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Third Critical Period

Fifth through seventh week

DO

Begin personal attention and some training by fifth week.

 

 

REASON
The pup is beginning to form attachments to people, as he is now able to recognize people. By giving him personal attention away from the litter and his mother he learns that he is an individual. Since he is probably experiencing the beginning stages of the "social pecking order" within his litter, the personal attention will help to counterbalance the dominance expressed over him by some of the pups. Training is begun in simple stages because the best time to teach him runs from 21 to 49 days. He is learning whether you teach him or not if he forms bad habits, it could be a stumbling block to later learning. By starting now, you are helping him "learn to learn".
DO
Have regular socialization times established.

 

 

REASON
Pfaffenberger studies proved regularity rather than length of time or frequency of intervals of human socialization is very important.
DO

Begin Housetraining

 

 

REASON

At this age puppies will begin to wander out of their nests to evacuate. This natural tendency to want a clean "den" makes housebreaking easy at this age. Area used should be heavily lined with papers.

 DO

Allow negative events to happen.
 

 

REASON

This will help to even further establish the fact that the puppy is an individual, and will help build his confidence in himself.

DO

Continue with individual socialization during sixth and seventy week.

 

 

REASON

This will help to even further establish the fact that the puppy is an individual, and will help build his confidence in himself.

DO

Wean and discipline.

 

 

REASON

Begin feeding puppies from dish, but do not remove the mother. She should continue to have access to the pups and to nurse them between feedings if she is willing. Her presence is important during this time, as she will begin disciplining the pups. Do allow her to discipline the pups. Many people are shocked when their bitch turns on the pups with a snarl and a snap or bite on the muzzle, and will even correct her for doing so. But, this is important to teach the submissive postures. He is learning to be a dog, and during his lifetime, assuming submissive postures will come along. Most pups need to be taken down a peg or two at this age. Their teeth are sharp, and they get carried away in their play. If the mother is removed, then you must supply the discipline.

DO NOT

Do not completely remove his mother before the end of the seventh week, even though weaning has been completed, she should have access to her pups to clean,  play with, and discipline them.

 

 

REASON

Pups removed from their mother completely during this period are often noisy and nervous for the rest of their life.

NEW ACTIONS AND REACTIONS

The social litter order is established during this period. The pups begin play fighting as well as actual fighting, primarily over fool. By seven weeks the pup has an adult brain. He only lacks experience. Pups can recognize different people. He responds to voices.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

If you must remove the mother, you can do it by the fifth week, but you must leave the litter together, and you must supply the discipline. Unless it is absolutely essential, it is advisable to let the mother remain.

Now is the time to begin introducing your pup to the average noises of a busy household. By the fifth week he has become accustomed to his environment and is well adjusted.

Using metal food dishes is advantageous, as the pup associates clanging noises with something pleasant. You can begin setting the dishes down with a clang, and use a spoon to stir the contents in a clanging, banging noise. This assures you will not have a pup that shrinks at the sounds of post and bands banging in the kitchen, or other accidentally dropped object.

You can begin soft hand-clapping as you sit in the whelping area, praising and loving the pups when they run to you, and then advance to louder clapping and other noises. The vacuum cleaner can be introduced first from another room, and then slowly brought into the whelping room. The pups will learn to accept it much better while still with their littermates.

This is also the time to begin the introduction to lead breaking. Each pup should be fitted with a buckle collar. A small length (single strand so that it cannot become caught) of lightweight rope, or even a shoestring, can be attached to each collar. It should not be so long as to hang down between the pups legs and snag and trip him as he walks. The pups will pull and tug on each others short line, thereby accustoming them to the feel and weight of something around their neck, and to light tugs on the collar.

During your individual attention sessions, this is an excellent time to place the pup up on a table and gently examine his teeth, his testicles (if a male, of course!), and begin foot caressing. By handling the feel and gently stroking them, the pup becomes accustomed to his feed being touched. As you progress, introduce the nail trimmers and cut just the tip of each tiny nail. Brushing can also be introduced at this time.