Your Puppy’s First 100 Days
The most important time in a puppy’s development is during the first year, especially during the first 4 months of life. This doesn’t mean your dog won’t be able to learn new things as a juvenile, adolescent or adult. It does mean the way he learns and responds are formed very early and most certainly in your puppy’s first 100 days.
Use Your Calendar To Plan
Like children, puppies have a small window of time during brain development when they are most impressionable. The imprinting, or critical learning period. is during the first 16 weeks of life. Puppies learn more during this time than they can learn in a life time. The quality and quantity of what they experience will have a huge impact on their future personalities and determine the formation of many of their “good” or “bad” behavior tendencies.
The optimal time for puppies to be placed with their new human families is at 7-8 weeks of age. Lets say your puppy is eight weeks old and just came to live with you. What should you do to be sure you give your puppy every advantage in those first 100 days?
Create A Consistent Schedule
Plan on providing high quality socialization and schooling. Don’t put this off.
- teach the “sit” before putting food down
- train for short walks on a leash inside before you venture outside
- teach him where and what times he is to go to the bathroom
- teach him he has his own bed and that is where he should sleep
- train the sit to meet new people or to get treats
- teach him to come to you by always offering praise or treats
- teach him his name!
Always be patient and kind if your puppy seems confused or has some fumbling first attempts. Look for an outstanding pet care facility that offer puppy training, grooming and daycare play groups for on going socialization.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Be aware there are two Fear-Impact Periods, first around 8-11 weeks of age and later at 5 months of age where it’s important to avoid bad experiences. Should your puppy become afraid for any reason, dangerous or not, immediately step in and remove him from the situation. That is good parenting!
Before you know it you’ll be celebrating your dogs 1st birthday and those first 100 days will just be memories. So during your puppy’s first 365 days, take photos and post about him on social media. You’ll be glad you did!