Where is my puppy at when I bring them home?

We tend to bring a puppy home when they are between 7-12 weeks old. Let us look at what we should be looking at as far as developmental stages at which the puppy finds itself at this time:

3 - 7 Weeks - Socialisation (Canine)

Body language and specific behaviours is learnt from surrounding dogs (dam etc.)

Status behaviour present

Dam’s authority and reactions to it become discernible

Bite inhibition learnt through play with littermates

Social hierarchy and relationships learned

Dam begins weaning pups

7 - 12 Weeks - Socialisation (Human)

Pup-human bond starts to develop

Mental development

Fully weened and ready for re-homing

8 - 11 Weeks - 1st Fear

Through various stimuli, some can cause a fear reaction

There is potential for trauma to occur which can result in later difficulties for the pup

Careful and positive connection should be established for new stimuli such as thunder, cars, people etc.

Obviously we must learn to temper our theory with reality, not every pup develops at the same rate and these stages should be viewed more organically than many textbooks might sound.