Puppy Development

Heart Song Standard Poodles allows puppies to go to their new homes after 8 weeks of age. Breeders should not allow puppies to leave their Mother and siblings before the critical age of 8 weeks. Studies have shown that puppies that leave their Mother and siblings before this age have harder adjustment periods, and may have a lifetime of difficulty interacting with other dogs. The first 8 weeks of life are an important time when puppies learn to respond to warmth and touch, maintain their body heat and other body functions, how to respond to cues from other dogs, and that people are fun to interact with.

Puppies open their eyes and ears, and tails begin to wag around 13-20 days of life.

During the first 8 weeks of interacting with their litter mates and Mother they learn varies canine behaviors. Through playing and rough housing they learn bite inhibition and other dog social cues.

9 Р12 weeks of ages is a critical time period when a puppy should have positive experiences. There is a natural fear period about this same time, it is important your puppy is socialized with new people, objects, sound and other pets. Puppies may act fearful and you may wonder if they will develop into a confident dog.  Positive experiences where a puppy is allowed to join in at their natural pace will get the best results.

3 – 6 months is the time when puppies are finding their place in the world. Puppies will develop a gradual increase in independence and confidence during this time. When a puppy is treated well, they learn that people are fun to be with, places aren’t scary and how to interact with other pets. Around 4-6 months old there is often another fear period. Fear periods last only a week or two and the age and severity varies widely even between two puppies from the same litter. When a puppy is fearful it is best to fun the experience up, your natural instinct will be empathy and to talk in soothing tones. This behavior only increases their fear by teaching them there is something to be afraid of.

6 – 18 months is the adolescent time period. Puppies may develop selective hearing and decide to try everything their own way. Puppies that may have been trained to come when called may decide to ignore you. Standard Poodles being extremely intelligent may find new and exciting ways to get into trouble and test their boundaries. People often say “I can’t believe my poodle did that” believing they had basic manners and training had been accomplished. Patience, consistent training, redirecting and a sense of humor are essential in raising your puppy.

Puppy hood doesn’t last just the first year. Standard poodles don’t fully mature until 18 – 24 months. Poodles brains continue to mature, muscle mass and bone growth matures, impulse control develops and the last stages of teething (and hopefully chewing) ends.

Enjoy all the stages of puppy hood. Train your puppy from the beginning and you will have a well behaved adult dog.

No Comments