0 - 3 weeks Neo-natal period. Warmth - food, primary needs. Must be stimulated to void bladder or evacuate bowels. Little true learning possible. Gentle, frequent handling by humans helpful.
3 - 7 weeks MUST BE WITH LITTER MATES! Learning species identification and communication signals. Brain begins to function in 24 hr. period on 21st day. Learns to empty bladder and bowels away from nest.
7 - 12 weeks Ideal age of socialization to humans. Ideal time to learn:
1. Housebreaking
2. Leash breaking
3. To accept confinement to crate or other area.
4. To accept human domination and control. (i.e. "NO" - "Good Puppy")
5. Learn to accept gentle handling and grooming.
9 wks. First fear period: This is brief!
12-20 weeks Fear period. Period of environment or place learning. If left at home, becomes fearful in new places. Best time to start PUPPY KINDERGARTEN.
6-14 mos. Sexual maturity for females. Has first estrus (heat) period.
7-12 mos. Sexual maturity for males. Begins to lift leg.

Normal to challenge dominance of other dogs or humans Important to recognize this stage - and be especially firm and consistent about setting limits and enforcing commands.

14 - 16 mos. "Window stage" for learning. Attention span much longer, bonding to humans firmly established; vocal and body communications established and more easily understood.

Ideal age to start "Beginning" level classes of obedience.

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