Puppy Socialization Phases, Hierarchic & Pack Order

Imprinting period, within the pack or in the family, is followed but the socialization period. In a natural state, puppies start relating with their mother and their brothers first, and then with the rest of the pack. From the 8th to the 16th week of life approximately, the puppy learns to relate with his congeners (it can be said he learns the "canine urban rules", that are very complex, and include the aforementioned rituals, and to recognize and behave with hierarchic superiors. This second phase is known as hierarchic order. Both periods start around the eighth week of age, and last till the 16th week. In the following period, called pack's order phase, that generally takes place at five months, the puppy learns which is his place within the pack, and will try to improve it when growing. To have a sociable dog we have to ease them contact with other dogs during the period between the 8th and 12th week of life. Some owners ask themselves if their dog is contradictory, despite seeing other dogs frequently. The problem is to make things at the right time. If the puppy starts contacting other dogs after five or six months, the natural socialization period is already over, and relations will be very difficult.

In this period, the dog should contact as many persons as possible. Don't forget that for him we are all the same specie. The problem is people behaves very different than dogs, and as the puppy does not recognizes, instinctively, that human behavior, he has to get used to it.

On the other side, a dog socialized at the right age, will make friends easily. This doesn't mean he won't fight against other dogs, caused some circumstances (property of an object, sexual rivalry, etc) may cause fights even between very sociable dogs. However, he won't ever be the kind of dog that when seeing another far away, starts growling, and pulling the leash, with the intention of attacking without even knowing its sex.

seeFIDOThe First Days of Puppy's LifeSenses of a Newborn PuppyPuppy Survival Fight StartsSelecting a Puppy from a LitterTransition phase for PuppiesPuppy ImprintingPuppy Socialization Phases, Hierarchic & Pack Order