What happens to a puppy between 10 - 20 weeks determines how that puppy will respond to his life. A puppy must be exposed to all of the situations the owner wants the dog to be comfortable with as an adult dog during that time period.
In those critical ten weeks, a puppy learns how to respond in a confident and controlled manner to the variables in his life. It is this period of time when the puppy learns to bond with humans and accept being handled by them. This is what makes a happy dog.
Many owners erroneously assume that a puppy will get along with other dogs as an adult. But puppies must be exposed to adult dogs to learn how to respond to "dog language." Puppies that are isolated from other dogs do not understand what behaviors to display or how to respond to another dog's behaviors. They do not learn the signals that can calm them or alert them to a threatening situation. Being able to interpret another dog's behavior is what keeps social interactions among dogs non-threatening and from escalating into aggression.
New puppy owners can avert adult behavior problems with their dog by being proactive in what they expose their puppy to during this most important time of the dog's life.
This is the very best time to enroll with a qualified trainer in a puppy class. Learning, following and coming are part of the puppy's make up at this time; they are instinctual and survival behaviors. This is the time to capitalize on natural instincts to gain the behaviors owners want in their adult dogs.
Because this is the most crucial time in a dog's life, new puppy owners to may want to check out an exceptional video by Jeanne Carlson, "Good Puppy." This video explains a multitude of tips to creating an exceptional dog.
Be your puppy's best friend by learning the basics of handling that is essential to their mental and psychological well being.