Here are the various stages of your dogs development.
This is just a fraction of what I can explain to you on a webpage so its important to attend training with a reputable trainer from the very start.
0 to 8 Weeks
Neonatal, Transition, Awareness, and Canine Socialisation.
Puppy is with its mother and litter-mates for up to 8 weeks do not accept a puppy under this age.
During this period, your puppy begins to learn about social interaction with others, play, and inhibiting aggression from its mother and litter-mates we will speak more about bite inhibition further on.
Breeders should handle the pups getting them used to interaction and eventual human companionship from their new owners but also important to not over stimulate at this age.
Handling on a regularly when they are still blind and deaf may cause a little stress but nothing that will effect them later on in their development stages and more likely to cause issues if not handled at this stage.
Its very important pups are not taken away to early as they need this time to learn various things like discipline and interaction and play with their litter mates.
8 to 16 Weeks
Human Socialisation Period.
The best time to take a puppy home is 8 weeks and you can then bond and work with them through the next critical stages
The puppy now has the brain waves of an adult dog, but his attention span is short. This period is when the most rapid learning occurs. Learning at this age is permanent so this is a perfect time to start training but make it fun.
This is also the time to introduce the puppy to things that will have an important impact on their life. Different people sizes, colour,etc, places & environments from the high street to the woods, animals, hoovers, washing machines, and unusual sounds, always in a positive non threatening way.
This is the stage aggression may start to show and if exhibiting signs of aggression deal with it do not hope it will go away
8 to 11 Weeks
Fear Imprint Period.
Whilst the Pup is going through human socialisation it also go has an important fear/hazard avoidance period. This starts at 5 weeks and peaks between 8 and 10/11weeks. Any frightening or painful experience will have a more lasting effect on the puppy than if it occurred at any other time in its life.
This is the period that you do not handle it correctly can give you dog a lasting fear of traffic, your Vets or other bad experiences, loud noises or scary events so make sure you do not subject the puppy to these stressful conditions at this stage.
Never ever praise, cuddle, comfort or sympathise with your pup when it is startled or showing fear or anxiety.
This only serves to reinforce the fear the exact opposite of humans.
13 to 16 Weeks
Seniority Classification Period.
Puppy starts to cut teeth and finding its own feet, Puppy may begin to test its position in the family/pack unit.
You must discourage all biting unless training for Security or Sports IPO; the dog should have started to learn and understand bite inhibition by this time! It is important that you are a strong and consistent leader that means being able to say no and set boundaries no lying on the bed or the sofa as if you say yes to this and then say no later on it causes conflict between handler & dog so set the boundaries.
The period between 7 and 18 weeks in my opinion is the most important period in your dog’s life as it goes through varies stages in these weeks.
Your dog will learn more in those weeks then any other so its important to get it right from the start set out a program of what you will do, what you will introduce your dog to and when as too early or too late makes a difference to creating a strong confident dog.
4 to 8 months
Play Instinct Period. Flight Instinct Period.
Puppy may go off to do its own thing so its important you get them used to a leash and to start by introducing treats when calling their name so to start with every time you call them have that tasty treat ready and a high level food source not dry food is best.
At about 4-5 months, your puppy loses his milk teeth and gets his adult teeth so be very careful what you let them chew on you don't want to damage their teeth and if training bite work don't start to early let their teeth develop and get strong.
This is the time when he or she really begins to chew.
A dog's teeth don't set in his jaw until around about a year depending on breed and size but check regularly to make sure they are developing correctly and contact your vet if in doubt.
During this stage the young puppy has a physical need to exercise his mouth by chewing so only give items that are safe.
Training must continue through this period of your puppy development or all your hard work may go right back and its difficult to get those stages back once gone
Toilet training is a must take your pup out every 30 minutes to start with then lengthen the time and before you know it they will be toilet trained.
6 to 14 months
Second Fear Imprint Period.
The Dog may again shows fear of new situations and even familiar ones so do not get frustrated and just reassure the dog don't push them help them work it out.
Your dog may be wary of people even some they know so again don't rush them make them feel secure and help them don't interact with a scared or frightened puppy by giving attention or praise as it may associate this with being frightened so you will be in fact adding to the problem but to the same affect don't leave them in situations that will cause them fear
1 to 4 years
This is where your dog has matured and finished its puppy development stages and may show increased signs of aggression etc so you must as a responsible dog owner attend training in a discipline suited to your breed or just pet training classes and stimulate your dog by play as i can't stress how important play is with your dog as its just as important with your children things must stay fun and training should be in short blocks for conducive learning at our training club we do obedience in 10 minute blocks then let the dog rest and digest what it has learned DO NOT SPEND HOURS ON A TRAINING FIELD REPEATING AN EXERCISE AS THE DOG WILL SWITCH OFF.
The old myth of pack leadership and dominance is getting more widely known by trainers look and thank goodness for that as trying to dominate a dog does not work and creates aggression amongst other things and creates conflict between the handler and dog, do not use forceful training methods as again this causes stress to the dog and conflict between you both, try clicker training its fun and great in the puppy stages.