Puppy Development: Fear Periods

September 7th, 2007 by Dan

Did you know that puppies go through “fear stages” during their development?

Usually these periods are seen in dogs between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks of age. During this time of growth your dog is extremely vulnerable to physical and psychological stimulation; if he or she understands something as “bad” the effects can be severe. This is the time for tons- and we do mean TONS- of positive reinforcement when dealing with new situations. Never force your pup to do things he or she does not want to do (we recall seeing somoene throwing their young puppy into a body of water to get him to swim during this period- do you think this was an effective way of getting their dog comfortable with the water?). Instead, gentle coaxing with lots of treats and praise is the way to form positive associations with new objects and experiences.

2 Responses to “Puppy Development: Fear Periods”

  1. Ask The Dog Guide: What Age Should A Puppy Go Home? | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] on your upcoming addition! You’re doing yourself and your puppy a huge favor by researching canine development before you bring a tiny canine into your home! The first few weeks of a puppy’s life, spent [...]

  2. Classic Dog Article: How To Handle Fears During Puppyhood | Dog Reflections Says:

    [...] you may notice that your pup becomes wary of new situations. These are sometimes referred to as “fear stages” – in some cases young dogs may even bark or growl at objects that make them uncomfortable. While [...]

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