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Fifth Critical Period

Thirteenth through sixteenth week

BASIC NEEDS : Training, love, discipline, socialization to humans and canines.

DO

Begin serious training.

 

 

REASON

The pup is ready to undergo formal obedience training during this period. Disciplined behaviour can be expected and enforced now. While training is still done in a positive manner, mild corrections can be introduced. Caution is advised as the pups attitude towards training can become very negative. The method of training should be positive, and gentle, but firm.
DO

Avoid negative commands.

 

 

REASON

Withholding praise can be just as effective as negative commands (such as "Shame, Bad Dog and NO" and other negative sounding words). Praise for correct behaviour and ignoring the pup for incorrect response to commands will keep his attitude positive. All praise should be delivered with feeling, rather that a monotone of "good dog".
DO

Begin providing slight distractions.

 

 

REASON

When introducing a new exercise, the pup should be trained in a distraction free area. However, the exercises taught in the last period can now be performed with mild distractions at first, and building up to expecting obedience no matter what distractions may be in the area.
DO NOT

Wait until after 16 weeks of age to train.

 

 

REASON

Studies have proven if a puppy goes beyond that 16th weeks of life without some form of training having begun, he may never reach his full potential. He will still be capable of learning; and may even be a top performing dog. But, if he turns out to be really good, just think what a super dog he could have been if his training had been started at the proper age! The studies of Pfaffenberger also point out that a dog that begins training after 16 weeks of age will never make up for anything lost through neglect in earlier training.
DO NOT

Leave with littermates.

 

 

REASON

Even though you have been rotating the pups, now is the time to completely separate all littermates. Leaving him with his litter beyond the 16 weeks is going to make him a very "dog oriented" dog. His ability to form a close bond to humans will be limited, and his attachment to his new owners may never become strong. If he has been left with the litter, and dominance patterns allowed to develop up till this age, he will probably be a bully or coward for live and will be very difficult to train. By 16 weeks all of his emotions are developed, and what he is at this age (whether it is hyper, calm, aggressive or shy) will remain fixed for life

NEW ACTIONS AND REACTIONS

The flight instinct develops. The pup cuts his teeth, and his apron strings. He will wander from the nest (and refuse to be caught). He gets into increasing mischief. He will begin to try to assert his dominance over human pack members.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Since the flight instinct begins to develop during this period, it is imperative that the puppy learns the recall before this age. He must have obedience to that command so ingrained in his mind, that he is unaware he has any option except to come when called.
Since this is the age of getting into mischief, he must be restrained to avoid injuring himself and to keep the breeder or new owner from deciding he is too much of a "monster" to keep! He is cutting teeth and will chew everything in sight. He must be given plenty of chewable items of his own, and confined when he cannot be supervised.

He will begin asserting dominance in subtle ways, such as chewing on your hands and feet, grabbing pants legs, or refusing to obey even when he knows the command well. This must be dealt with immediately, as it occurs, and firmly (not cruelly). He must understand while he can dominate other dogs, and while he can be very confident around humans, he can never be the dominate one over a human being. That, throughout his life, the human is at the top of the social ladder.