Make crate-training fun with toys and treats. How long does Puppy fear stage last? Canine Peace of Mind, owned by professional dog trainer, Scott Harris specializes in lifestyle dog training in Chicagoland. the top 5 things you need to know about fear periods in dogs. Keep in mind that that the most significant opportunity window to solidify a bombproof temperament closes at 16 weeks (4 months). Junior stiffly and courageously approached but didn’t sniff it until I tapped the Dyson and declared, “See, it’s the vacuum cleaner. While the 8 to 12 week puppy fear period is in some cases hardly noticed by puppy owners, the second fear period appears to have a much bigger impact. Puppies are now autonomous but are still learning about the world around them. Nutritional Supplements and Medications For Dogs, These periods of development are referred to as puppy fear periods. These periods of development are referred to as puppy fear periods or the puppy fear stage as others call it. It is also within this stage that at least 50% [READ: Nature Versus Nurture and the Drivers of Canine Temperament] of the dog’s eventual temperament is developed. In this article, we will discuss fear periods. Coincidently, this fear period in puppies coincides with the time when they are commonly separated from their dam and littermates and are sent to new homes. About the author: Adrienne Farricelli is a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant. By subscribing to the newsletter, you consent to receive exclusive content and new post updates from Big Dog Mom™. Keep in mind that this behavior is not a sign that your puppy has turned aggressive. Subscribe to get all the latest updates and news from Big Dog Mom™ right in your inbox! And we can bump that up to 49% when I add Sulley to that list as well since I flew him home at 8 weeks old. I have found touching the object myself, and then encouraging my puppy to touch it with a happy, nonchalant attitude, is the best approach. Veterinarian visits and car visits should be made fun and upbeat. At this stage, your puppy primarily experiences physical feelings (hunger, warmth, cold, etc.). If I stroke him during it he tries to bite me… but outside of this he is very affectionate and never aggressive. Junior’s puppy wiggle was back! 0–7 Weeks. The puppy may go through it during a time of rapid growth or may occur when the puppy encounters a new situation. Your email address will not be published. Foes? Tail slightly curled under. Me, (thinking, usually….though now I’m not so sure), The men, oblivious to Junior’s body screaming at them, asked, in broken English, all the, I was having flashbacks at that moment. No Longer Spoiling in His Bed. But of course, the men were enamored with Junior and couldn’t help but talk to me as we tried to pass…. of the dog’s eventual temperament is developed. The first fear period occurs when the puppy is about eight weeks old, which is why it is no longer advisable to take a puppy from its mother at such a critical point. 1. Traumatic or fear-inducing situations that occur during this stage tend to leave an indelible impression on a puppy. While it is essential to continue socialization through your dog’s life, you want to make the absolute most of this time. But, remember, good things come to those who are patient. Control their environment so they don’t feel they have to defend themselves. Things like vaccines, cold examination tables, taking rectal temperatures, placing the puppy on a scale. From agitation to curiosity, he made friends once again with the vacuum cleaner. Changing homes is a stressful event in a puppies life and they need time to adjust. Later that night, I got the vacuum cleaner out and, while I finished up other tasks, left it sitting in the hall. When even the smallest of events become a monumental obstacle. During this time, a puppy is very sensitive to traumatic experiences and a single scary event may be enough to traumatize the puppy and have life-long effects on his future behaviors. Fear Imprint Period (or Critical Period) (8-10 weeks; range 7-11 weeks): Adolescent Fear Period (12 weeks – 6 months): Flight Instinct Fear Period (Approximately 6-9 Months (range 6-14 months): Adult Fear Period (Approximately 12 – 18 Months): How to Know if your Puppy is Going Through a Fear Stage, 5 Tips For Helping Your Puppy Conquer Fear, How to Take the Fear out of Puppy Fear Periods, Great Resources and Information About Puppy Fear Periods. Adolescent Fear Stage. Your puppy will pass through many stages as he grows and develops. There are two major fear periods in a puppy’s socialization. He will have learned to socialize with other dogs, and the dog’s personality would have had some time to develop. The second fear stage occurs right around four to six months, which is when your dog is reaching adolescence. While making small talk, I let Junior inspect at his own pace, watching every lip lick, every eye flicker, tail set, stiff body. There is NO ADDED COST to you should you use these links. Self-control and trust building exercises now will prepare a puppy for the fear stage to come. The consequences of removing puppies from their littermates and mothers even earlier than 8 weeks are both far-reaching and impactful. You walk down the same street every day for months and one day, out of the blue, he becomes hysterical at the sight of a … Control situations so that you can prevent a fearful response and show your puppy that you enjoy the situation. Never force your puppy to interact with the feared object or person. Over the next two minutes, Junior dutifully sniffed each man and each tool. Crating a Dog. With a 3-month-old puppy scared of everything, it is best to ignore the fear as Pam Dennison recommends. Working in a kennel that trained hunting dogs years ago, I was also around nursing puppies. And can be directed toward novel (new) stimuli or stimuli met before with no reaction. Learn how your comment data is processed. Punishing fear will only exacerbate it and potentially solidify it. Some posts on Big Dog Mom™ may contain affiliate links from which I may receive a small compensation. A 6-month-old puppy scared of strangers is not going to be convinced a stranger is friendly by force. So do not push them in at the deep end, or you’ll be paying for it the rest of the dog’s life. Common mistakes made during puppy socialization and how to avoid them, Why bringing a puppy home during before 10 weeks old is NOT recommended, and. This guide explains the different stages puppies go through as they grow. Do not encourage “watchdog” behavior at this age. He was a “man-dog” with a mission. And lastly, consider that most of the social rules are taught and reinforced by mother dogs during weeks 6 through 8. Use treats liberally while getting in and out and when meeting friendly strangers. Parenting instincts to soothe may kick in during puppy fear stages, but dogs do not understand comforting like we do. PTSD of a, And fortunately for Big Dog Mom, sweeping has never been easier with these two BFFs. A single frightening or painful experience during the fear period can have a lasting impact for the rest of your dog’s life.”. They need time to bond and learn to trust the new family. In my opinion, this is the most important stage of a puppy's development. For more ideas on things you can do with your puppy prior to 16 weeks, read: In preparation for this post, I reached out to the Big Dog Mom Community to find out what age their puppy was when they acquired him. and being handled by strangers, are all experiences that you want to make sure you are doing, but not right in the middle of a fear period if they can be avoided. And unfortunately, this is the time most puppies are separated from their mom and littermates and are sent to new homes. Puppy fear stages are typical, but don’t count on your dog “growing out of it” without your leadership and help. He can see further and can also be soothed by soft murmurings when held. Things like vacuuming can still be accomplished, but just do it one room at a time while your pup is 8 to 10 weeks old. He will not be as frightened by people or objects. In early fear periods, you may not notice any change in behavior. Developmental milestones A substage within the Human Socialization Stage is the Fear Impact or Fear Imprint Stage. Never drag or force interaction with a scary object. There was no tail wag or wiggling puppy butt. Everything about the experience of traveling to a new home can cause fear in a puppy, so avoiding those things during this fear stage is important. He was at times, in fact, too friendly for his own good. During certain fear periods, the reactivity level of puppies rise causing him to act defensively, become protective and more territorial. He walked stiffly, intently, toward his new enemy…. Use force-free behavior modification such as. All Big Dog Mom images and words copyrighted unless otherwise credited. These weeks are a crucial time for the puppy’s brain development. Join the Canine Peace of Mind Mailing List! There are times in every dog’s life when their world is turned upside down. She is also a former veterinarian assistant, and author of the popular online dog training course "Brain Training for Dogs." Small breeds stop growing at an earlier age than large breeds. Required fields are marked *. This is often considered the 5-month-old puppy fear stage. Like with Junior, these new fears seem to pop up out of nowhere. We rounded the corner and, about the same time, noticed a group of men in a neighbor’s front yard doing some landscaping. But even the chi-attack was brushed off as a minor insult. While the 8 to 12 week puppy fear period is in some cases hardly noticed by puppy owners, the second fear period appears to have a much bigger impact. And fortunately for Big Dog Mom, sweeping has never been easier with these two BFFs. This phase is sometimes referred to as “teenage flakiness.” Adolescent dogs may spook at the silliest things. Whew! It is likely that the onset of sexual maturity and the surge of sex hormones may have something to do with this phase. Just check the stage of development that the little guy (or gal) is in…it explains a lot (like he isn’t crazy). They were strangers. The timing of fear periods are given in ranges, however, when they occur in an individual puppy it is as defined as the day they were born. When a thunderstorm came, momma dog would just chill. Dog Nailpro™ is full. with fake vaccines (a pen), mock examinations, and known people pretending to be friendly strangers. Small dogs tend to experience these periods earlier than large dogs. Ignore and wait for calm behaviors that you can then reinforce.”. The Importance of Training Little Dogs. Consider what Dr. Jen states in The Dark Side of Socialization: Fear Periods and Single Event Learning, “The dangerous part is this: during this particular developmental stage, your dog’s brain is on a hair trigger, exquisitely sensitive to anything “bad” that may happen. This critical age may depend on the size of the dog. That would be like me trying to convince you taxes are good by taking away all your money. An Important Time for Exposure, Small Dog Breeds. I know how excited you are. The first fear phase comes when the puppy is just 2-3 months of age. This is not a separate stage of development but a component of the Socialization Stage which starts at 3 weeks old. Whether it’s a 3-month-old puppy suddenly scared of everything or an otherwise outgoing 6-month-old puppy scared of strangers whom they have decided are a threat that must be protected against. After a few storms, none of them moved. How you handle these puppy fear periods will determine whether you have a bomb proof big dog on the other side or the “alarm” of the neighborhood. Is he friendly?”, Me, (thinking, usually….though now I’m not so sure) “Yes, he’s friendly.”. During certain fear periods, the reactivity level of puppies rises causing him to act defensively, become protective and more territorial. You can unsubscribe at any time. Most dogs move past this “fear period” without any special care on the part of guardians. Download Tasks For This Stage. Past the Fear Stage. the scary vacuum cleaner), the negative association is lessened or eliminated. Then stop and leave the ‘vacuum monster’ out where your puppy can investigate it between ‘roars.’ Use treats liberally. Rover has grown now and if he is a large breed he may even weigh 100 pounds or more! Instead of being reassuring, you are telling them that being afraid is the appropriate reaction and that they are doing a good job. Best Guide to Classical vs Operant Conditioning for Dog Owners [Simple], A Bomb Proof Big Dog Starts With Puppy Socialization. What Is the Best Age to Send Puppies to Their New Homes? The longer a puppy gets to stay with his dam, the more time he has to develop traits and good habits that will help him in the short and long term. By Nancy Frensley, CAP2, CPDT Behavior & Training Manager Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, The Dark Side of Socialization: Fear Periods and Single Event Learning, Puppies Taken from Litter Too Soon Develop Behavior Problems as Adults by Karen Becker, DVM. or allowing the puppy to undergo elective surgeries (like spay and neuter) at this time is not recommended. It represents the time when a dog’s potential as a companion animal is either fostered and nurtured or impeded and even destroyed. « Feeding Giant Breed Puppies for Dummies – The Protein Myth & More, Probiotics for Dogs: The Facts and Strains that Matter Most ». It is also within this stage that at least 50%. Whether you've adopted a puppy and you're wondering when he'll calm down and stop chewing on everything — or you're simply curious about what puppies go through to become full-fledged dogs — this puppy timeline has the answers you're looking for. One of the most critical times in a dog’s life, and arguably one of the most challenging, is between the ages of 6-9 months. This was a very interesting read thank you! This fear period tends to happen between twelve to fourteen months of age. Hair still on end. Wake up, feed kids, feed dogs, attempt to make myself presentable. When going through puppy fear stages the last thing you want to do is scoop them up and pet them. This particular puppy fear stage is believed to be related to the surge in growth that occurs at this age which may cause some physical discomfort. In broken English, “He’s BIG! To some extent, we all care what others think, but when it comes to your dog, you can’t. You must be patient during these periods and keep to a familiar routine. Noticeable changes in puppy behavior can occur as early as 12 weeks when an owner will lament that their 3-month-old puppy is suddenly scared of everything. Slowly. Was unafraid of anyone or anything. Your puppy has likely entered the first fear stage, which usually occurs when he is 8 to 11 weeks old. Parenting instincts to soothe may kick in during puppy fear stages, but dogs do not understand comforting like we do. A better approach is to allow your puppy to investigate whatever he fears on his own and praise/reward any initiative he or she takes. While some of these fear periods go unnoticed by dog owners, in other cases owners are left scratching their head, or worse, responding. The key is to avoid exposing your puppy to traumatic experiences. Take Your Winter Dog Training Indoors. Junior came into the hall, took one look at the “intruder” and did the same thing. Use force-free behavior modification such as desensitization and counterconditioning. By this time, your puppy should be a little more comfortable with the outside world. “During these periods, puppies may show fear of items, situations, or people they formerly felt safe,” says Frensley. So Junior and I were on our walk. They are on high alert when they perceive things aren’t “normal.”. This was a familiar scene with friendly strangers. Rover has grown now, and if he is a large breed, he may even weigh 100 pounds or more! Be an advocate for your dog, especially during puppy fear stages and you will be rewarded with a stronger, more enjoyable relationship for years to come. Instead of being soothing, you just accidentally nurtured that fear. Over 20 years professionally working with dogs, I have yet to see an eight week old puppy that barks at the doorbell or lunges and growls on leash when they see someone approaching. During these stages, puppies may show fear of items, situations, or people with whom they formerly felt safe. Most puppies go home to their new parents at the age of 7 - 9 weeks so understanding this stage is vital. Simply turning on this momentary foe is now an invitation to follow me around the house and lay in my path. 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