Many aspects of dog’s behavior that humans consider irritating and useless are in fact integral parts of dog’s instinctive nature. Gaining a better understanding of what dogs do and why will help you to develop a better relationship with your canine. There are three basic things that must be understood from the very beginning about dogs if we are serious about better understanding our pets and looking out for their well being.
- Dogs are predators.
- Dogs are highly territorial.
- Dogs must live within a social society. Meaning that unlike cats dogs are not solitary animals but rather pack animals.
Psychological age of a dog: Similar to humans dogs experience different psychological stages throughout their lives. Because of this a puppy will grasp certain things and might be well behaved in certain areas but will be completely lost in others.
Newborn: For the first two weeks of a newborn puppies life it is mainly eating and sleeping. It will spend almost one third of its time eating while the rest is taken up with sleep.
Two to three weeks: The puppy now begins exploring and interacting with its surrounding as its sensory organs being maturing. It will now start becoming more independent from its birth mother and will begin playing with its siblings.
Three weeks to ten weeks: The puppy has now entered into a crucial stage when it is very important for it to have interactions with other dogs and humans. The socialization of the puppy is extremely important, as this will have a direct impact on the behavior it exhibits for the rest of its life.
If the experiences it has with other dogs and humans are positive then the puppy will have a good base to build on. However if not then the resulting consequences can be disastrous for the dog’s future social life.
As the puppy’s teeth develop it will begin eating solid foods and this will speed up the process of becoming more independent not only from its mother but also the “crib.”
Ten weeks to six months: With the development of the puppy’s motor skills will come the desire to explore its territory. Though not yet mature the puppy is beginning to understand more and more and with this understanding also comes the knowledge of domination and submission. The puppy is now trying to find its place within its social society and the hierarchy.