Puppy Welfare


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                                    Developmental Stages of Dogs

Neonatal Period: 0- 2 weeks

The puppy is fully dependent on its mother

Transitional Period: 2 to 3 weeks

The puppy’s eyes and ears are opened and the teeth begin to appear, they learn to walk and start lapping.

Socialisation Period: 3 to 12 weeks

During this period the puppy’s needs are to have appropriate experiences with people, other dogs and the environment so they can develop into a well balanced pets.

Gentle handling daily helps form human attachments and the company with other dogs form a canine socialisation. What he learns shapes his entire attitude towards learning & life in general.

Remember to show him, praise him & correct him, 3 important steps to training a dog.

Teach them their names

3-5 weeks: the mother disciplines their puppies, they start to eat solid food, bark, waging their tails and will play biting games with other pups. They will also start to chase and play hunting games with each other and this is when they start to carry objects in their mouths, this is when they also learn to urinate after waking.

8-12 weeks: The puppy has a very strong desire to please and starts to learn their position in the pack, either in the litter or in the new home.

This is when they should be exposed to new experiences and situation

  • Meeting children & other adults
  • Other puppies & dogs
  • Different types of environments

In saying this be aware that the puppies are not fully vaccinated yet, so make sure they socialise with fully vaccinated dogs in safe areas

This age period is also good to get them used to been groomed:

  • Nails clipped, bathing or having other people examining them ( this is a good experience especially for vet visits and also if you are going to show your dog, as it essential that the dog does move during a show examination as points can be deducted.

Make all these experiences a pleasant and happy occasion and reward for the good behaviour eg treat or just a pleasant tone of the voice and pat.

Never, never call your dog to you to chastise  him for something he has done wrong, or to give him a tablet and  bath him, he will remember this as a bad experience and will not come when you call him, ALWAYS go to them if you need to reprimand them.

This is very important exercise as this can be the difference between a life and death situation ( if the dog is on the road and maybe hit by a car or in the park and a dog fight is occurring). You call their name to get their attention and they should not come until you say come.

Call them for good and happy experiences.

At this stage also they may be susceptible to frighten experience, care need to be taken and to reassure him everything is fine especially in a soothing voice tone, do not force him and be patient.

12 weeks to 6 months: puppies are very eager to please and learning quickly, an ideal time to teach the puppy his place in the family pack and to teach him games, his willingness to learn and increased ability to concentrate.

Dogs learn from their senses:

Ears, Eyes, Touch, Smell & Taste

Basic Dog Obedience Rules

Dogs learn from repetition, consistency & praise

 Golden Rule be Patient and Consistent

Repetition is the way they learn, by:

* Showing them

* Praising them

* Correcting them

Showing them the exercise and encouraging them to do it: like walking on a lead, praise them for doing it correctly and if they are not doing what is asked correct them.

They also learn by voice tones:

*Command to encourage and be firm

*Correction is a harsher tone

*Praise be enthusiastic, light pleasant tone and be encouraging

The voice tone is a very important tool when training a dog, it is imperative that we use the 3 different voice tones.

Please do not use long sentence in training:

The command sit, down, stand and stay, this should be short and firm and not would you please sit down

Do not accept sloppy work remember: Command, Correction & Praise

If approaching another dog always take into consideration their signalling devices: as some dogs are more approachable than others.

Dogs signalling devices:

EYES….are expressive and look straight through a person

EARS….the way they hold their ears give an indication of their feelings

TEETH… sole weapon for attack or defence

VOICE….barking natural way of expression

TAIL….express emotions

STANCE…balances the ways he conducts himself: High Stance….confidence

                                                                                         Small Stance…fearful

                                                                                         Tail tucked…really frightened


We thanks Vicki Patricia Hughes for writing this informative article