In detail

What do dog puppies learn from their mom?


If possible, puppies should not be separated from their mom before the eighth week of life because they still learn a lot from her. The siblings and other dogs are also important in this phase so that the little four-legged friend learns social behavior typical of dogs. However, human contact is also necessary so that he does not become afraid of people later. "I love you, mom," this cute Samoyed puppy seems to say to his dog mother - Shutterstock / Kirill Kurashov

When they are very young, puppies learn from their mother what basic trust means. The security and security that the dog mom offers to the little ones are the best prerequisites for the puppies to become self-confident, self-contained and strong four-legged friends. As they grow bigger and more independent, they need their mom and the other dogs out of their pack to learn social behavior and communication.

Dog puppies learn social behavior in the family

Puppies that have been separated from their dog family and mom too soon are usually more anxious and unstable than their peers. For example, they show great insecurity towards other dogs because they did not have enough time to learn dog language. In the game with the siblings and the mother, possibly also with other adult animals from the pack, the dog puppies practice their powers and abilities correctly. They learn the so-called bite inhibition, for example, when they are fighting and romping, when their siblings or mother whine as soon as it hurts and the game is interrupted. Then the little hooligan understands that he shouldn't bite so hard if he wants to continue playing.

In addition, in the socialization phase from the fourth week of life, the dog puppies learn important elements of communication between conspecifics, such as the difference between aggression and play, appeasement signals and rules of order. They test limits and quickly understand when they have gone too far, because then adult dogs consistently reprimand them. The most important time of socialization is completed with around eight weeks, but the puppies learn further subtleties of communication, the rules of conduct and social interaction until about the 16th week of life.

In the next video, a beagle mother has to mediate a little sibling fight between her baby dogs: Sometimes the lessons in the puppy kindergarten are also very harmonious, like with this lovely Hovawart mom with her offspring:

Week eight to week twelve: socialization phase of the puppy

Dogs also learn for life - especially when they are puppies. In the so-called socialization phase ...

Young dogs also need human contact

However, puppies that only grew up among their peers remain somewhat wild and shy. You can get used to people later, but it takes a little longer and requires a lot of patience. It is therefore advisable to introduce the puppies to different people as soon as they start to explore their environment, i.e. from the third or fourth week of life. If you only get to know the breeder, you may only trust him and be shy with other people. Therefore, it makes sense to introduce them to other bipeds, in peace and quiet, without any excitement. Then they accept people as a normal part of their lives. Puppies are usually given from the eighth to tenth week of life, at the latest with twelve weeks. Then they could learn enough dog communication from their family to communicate with their peers, but are still young enough to get used to their new "pack leader", namely you, to learn basic commands and what a well-behaved dog still knows got to.


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