Puppy Timeline



Birth to 21 days:

Puppies are functioning with certain survival instincts: Suckling behavior for nourishment and the seeking of warmth are the two main instincts.

At 21 days:

The puppy’s nervous system matures and the puppy now starts to process information.

3 to 5 weeks

The puppy is really working on developing coordination. There is more play activity among the puppies in the litter.

5 to 8 weeks

This is a period of strong social imprint. Puppies start playing very active dominance games with each other. They are learning skills like the inhibited bite.

8 to 11 weeks

This is a high imprint time. This period is often referred to as the “Fear Imprint Period.” Mother Nature uses it to instill proper fears for survival.

11 to 16 weeks

Puppies start cutting the apron strings during this period. Their desire to explore their world is strong and their need to be with us starts to take a back seat to the other wonders of the world.

After 16 weeks

Puppies have developed short term memory and now will process all information like an adult. They still neither have the attention span of an adult, nor the experience.

Around 6 months

The puppy will start the transition into puberty. It is becoming a teenager, and may begin to go through what we like to call the “Teenage Wierds.”


When developing the different breeds of dogs, man selected individual dogs that had strong genetic predisposition to a behavior that would make them good for a given task. When we select a puppy to share our lives with, we must take into consideration what genetic predisposition the pup has. The more you understand the genetic predisposition of the type of dog you have, the better you will be at analyzing his training needs, progress, and any problem behavior that might occur. If you don’t know what your dog was bred to do, research the history of the breed first.

For example, here are just a few of the many different breeds:


They may put the strong desire they have to chase and herd to use chasing cars and bicycles.


Their protective nature might be considered a disadvantage if you are a highly social person that has a lot of company.


They love to have something in their mouths, especially if its one of their toys or your favorite pair of shoes.


The nose goes to the ground and they lock out the rest of the world as they follow an interesting scent trail. That trail might take them miles from home.


They delight in a skirmish with vermin. The neighbor’s cat might also do, in a pinch.



Start watching your puppy at play and become aware of the games your puppy plays!


I have it! You try to pull it away from me!


This is my spot! You try to remove me!


I have it! You chase me and try to get it!

Board & Train Dog Training Seattle Bothell Everett AOCB

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Monday-Saturday: 9AM-6PM
Sunday: CLOSED


© Academy of Canine Behavior 2020