A puppy needs proper, appropriate and regular socialization in order to grown into a well-
adjusted adult dog. This guide explains the different stages puppies go through as they grow.
This stage involves learning appropriate social behavior with other dogs. Interactions with mom
and siblings teach bite inhibition, and general confidence with other dogs.
This is the very best age for forming strong bonds with people. Puppies are mentally mature
enough to adjust to changes, and to begin their training in manners.
This stage is sometimes referred to as the “fear stage” the puppy is especially impressionable
now. It’s important that the puppy have as many positive experiences with people, other
animals, and novel situations as possible.
This is a good time to enroll in puppy training classes. They teach you how to teach your puppy
how to learn. Make sure all training sessions are fun and successful.
Get the puppy out into the world and expose him/her to as many new things and different ages,
sexes and races of people as possible. Always make sure you can control the situation so
the experiences will be positive.
This stage is the gradual increase of independence and confidence. The puppy will be
motivated by his/her own curiosity and increasing confidence in the world.
Continue training, Take the puppy with you everywhere! This period is very important in
cementing a bond strong enough to withstand the trials of adolescence (right around the
This stage may be “hairy” from time to time during this period. The puppy/young dog's needs for
stimulation, companionship and activity are very high, and his/her tolerance for boredom and
inactivity are low.
This is the period in which maturity is reached in unaltered animals. you will experience testing
behaviors reminiscent of human teenagers. Continue to provide safe opportunities for vigorous
play and exercise, and safe toys to occupy teeth and mind when he/she is confined. This is not
the time to expect model behavior.
Somewhere during this period, your dog will reach emotional maturity; sooner, with small
breeds, and later for large dogs. At that time, dogs with tendencies toward dominance will begin
to assert themselves,
Aggression or dominance from the dog needs be recognized immediately and taken seriously.
Punishment is not an appropriate method of dealing with this, and is likely to provoke a
dangerous response. Consulting a competent behaviorist is recommended at the first warning
signs if dominance or aggression manifest.