Week 1-3

From the time your puppy is born until about the third week, there is not much socializing that can be done with your pet.  At this period in its life it has barely opened its eyes and can’t regulate its body temperature.  In this stage, all they can do is cry when separated from the warmth of their mother and their litter.  During this time, you should not handle them more than necessary.

Fourth Week

In the fourth week its eyes and ears should be fully open at this time.  It can start bonding with people, but children should not be allowed to handle the puppy as it is still very delicate.  It is important you be very gentle at this time!  It is also important that you do not take the puppy away from the litter.  If you have to take the puppy away, do it before or after the fourth week. 

From Fifth´s Week

In the fifth through seventh week, the mother will be beginning the process of weaning the puppies.  It is vital that you let the mother do this, as it helps your puppies realize that food is not always available.  If you don’t let the mother wean them and go straight to feeding them puppy food on demand this will spoil your puppy.  It is alright to supplement the feedings with moist dog food, but let her go through the process of weaning them.  You should also give the puppies individual attention daily, as this will help form the bond between dog and man.

It is also during this stage that they learn another lesson from their littermates.  It is during this time that puppies will begin to play and roughhouse.  It is also when they learn how rough they can get before causing harm.  If they bite a sibling to harm, then the sibling will squeal and retaliate or not play with the bully.  They learn that biting to hard hurts them as well as hurting others.  It is during this time when they figure out that they can bite, but they have to be careful how hard they bite.  If you take a puppy away from the litter before this time then they miss out on the chance to learn this lesson.  This may cause an accident around other people or children later as the puppy will have no restraint on how hard it’s biting.

When to Separate Your Pup and When To Start Socializing

During the eighth week is the best time in which to finally separate a puppy from its litter.  It will cry at being separated from its mother, but that is only natural.  It is during this time you must be loving and attentive to your puppy.  For the first few days you need to show your puppy love and care and let him adjust to his new home.  After that it is important you allow your puppy to interact with other people and dogs. 

Children should be supervised with the puppy, especially until after the ninth week.  From the eighth week to the ninth week is the time when the puppy will develop his fears.  Whatever traumatic events happen during this period will stay with the puppy for its whole life!  It is best to try and minimize on this as much as possible.

From here on out, it is important to simply allow your dog to meet as many new people and dogs as possible.  You should reinforce correct people greeting procedures as you don’t want you dog knocking over small children or jumping on strangers.  You also want to make sure your dog is friendly when he meets new dogs for the first time.  Try to introduce your puppy to as many new and positive experiences as possible.  This will make sure you have a loving and well adjusted dog later in life.

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