The weaning period Weeks

You must also be wary of obtaining a puppy from a breeder who has taken a puppy away from his mother too soon, because it not only deprives the puppy of important lessons but can also affect the puppy's future health. For example, the puppy obtains antibodies to many diseases by feeding from his mother. Every sip of milk is like a vaccine that protects the puppy for many weeks after he leaves the litter and is placed in his new home.

Between 3 to 7 weeks of age, the mother teaches her puppies basic doggy manners. She communicates to the puppies what's acceptable and what's unacceptable behavior. For instance, after the puppies' teeth have come in, nursing them becomes a painful experience, so she teaches them to take it easy. She does whatever it takes, from growling, snarling, and even snapping, and she continues this lesson throughout the weaning process when she wants the puppies to leave her alone. After just a few repetitions, the puppies get the message and respond to a mere look or a curled lip from mother. The puppy learns dog language — or lip reading, as we call it — and bite inhibition, an important lesson.

The puppies also learn from each other. While playing, tempers may flare because one puppy bites another one too hard. The puppies discover from these exchanges what it feels like to be bitten and, at the same time, to inhibit biting during play (see Figure 3-1). Puppies that haven't had these lessons may find it difficult to accept discipline while growing up.

Figure 3-1:

Puppies discover valuable lessons while playing.

Figure 3-1:

Puppies discover valuable lessons while playing.

Photograph by Jane Kelso

Puppies separated from their canine family before they've had the opportunity for these experiences tend to identify more with humans than with other dogs. To simplify, they don't know they're dogs, and they tend to have their own sets of problems, such as the following:

1 Aggression toward other dogs 1 Difficulty with housetraining 1 A dislike of being left alone 1 Excessive barking 1 Mouthing and biting their owner 1 Nervousness

1 An unhealthy attachment to humans

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

This is for people who want to potty train their dog NOW. Discover The Ability To Finally Potty Train Your Dog In No Time! I'm going to get right down to it... If you've found this page, either you or someone you know has a puppy that needs to be potty trained. Maybe you've tried a ton of various methods you've read about but have had no success. How can some people potty train their puppy with hardly any effort?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment