CRITICAL STAGES OF PUPPY DEVELOPMENT

AGE (WEEKS) PERIOD PROBLEM IMPLICATION
3-14 Socialization If socialized later than 14 weeks, (or between 12-14 weeks in some dogs) shyness or aggressiveness may dominate behavior.
6-8 Optimum Socialization If socialized earlier, shyness often develops, along with over-dependence on the owner, which may lead to overprotectiveness.
8-10 Fear Imprint Traumatic, fear producing experiences may be permanently impressed causing defensive reactions in some circumstances.
12-14 Puberty Onset Meaningful sexual mounting often occurs. Males display erections.
18-40 Protective/Aggressive Barking at strangers and other territorial and social group protective tendencies may occur. Leg lifting may begin in males.
36-56 Functional Many dogs become more serious about protective-aggressive behavior. A general persistence in behavior problems is noted and corrections become more difficult.
104-208 Achievement Protective-aggressive behavior can be especially purposeful. Problem behavior appears to become self-rewarding and habitual. Corrections are markedly more difficult.
Originally submitted to Southwest Bullmastiff Club Newsletter by Cindy Emerson. Submitted to The Bullseye by Kathy McAlister.

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