at 16 months & 40 plus kgs..


K9 , thanks for the post. This is the phase that I am in at the moment with my rescue dog Holly (badly neglected abused, large breed 4 months old), the problem is she is mouthing on my two year old son plus jumping on my daughter 4. I had not allowed the kids to lay on the ground and allowing the pup to jump on them, but a family member thought it was funny and allowed this behaviour, I said at the time, "I am sure it won't be so funny when one of the kids fall over and the puppy starts jumping on them thinking its a game, I bet it's going to end in tears, remember a puppy grows up" and yep it did end in tears. How do I now correct this behaviour?

#12 User is offline   Mushaka 

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:09 PM

K9 thanx for this post..so very Important, This should be copied by all breeders and handed out (if allowed)...
I have my dog Sage who is now 15yrs,,,my friend took her off for a walk at about 13wks,plonked her in the bed of a Bullterrier who had never seen another dog,..needless to say,i went straight to the vet. Sage would always pee and cowar if she saw another dog after that and as soon as she was old enough,she wanted to KILL them.
Had iKnown this back then I would have left Sage at home,well out of harms way!This has been a major learning experience for me though,and with Indie i have been very very careful for her not to have negative experiences!
Thankyou again for your thread,..such valuable information!!

#13 User is offline   Bulldust 

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 11:59 AM

My puppy is just 5mths old, a male Bull Terrier who weve had for only about a month. When we first brought him home he was fine, and for the first couple of weeks. Now last fortnight or so he seems to be in that first Fear Stage is this normal at this age?

He is being totally wimpy just with things like picking up the hose to fill his water, or picking up his bowl, or my 4yr old boy driving a toy truck past him he runs into his kennel

If you could please point me in the direction of any info to understand this and build his confidence up again that would be fanstastic. .

This post has been edited by Bulldust: 15 December 2007 - 11:01 AM


#14 User is offline   Steve K9Pro 

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:50 AM

Quote

C: the problem is she is mouthing on my two year old son plus jumping on my daughter 4. I had not allowed the kids to lay on the ground and allowing the pup to jump on them, but a family member thought it was funny and allowed this behaviour, I said at the time, "I am sure it won't be so funny when one of the kids fall over and the puppy starts jumping on them thinking its a game, I bet it's going to end in tears, remember a puppy grows up" and yep it did end in tears. How do I now correct this behaviour?

K9: The problem you "see" isnt the real problem, its a result of the real problem... The rea problem is that this dog doesnt see you as the pack leader & or your communication isnt clear...

If your keeping this pup, I would suggest seeking some pro help onpack structuring, if you let me know where you are I can mos likely refer you to someone... Let go this could really turn nasty..

Quote

LL: Thankyou again for your thread,..such valuable information!!


K9: very welcome, I see so many problems that developed all by themselves as the owers just werent aware of the periods & what to expect... An ounce of prevention...

Quote

R: My puppy is just 5mths old, a male Bull Terrier who weve had for only about a month. When we first brought him home he was fine, and for the first couple of weeks. Now last fortnight or so he seems to be in that first Fear Stage is this normal at this age?


K9: yes, as I said earlier, it doesnt have to fit right into the calender, but it sure sounds like FP1.

Quote

R: He is being totally wimpy just with things like picking up the hose to fill his water, or picking up his bowl, or my 4yr old boy driving a toy truck past him he runs into his kennel


K9: totally normal

Quote

R :f you could please point me in the direction of any info to understand this and build his confidence up again that would be fanstastic. Also i should add we brought his litter sister home at the same time and she is still totally fine.


K9: basically just avoid putting him in places where he may get a fright, keep him away from a playing child, water etc etc & dont coddle him...

Females always develop quicker than males, she may have bee finished her FP1 when you got her..

#15 User is offline   Spanner 

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 11:06 AM

2nd Fear period???
K9, my 9 month old GSP (who we have only had for a few weeks) was very ill 10 days after he came to us and spent a couple of days/nights at the Vet but thankfully pulled through. I visited the vet today and he is now very scared of the vet (and to some extent the nurse's too) and he hid behind me like a small child would (which he didn't do before the episode of illness). The vet was gentle with him and hand fed him treats and said to pop by every now and again to show him that its an ok place to be. The thing is a few days ago my parents visited and our dog was really weird with my Dad and grabbed (nipped) at my Dad's hand. He didn't make contact at all (looked almost like he thought he had food) and he didn't appear to be aggressive about it (to my unexperienced eyes anyway) so I am wondering is he going to be fearful of men now and if so what is the right thing to do about it?

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