They are on high alert when they perceive things aren’t “normal.”. Take Your Winter Dog Training Indoors. If subjected to physical or psychological trauma during this time, a dog is most likely to develop an avoidance response. The consequences of removing puppies from their littermates and mothers even earlier than 8 weeks are both far-reaching and impactful. Do not encourage “watchdog” behavior at this age. This guide explains the different stages puppies go through as they grow. It is not uncommon for puppies to woof when surprised. A couple of the men had hats on, one had a loud leaf blower, and a third was dragging a huge trash can and rake. This phase is sometimes referred to as “teenage flakiness.” Adolescent dogs may spook at the silliest things. When people visit your home during these periods, put your puppy in another room until visitors are settled in, then bring your puppy out on a leash and praise him or her for any show of confidence. If you have found yourself saying “Help, my 3-month-old puppy is scared of everything!”  Or “I don’t know what happened, my 4-month-old puppy used to be so outgoing!”. Young dogs go through two separate “fear periods” as they grow, which are essentially times when the pup is extremely sensitive to bad experiences. She has decades of experience as a big dog owner, over 30 years of which has been devoted to health, nutrition, and behavior of large and giant breed dogs. 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. This was a very interesting read thank you! How to Socialize a Puppy At Home: 15 Creative Tips (That Work), In preparation for this post, I reached out to the. A 6-month-old puppy scared of strangers is not going to be convinced a stranger is friendly by force. Use treats liberally while getting in and out and when meeting friendly strangers. Veterinarian visits and car visits should be made fun and upbeat. Learn how your comment data is processed. A storm comes; the puppy runs to hide, and we start talking in a soft voice, offering treats and wrapping them up in a blanket to soothe them. You must be patient during these periods and keep to a familiar routine. Fear-Impact Period: During the 2nd Socialization Period, when your puppy is around 8-11 weeks of age, it is important to be aware of what is known as a Fear-Impact Period. These new fears seems to pop out of nowhere. with fake vaccines (a pen), mock examinations, and known people pretending to be friendly strangers. PTSD of a human aggressive Mastiff surrounded by foes. Like the time he met two “oh yes, my dogs are very friendly” chihuahuas. In a poll of 69 respondents that brought their puppy home before 6 months old, 48% said their puppy was either 5 – 7 weeks or between 8-10 weeks old. By this time, your puppy should be a little more comfortable with the outside world. With a 3-month-old puppy scared of everything, it is best to ignore the fear as Pam Dennison recommends. Junior had seen similar men in our neighborhood countless times before, had heard leaf blowers, seen hatted men, and said hello every chance he got. At that moment, with PTSD activated from my, , I tried to keep walking. Petting a Dog: How Affection Can Change Your Dog’s Behavior, Socializing a Puppy with People… By Ignoring Them, Dog Owner’s Guilt • Let Go and Do What is Best for Your Dog, Cold Weather Dog Training Tips. Why You Should Stop Feeling Guilty. Learning about his world as though it was his first day in it. When going through puppy fear stages the last thing you want to do is scoop them up and pet them. He can see further and can also be soothed by soft murmurings when held. Pam Dennison states in You Can Train Your Dog, “One day he’ll be fine with something or someone, and the next day he’ll be terrified…. Canine Peace of Mind, owned by professional dog trainer, Scott Harris specializes in lifestyle dog training in Chicagoland. The men, oblivious to Junior’s body screaming at them, asked, in broken English, all the usual questions about Mastiffs. Your puppy’s first stage of emotional development starts with their mama. I have found touching the object myself, and then encouraging my puppy to touch it with a happy, nonchalant attitude, is the best approach. I know how excited you are. You can expect your dog … Many puppy owners are shocked, surprised or downright freaked out about the way that their cute little puppy is behaving. In this article, we will discuss fear periods. Developmental milestones A substage within the Human Socialization Stage is the Fear Impact or Fear Imprint Stage. Simply turning on this momentary foe is now an invitation to follow me around the house and lay in my path. Your email address will not be published. Last update: Sep 10, 2020 1 answer. The … Be mindful that as those men go about their business and walk away, your puppy’s confidence is emboldened as he effectively “scared away the bad man” (who was leaving anyway). Over the next two minutes, Junior dutifully sniffed each man and each tool. We will never share your information. Never drag or force interaction with a scary object. Keep in mind that that the most significant opportunity window to solidify a bombproof temperament closes at 16 weeks (4 months). 1. A few days in and he has started to fear other dogs and is aggressively growling, snarling, and barking. Slowly. But, remember, good things come to those who are patient. Mastiff Puppy 101: Wild Puppy to Gentle Giant, Guaranteed! Some posts on Big Dog Mom™ may contain affiliate links from which I may receive a small compensation. Fear stages in puppies and dogs can be confusing to owners. When he suddenly notices the neighbor across the street getting out of his car, or the landscaper in the distance with a leaf blower, and sounds the increasingly high pitched alarm. There was no tail wag or wiggling puppy butt. 0–7 Weeks. Services include board and train dog training programs, personal dog trainers, puppy raising and trained dogs for sale. These only reward fear and suspicion, not bravery, and confidence. 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. Puppy fear periods can be extremely unnerving for both dog owners and puppy, but thankfully, this fear stage does not last forever. No Longer Spoiling in His Bed. Your puppy is coming into a new home, leaving behind his mother, and litter mates, and is being introduced to a new family. Use force-free behavior modification such as desensitization and counterconditioning. Fearful dogs may also adopt telltale body postures: crouching in a lowered body position or lying down and freezing. That would be like me trying to convince you taxes are good by taking away all your money. With Junior in the lead, we proceeded toward the men in hats, with rakes, and loud tools. 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 … “It is vital that you don’t laugh at, scold, or comfort the dog during this time…. Generally speaking, puppies go through two potential fear periods during puppyhood. Junior stiffened as soon as he saw them, hair along his back on end, and, to my shock and horror, let out an imperceptible growl under his breath. During the "flight instinct" period your puppy will experience periodic fear periods between 6-14 months. Do not force, punish or coddle your puppy if he exhibits fear. Submissive urination, crouching, shaking, and other related behaviors might be evident. A week later, we came across the same men, same neighbor, same corner. Required fields are marked *. There are times in every dog’s life when their world is turned upside down. About the author: Adrienne Farricelli is a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant. Parenting instincts to soothe may kick in during puppy fear stages, but dogs do not understand comforting like we do. With a BS in Microbiology, an MBA, and a passion for writing and big, slobbery dogs, Stephanie is committed to serving large and giant breed dogs by empowering, educating, and inspiring the people who love 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. Your pup may become unable to enter his own backyard because there’s a wheelbarrow parked in the corner that wasn’t there before. How long does Puppy fear stage last? This also coincides with a very critical socialization period. 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. Use treats liberally for this fun exercise. Dogs appear fearful of novel stimuli or stimuli met before but that did not trigger a significant reaction. 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. As Turid Rugaas says, "seven-eight weeks: the world is getting bigger!" But of course, the men were enamored with Junior and couldn’t help but talk to me as we tried to pass…. You can unsubscribe at any time. The second fear stage occurs right around four to six months, which is when your dog is reaching adolescence. About 10 am that morning I ventured on a walk Junior, then 8 months old. And fortunately for Big Dog Mom, sweeping has never been easier with these two BFFs. While some of these fear periods go unnoticed by dog owners, in other cases owners are left scratching their head, or worse, responding. Adrienne Farricelli . This critical age may depend on the size of the dog. But on this day, at 8 months old, like a light switch was turned off, Junior didn’t recognize his “friends” anymore. Consider waiting to bring your new puppy home until he is 10 - 12 weeks old. During a fear period, your pup may react by cowering, shying away, hiding, or trembling at things that didn’t bother her previously. The first fear phase comes when the puppy is just 2-3 months of age. The key is to avoid exposing your puppy to traumatic experiences. Puppy Acting Skittish? Fear periods in dogs continue past the one year mark for many dogs and puppies as they are still developing and maturing. 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