Early socialization The importance of early socialization cannot be stressed enough. Puppies should be handled from birth, but human intervention is not a substitute for the valuable lessons instilled by the mother dog and litter mates. The puppy's mental health and emotional development depends on it.
Starting at about 5 weeks of age and continuing to around 10 weeks of age, the puppy is learning lessons that will influence his behavior for the rest of his life.
Puppies start to become aware of their surroundings starting at around 5 weeks. It is at this point that the puppy's personally and temperament begin to emerge. All puppies will assert themselves, chewing on mama and their litter mates. It is the mother's and litter mate's reaction to this behavior that begins to shape the developing puppy mind. One puppy chews on another puppy. The other puppy chews back harder. It will be determined at this point who is dominant and who is submissive -- Which one cries and backs off, which one has to get the last word. The mother dog plays an invaluable role at this time. If the puppy chews on mama too hard, she will bite and shake him, making him squeal. The puppy is learning how to inhibit his biting. If the older puppy (eight to ten weeks) bites mama and runs off, she will run him down and correct him. Breeders that sell puppies at 4, 5, or even 6 weeks of age are doing a disservice to the puppy, and to the new owner. These breeders make the assumption that if the puppy is eating solid food he is old enough to leave. Besides, the older the puppy the more they cost to care for. Puppies should not leave the breeder until they are at least 8 to 10 weeks of age. Puppies that have been taken away form the mother and litter mates at a very young age (from birth to 4 weeks) have very distinctive temperament disorders. Training will help, but these tendencies will stay with the dog for life. The classic signs are: The dog does not know how to inhibit his biting. He clamps down hard every time. If he is corrected or manipulated in any way, he will become very angry. He is affectionate to a degree, but distant. He spends a lot of time in his own little world. Any time things don't go his way, he'll throw a full-blown temper tantrum. Once he learns how to do something he is relatively fine, and will oblige. However, every time he learns something new, he will go berserk.
This Website Updated: 3-9-2018 All information contained in this website is current, and up to date
JCM's Obedience Training Program adheres to the regulations and standards set forth by the AKC (American Kennel Club).