Puppy Development Stages

0-7 Weeks
Neonatal, Transition, Awareness and Canine
The puppy is with his mother and littermates. During this period, the puppy learns about social interaction, play and inhibiting aggression from mother and littermates. Puppies must stay with their mother and littermates during this critical period. Puppies learn the most important lesion in their lives– they learn to accept discipline.


7-12 Weeks
Human Socialization Period:
The puppy now has the brain waves of an adult dog, but his attention span is short. This period is when the most rapid learning occurs. Learning at this age is permanent so this is a perfect time to start training. Also, this is the ideal time to introduce the puppy to things that will play an important part in his life. Introduce the puppy to different people, places, animals and sounds in a positive non-threatening way.

8-11 Weeks
Fear Imprint Period:
Avoid frightening the puppy during this period. Any traumatic, frightening or painful experience will have a more lasting effect on the puppy than if it occurred at any other time in its life.

Puppy Developmental Stages
13-16 Weeks
Seniority Classification Period or The Age of Cutting:
The puppy cuts teeth and apron strings! The puppy begins testing who is going to be pack leader. You must discourage any and all biting because such biting is a sign of dominance!
It is important that you are a strong and consistent leader.
Formal training must begin and will help you establish your leadership.

4-8 Months
Play Instinct Period Flight Instinct Period:
The puppy may wander and ignore you. It is very important that you keep the puppy on a leash at this time! The way that you handle the puppy at this time determines if the puppy will come to you when called. At about 4 1/2 months, the puppy loses his milk teeth and gets his adult teeth. He then begins serious chewing! A dog’s teeth don’t set in his jaw until between 6-10 months. During this time, the puppy has a physical need to exercise his mouth by chewing. Stock up on lots of Bully Bones and braided doggy ropes!

6-14 months
Second Fear of New Situations Period
The Terrier again shows fear of new situations and even may be reluctant to approach someone or something new. Our family, has not experienced this with our terriers, but it is something to be aware of.

**With lots of thanks to Dunham Lake Australian Terriers