Dogs experience seven developmental periods, from puppyhood to adulthood, and it's important we understand each. I'm covering the stages, what they mean for our dog's emotional growth and how we can build skills and confidence for the dogs in our lives. Knowing your puppy's or dog's current stage helps overcome behavior difficulties and guides your training choices.

In the episode you'll hear:

  • The four criteria for deeper insight into a dog’s development phases.
  • How expectations of ourselves and our dogs should be distinct.
  • The three culprits of ‘dog training gone wrong.’
  • The critical importance of understanding a dog’s motivations.
  • Why the environment you’re training in always wins.
  • The difference between a willing dog vs. dogs being labelled as wilful.
  • That dogs are always doing the best they can.
  • Stage 1 Dog Development: Neonatal (co-regulation from mother)
  • Stage 2 Dog Development: Transitional (2-4 weeks old)
  • Stage 3 Dog Development: First Socialization Period (4-7 weeks old)
  • Stage 4 Dog Development: Second Socialization Period (8-12 weeks old)
  • How mother dogs discipline their puppies through play.
  • Why it’s best to keep puppies together for at least nine weeks.
  • That the first ‘puppy fear period’ may begin at 8 to 12 weeks.
  • Why relationship games for bonding are critical when a puppy comes home.
  • How a puppy temporarily attaches themselves in a new or overwhelming environment.
  • Stage 5 Dog Development: The Juvenile Period (3mos -6mos old)
  • The importance of managing environments as a puppy’s confidence, independence and curiosity grows.
  • Stage 6 Dog Development: Adolescence (6 - 18 months old)
  • That the more informed dog owners become, the smarter the dog becomes.
  • Stage 7 Dog Development: Maturity Period (18 months - 3 years old)
  • Why focusing on a dog’s emotional wellbeing is as important as tricks, sports, and behavior.


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