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Visual Guide to Puppy Development and Activity
Puppy Development Periods
Doodle Development Periods
Your puppy will pass through many stages as he grows and develops. Many puppy owners are shocked, surprised or downright freaked out about the way that their cute little puppy is behaving. Just check of what stage of development the little guy (or gal) is in… explains a lot (like he isn’t crazy). Behaviors can be accounted for with these stages, but a lot of these behaviors are also not acceptable and you must train and lead the way.
The mother of your puppy will start the process by building the foundation. This responsibility will then be turned over to you. It can not be expressed enough times how important is for you to train and lead your puppy so that he will be a happy well adjusted member of your family for life.
Puppy Toddlers Period (3 - 8 Weeks)
Socialization Period (7 - 12 Weeks) and First Fear Imprint Period (8-11 Weeks)
Seniority Classification Period (12-16 Weeks)
Flight Instinct Period (4 - 8 Months)
Adolescence Period (7 - 10 months)
Second Fear Imprint Period (6 - 14 Months)
Mature Adulthood Development Period (1 - 3 Years)
During the Toddler period, the doodle puppies emerge on their own from the litter. They venture into the surrounding environment. These lessons learned in the toddler stage are CRITICAL. Puppies removed too early tend to be nervous, tend to bark innappropately, tend to bite simply because these lessons a mother and littermates usually provides were missed. Training problems and long-term behavior problems can often be attributed to a puppy removed from the litter much too soon.
Beginning at 3 weeks of age, what is going on:
The first lessons learned are dog specific behavioral patterns
* They will learn various postures meanings and their affects to their mother and littermates.
Beginning at 5 weeks of age, what is going on:
Vocalization and tempered activities (dog manners) usually are learned at approximately 5 weeks of age.
* They will learn how to be submissive to the leader of the pack.
What the Puppy’s mother will do:
The mother will growl, snarl and snap to communicate. With a few very clear signals and repetitions, the young puppy will learn quickly. At that point a mothers glare or low growl is all that is needed to keep a young pup in line. Littermates also learn clear signals of communication to each other.
Dogs that are denied socialization during this critical Socialization period often become unpredictable because they are fearful or aggressive. It is during this time, that your dog needs to have positive experiences. They need to be introduced to new things and begin the groundwork to a happy, well-adjusted dog.
Beginning at 7 weeks of age, what is going on:
* Short attention spans.
Beginning at 8 weeks and ending at approximately 11 weeks of age, what is going on:
* Any traumatic, painful or frightening experiences can have a lasting impact.
What You Can Do:
* Gradually introduce your puppy to new things, environments and people.
The puppy has been in the home now for a few weeks. He has been watching you and the family very closely. He is picking up on human behaviors and reactions. He is learning the pecking order of the pack. As he observes and learns, he will then attempt to figure out where exactly he stands in the pack order, and to also see if moving up in the pack will work. After all, he knows who the “weak links” are and will start at the bottom and try to move right up the pack. How could such a cute little pup be such a pistol?
What is going on:
* Puppy will begin to question authority.
What you can do:
* Learn how your actions and body language communicate to your dog.
Your cute little puppy has been following you around for weeks now. He has been aware of where you are and would stay pretty close. During this period that same cute little puppy will decide that he is ready to go solo and take off running quicker than lightening. During this time, teaching the puppy that he must stay close by or come when called is critical. The failure to do this will result in a dog that will not be reliable to come or to stay close by as an adult and very well could lead the dog into a life or death situation.
What is going on:
* The puppy will become more independent.
What you can do:
* Leash on 100% of the time they are not in a confined area.
This is one of the most difficult times for pet owners. They are so surprised when their puppy turns into “devil dog” or “cujo”. This often is a time when many families start to worry that maybe they made a bad decision in getting a dog. Remember: you get what you put into it. You take the time right now to teach good habits, you will have the dog you always dreamed of for many years. This work will payoff.
What is going on:
* The puppy will become a free and independent thinker.
What you can do:
* Appreciate the humor of it all.
You have a puppy that is full of beans, he runs around like a clown in search of his next show. But then, BAM, he refuses to walk down some stairs, he is shaking in the car, or he jumps at the sound of the neighbor’s music. Surprise! This is normal, but you must help your dog figure out how to deal with his fears or concerns. The skills of learning how to “shake it off and keep going” will be valuable to him for the rest of his life. It will also reduce the chances that the things he fears will not be permanently imprinted for life.
What is going on:
* The puppy that was so confident will suddenly become reluctant to new things.
What you can do:
* Avoid extremes in your response (no anger or forcing or over comforting)
So the puppy is no longer an itty-bitty baby, his is pretty much fully-grown in height. He will begin to fill out a bit and develop more muscle tone. But, mentally, the dog is still working out some last details of his life and what it means to him. He IS a member of a pack and now begins to find that his turf is worthy of monitoring and protecting. Sort of sounds nice to have your dog be protective, but don’t fall for it. You do not want you dog to take over these responsibilities because in no time you too will be under the rule of the King Dog. Which can lead to aggressive behaviors, protective to the point of creating fear or actually harming someone or another animal as he protects. This is bad news, and often a reason a dog is taken out of the home or destroyed. So, don’t allow your dog to be the King of the Castle, assign him the role of court jester – he will be happier and so will your family.
What is going on:
* The dog may become more turf protective.
What you can do:
* Reinforce how to greet strangers into your home.
Reality Check - Time, Activity and Costs of a Puppy
Summary of Growth
A Few More Details:
Total expense to family: $2,212.63
Estimate on time just taking to Vet & Training in 14 weeks: 38 hours
Additional expenses include cleaning supplies,
Estimated extra expense over the 14 week period: $375.00Value of the Goldendoodle "Fred" to family: Priceless
You and/or your family members should do this exercise with your puppy everyday. The exercise can also be done with any dog regardless of age.
1. Establishes your dominance (leadership) over the puppy in a non-aggressive manner.
2. It will help you develop a close bond between you and your puppy.
3. Allows you to give your puppy a complete body check everyday. Things such the start of an ear infection, small lumps, ticks, cuts, etc. can go unnoticed and if you catch them early it will be easier to treat.
4. Teaches your puppy that it is OK for you to touch all parts of their body. For example if you need to put eye drops in your puppy’s eyes it will make things a lot less challenging if you have done this exercise right from the start!
Wait until your puppy has settled and is not in a heightened state of excitement – after a good hearty play session with a few minutes to settle down is a good opportunity. Have the room quiet or with soft mellow music playing. You relax and settle yourself. During this whole exercise, use a slow calming voice. When touching the puppy you should use soft slow stokes. Moving too quickly, pressing too hard can activate and excite the puppy.
Position the Puppy
Sit the puppy facing away from you: kneel, or sit with your legs spread outward, behind your puppy and put him in a sitting position by placing your arm behind and just under his bum and push his chest back with your other hand. Gently tuck him into a sitting position. Do not press down on his bum because it is bad for his hip joints. You can also utilize a treat to lure the puppy in a sit position.
Down the puppy: lift both front legs gently place the puppy in a down position or lure the puppy to the down position utilizing a treat. Do not force him down by pressing on his shoulder blades because this is bad for the shoulders. If the puppy refuses to lay down, wait a while a try again. This should be a positive experience.
Begin the Exercise
1. Gently massage his shoulders. Tell the pup what you are doing throughout the entire exercise (say “shoulders” over and over while you are doing this)
2. Move your hands down the front legs pads of the feet, under the arm pits and under the tail and massage them (say “legs”)
3. Touch between all the webs (between his toes) (say “webs”)
4. Touch all the nails (say “nails”) you can clip them/sand them at this point.
5. Move your hands up to the head (**see footnote in sidebar) and start massaging the head (say “head”) the puppy should be very relaxed at this point.
6. Look in the eyes and pull down the eyelid (say eyes) you are making sure everything looks normal, no cloudiness, no guck or rolling in/out of the eye lids etc.
7. Lift up the lip (say “teeth”) you can take a finger toothbrush and brush his teeth and massage his gums.
8. Lift up the ears (say “ears”) make sure they are clean and pluck or trim any hair that may be accumulating inside the ear. You can do this by taking your fingers and just pulling it out. It comes out fairly easy and doesn’t hurt them if done a little bit at a time.
9. Move your hands down to the chest and start massaging the chest (say “chest”)
10. Place your puppy on his left side. Check under the stomach, check the pads of the feet, under the arm pits and under the tail. In male puppy’s that are un-neutered check the testicles for lumps because un-neutered males can develop testicular cancer.
11. Place your puppy on his right side by gently rolling him over on his back and then onto his other side. You do this roll by taking hold of all legs and just guide them over. Check under the stomach, check the pads of the feet, under the arm pits.
Once you have completed all these steps say “release” or “free” and give your puppy lots of praise! Take the puppy outside for potty.
Bonding exercise information
Use soft gentle but deliberate movements of your hands. Utilize the tips of your fingers to work through the puppy hair to get to the skin. Maintaining a constant contact with one or both of your hands will help ease the puppy. Removing your hands and placing them back down on a completely different area of their body can startle a puppy who is just becoming familiar with the exercise. Removing your hands may also make the puppy think that the exercise is done and he will attempt to get up.
Avoid doing too many procedures – ear cleaning, nail clipping until the puppy has had several opportunities to experience the massage without having things done that have the potential to upset the puppy. He needs to learn that the exercise is a positive experience.
If you are going to utilize any tools during this exercise, be sure that the puppy has had and opportunity to see them, sniff them and be familiar with them before you use them. This will help reduce the concerns the puppy may have.
** The head is one of the best locations to massage to get a puppy to settle and totally relax. The firmness of your fingers can be a bit stronger on the head since you are massaging on bone.
There are several key areas:
Temples just on the outside of the eyes and around the jaw joint – circular motion of the fingers.
Bridge of the nose – working upward to the top of the head and down ward onto the nose.
Base of the skull – run fingers along the base of the skull and downward towards the body.
Base of the ears – place ear into the crook of your thumb and index finger and apply a bit of pressure as you are rotating your hands along the base.
These key spots can also be massaged when the puppy is in a sit position to help relax the puppy.
Okay! So you have decided to get a puppy! It's time to get prepared NOW so that when the pup arrives you can focus on the puppy and not all the “crazy details”.
There are seven sections of preparation:
Identify a Veterinarian to provide on-going medical care
Explanation: The initial Veterinarian visit should occur 2-3 days after the puppy’s arrival. It is also important to identify the closest emergency veterinarian in the event that your puppy needs immediate care at night or on the weekends when your regular vet is not available. Learn where the emergency vet is located BEFORE there is an emergency. Post your local poison control center phone number near your phone. If you are going to be leaving for long periods of time (such as work) you will need to make arrangements with someone to come in and take the puppy out for a walk and potty break. Start doing your homework now on locating a good trainer and talk to them about a puppy socialization class. Doggie daycare, animal behaviorist and groomer are professionals that you may or may not elect to use, but knowing who is reputable in your area will be useful if you find you do need their services. Do the research now, so that you can devote your time to raising the puppy.
Hydrogen Peroxide or Ipecac Syrup
Explanation: Hydrogen Peroxide or Ipecac Syrup can be used in the event that your dog has swallowed something dangerous. Be sure to check with a medical professional prior to administering either product to assure that it is the best and safest solution. It is also helpful to have some pepto on hand for those times when the doodle has an upset stomach. If you suspect that your doodle is sick, having a thermometer on hand will be helpful to determine if he has a fever (A dog's normal body temperature is between 101°F and 102°). Fevers can be a symptom of an infection. Having a needle-less syringe is an excellent way to administer liquid to a dog – your dog supply kit should have several of these on hand. You can obtain these needle-less syringes from your Vet. Doodles will need to have their ears, teeth cleaned and their nails trimmed on a regular basis. It is good to get a puppy comfortable with all these activities starting at an early age. If you trim a nail too close, the styptic will stop the bleeding.
Brushes and combs will be needed to keep their coats health and free of mats and smell. Baby Powder is a useful tool to help you break up any mats on the doodle. Mats are caused by moisture; the powder will absorb moisture and will facilitate breaking up the mats. Although a puppy should not be bathed too often, be sure to use a mild shampoo specifically for dogs – always rinse shampoo completely. Every doodle owner should have a good pair of scissors to do quick trims around the bridge of the nose, between paw pads and to remove tough mats. The ladle is a very useful tool to have on hand in the event you need to provide a urine sample for the vet. The ladle allows you to catch the urine without interrupting the dog too much. Having a strainer is one of the most helpful tools when you are concerned with the doodle digesting something. The strainer allows you to wash away feces to inspect any foreign objects. (Don’t laugh about getting the ladle and strainer – many families have found these items to be so helpful – okay laugh a bit – but get them anyway!)
The flashlight is a multi purpose supply and all dog supply kits should have one. The flashlight can be used at night when the dog goes out to potty – it is important to be able to do a quick check of poo to make sure that everything is okay. Often times the texture of a poo will be one of the first signs that your doodle has a problem. The flashlight is also helpful if you need to inspect skin or paw pads. Having some disinfectant wipes around will be very useful when you need to tend to a muddy paw or you need to clean your hands after or before you tend to your puppy’s needs.
Finally, the file folder is to keep all your puppy’s records in.
Good Hint: Place all supplies in a containers (one for Medical and one for Grooming) with a lid. Mark the containers and make it a habit to return all items to the container. Replenish the supplies as they are used. Keep all items together and in a specific place.
Caring For Your Dog - The Complete Canine Home Reference - Author: Bruce Fogle, DVM (Book)
Explanation: Standard Doodle usually will need a 42” – most owners and doodles prefer the wire crates. Be sure to select one of strong metal and the door(s) should have two latches – not just one in the center. Baby gates and exercise pens are wonderful to use to control the areas your puppy can go inside and outside. Keeping their areas small to start with will benefit the puppy in training.
Be sure that the Collar has your dogs name and a contact number directly on the collar – have it sewn on or use a permanent marker – ID tags can often break off. You will most likely utilize three different sizes of collars as the doodle matures. Collars that have a quick attach/release work best because you will need to be able to put on and remove easily (doodle should not have a collar on while inside their crate).
There are many options on leashes – word to the wise, avoid getting a leather leash until the pup matures. Leather is wonderful to chew on so wait on them until after you have taught the pup to not mouth or bite the leash. Leashes with traffic handles are also great to assist in keeping your dog close – but they are often more helpful after the puppy has grown up a bit. Long line leashes are useful when you want to allow the puppy to do a bit of running and you don’t have a place he can run freely. The long line is also a great tool when you are teaching your doodle to “come”.
Paper towels, cleaner and plastic bags will help you clean up accidents. You can never have too many of these three things and you will find that have several different locations with these cleaning items will be a great benefit. Even consider keeping them in your car in the event you have your dog out and about and he needs to go potty.
Kongs (puppy size)
Gooberlious Peanut Butter Treats; they are soft and will break into small bits without crumbling. Great for training; the benefit of small tastes is the dog will not have to stop and chew it up, the dog wont be getting full and just tastes will spark an interest in training. Added benefit – they don’t smell too awful.
No laser pointers! They can be dangerous to the dogs’ eyes and some dogs can also develop an obsession of chasing lights and shadows.
No rawhide or pigs ears. They both have high choking risk even if you are supervising. They are high in fat and will become slippery – which is almost impossible to reach in and grab to pull out. In addition, they will frequently cause diarrhea.
Don’t over play with balls to avoid an obsession.
Tennis balls outer fuzz can become a problem for some dogs’ teeth – they can wear out the enamel. Either reduce the amount of tennis ball time or select balls that do not have the fuzz.
Waste of Time Items:
Dog beds – will be treated like a giant chew toy for most dogs. Most doodles actually prefer to sleep on a hard surface.
Expensive plush stuff toys – run to the local resale shop and get some of the used stuffed animals instead (remove risky parts, ribbons, sewn on eyes…etc.)
Discussing the “rules of the house” with all family members should be done prior to bringing home the puppy. Make sure that everyone is consistent with the training and procedures. If the rules change daily or each family member has a different set of rules, the dogs ability to do what is “right” will become almost impossible.
Determine where will the puppy sleep
Tidbit: One of the primary items that a dog will chew up and swallow is: underwear.
Raising Puppies & Kids Together – A Guide for Parents
If you have a fence – walk it and check to make sure that it does not have any gaps or holes where a puppy could crawl under
Good Hint: Most yards in the United States have yew bushes, they are as common as maple trees. They are toxic! Many dogs will not mouth them when older because they taste awful (which is why we rarely hear about them being toxic), but to a puppy the desire to play is much greater and can ingest. Either remove or mark the plants with a red marking tape to remind you to keep the pup away from them.
Remove items from end tables, coffee tables and eye level display shelves
Good Hint: Get a laundry hamper for toys. It has a lid and airflow holes, which permits the air to travel around the toys and avoids musty smells.
Ticking Clock or; Snuggle Puppy (heated and with a beating heart sound) or; Radio
You can never read too much when it comes to preparing for the arrival of your puppy. There are many books with many different ideas and perspectives. Read as much as possible and utilize the things that work for your family.
If you could only get three books these are the three that will be the most critical and beneficial
Caring For Your Dog - The Complete Canine Home Reference
Raising Puppies & Kids Together – A Guide for Parents
The Dog Listener
Quick Tips Training
Balance of Training
Training a dog to do or not do things requires a balance of influences.
If a dog is trained only with positive influences it can raise the level of your dogs character to the point where he is uncontrollable. A dog trained only in this manner can be very weak in responding reliably to your commands, particularly in the presence of distracting situations. A dog trained only in the manner may develop such a dominate, inflated opinion of himself that later attempts at controlling his behavior may bring on aggressive and defensive tendencies.
Positive influences can be your verbal praise, your encouraging or playful actions, food toys and other reward based materials.
If a dog is trained only with negative influences it can produce a dog that is extremely subdued or intimidated. A dog trained in the manner can exhibit obvious signs of stress and can exhibit lack of interest or resistance in performing. A dog trained in this manner may develop such a fear and resentment that attempts at controlling his behavior may bring on aggressive and defensive tendencies.
Negative influences can be your verbal corrections, your leash or collar corrections, threatening or intimidating actions (including swatting or hitting) and withdrawal of positive influences.So as you can see… either extreme can create an aggressive and defensive dog that may be directed at the person who is giving those influences or to everyone. This is where BALANCE plays a huge role. There is a middle ground where training your dog is most effective. However, even when we do apply negative influences we never go to the extreme of swatting or hitting.
Getting the dog to look at you. Keeping their attention.
Preparation for a walk. To maintain attention of the dog in situations where their behavior needs to be in control.
Exercise should not involve the word “no” or any commands (sit, stay, etc) – if the puppy chooses to stand, let him. If he jumps up, step forward to indicate he isn’t to jump. Keep hands at breast position and wait until he settles.
1. Place dog leash on ground; stand on it so that the dog has enough room to stand freely and to walk around closely to you.
2. Place 10 very small treats into your hands and place both hands a breast high. Stand up very straight.*
3. Say your puppy’s name once.
4. If he looks, say “Good” and bend down and give treat and stand straight up again.**
If he doesn’t look, wait. He may eventually look up to figure out what you are doing. As soon as he looks, say “Good” and bend down and give treat and stand straight up again.
If he doesn’t look within a minute, move the treat across his nose and the pull back up to breast high, stand straight with him following the scent, say “Good” and bend down and give treat and stand straight up again.
5. If he continues to look at you, take a breath and say “Good” and bend down and give treat and stand straight up again, take another breath and say “Good” and bend down and give treat and stand straight up again. Continue to praise and treat. One after another after another…
If he looks away or down after a treat, wait… he will eventually look up to figure out what you are doing. As soon as he looks, say “Good” and bend down and give treat and stand straight up again.
6. Continue this exercise for at least 10 repetitions.
7. Practice this 3 times a day. (Puppies will love it.)
* Standing straight with hands at breast will position the puppy to be able to look at your hand, where the treats are, but can also see your face at the same time. Also standing straight is a position of strength.
** Be sure that the “Good” and treat is a very quick response to them looking at you. A puppy may just look at you for a second – you need to catch that look. As they do this more and more, you will find that they will focus on you completely.
Train the doodle to potty when you request.
If you know that you will be going to the vet and need to get a urine sample.
If you plan on taking a trip, going to the store and there will not be a good place to potty the doodle.
If you just don’t want to wait for the dog to decide when to potty.
When To Train:
This training can start from day one when you get a puppy. But it can also be taught to any dog at any age.
How To Train:
Some tips. At any point the dog fails to potty when you request during the accountability stage, then go back to the last step and reinforce for a week or so. Then try to potty on request again. Also, don’t rush this – reinforcing and applying the word to the activity will be much more successful if you stay in the training stage and you know that they are understand.
Puppy Raising Download
"Instructions for Lucy the Puppy" (click name to down load PDF)This is a PDF that contains some very good information that was written by Dr. Yin to instruct her father on raising his new puppy. by Sophia Yin, DVM.
Understanding Dominance and What it REALLY means.
The Dominance Controversy
Virtually everyone who started as a dog trainer over 15-20 years ago started out using traditional dog training techniques: similar to those used by Cesar Millan (National Geographic's The Dog Whisperer). This is how most dogs were trained back then. As a result we have first hand experience as to why and when such punishment-based techniques might work, the pitfalls, and why and when other techniques work better.
Traditional training techniques are based on the idea that we must become the dominant leader and rule our pets the way a wolf would rule a pack. That is, they assume most misbehavior in dogs is due to the dog trying to be dominant and then they employ techniques that they think a wolf (since dogs are seen as having a social structure similar to wolves) would perform in a wolf pack. In order to evaluate whether this reasoning is valid, we must first understand what dominance is. READ MORE
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