The Fifth Stage of Puppy Development

Socialization Period:  5 - 16 weeks of age

i) 5 - 9 weeks

- pup is learning canine body language through the mother and other littermates; body language includes facial expressions, body posturing, and vocalization.

-  VERY IMPORTANT THAT PUPPIES REMAIN WITH LITTERMATES UP TO 8 WEEKS OF AGE - interaction with other dogs during this time period can mean the difference between an adult dog that displays healthy interactive behaviour with other dogs and one that will have fearful and/or aggressive tendencies toward other canines and people.


ii) 8 - 12 weeks

-  this is the period of development that is important for the pup to have plenty of human interaction with a variety of people (supervise young children)

- during this stage the pup is able to sleep through the night and has better bladder/bowel control.

- simple commands (sit, down, stay) and leash training can be started.

- use of harsh discipline will only promote fearfulness in a puppy and should be avoided.

- ongoing introduction to new experiences is recommended (vacuums, etc), however outings to areas such as off leash parks or any other place where unvaccinated dogs may have been should be avoided until puppies are fully vaccinated.

- a minimum of two vaccinations, at 3-4 week intervals, are required to provide coverage against fatal canines diseases. As the first vaccination can be given as early as six weeks of age, a series of 3 vaccinations is recommended.  Your veterinarian can best advise which protocol to follow. The last puppy booster vaccination is given at 3 - 4 months of age.

- titre testing is available 2 - 4 weeks after the last vaccination and every 3 years to check immunity levels for distempter, parvo, and hepatitis viruses.