SUPER DOGS ARE MADE  
-NOT BORN-
by Joyce O'Kelley
Today almost everyone involved with dogs has heard of the work of Scott and Fuller. Perhaps they have attempted to read the studies,
and like many people stumbled over the scientific languages and technical charts and graphs in an attempt to understand. Many have
read Pfaffenberger's  book, or at least are familiar with its contents on the critical socialization  periods in a dog's life. However, when it
comes to "tearing  " the books apart and discarding the excess verbiage to get to the  salient points, many are at a loss.
This is not meant to imply that these books are not excellent works. Pfaffenberger gives much valuable information. However, his book
was not written as a textbook. It was written to be informative, yet "readable". In order to find the information on socialization we must first
read through anecdotes of his life and then glean the bits and pieces of information from each chapter. The studies of Scott and Fuller
should be the "Bible" of the conscientious breeder. But, again, they do not always discuss their findings in the language of the average
dog owner.
Add to these facts that additional studies have been conducted which shed new light on the critical periods, and in some cases even
alter some of the thoughts expressed in the earlier works, and add additional critical periods in the life of a pup. Just what are the critical
periods in the life of a dog? What must a breeder do and not do in order to help a pup develop his aptitudes to the highest potential?
What can a breeder do to assure a sound out-going temperament, while helping the pup develop confidence without being aggressively
dominant? Where does the responsibility of a breeder begin and end? It isn't enough to select a stud and bitch for their sound genetic
qualities and temperament. Super dogs are not bred. They are carefully molded each step of the way through the established critical
periods.
Scientific studies have shown a dog's innate temperament and trainability can be altered by the type of environment provided. While we
can't change their aptitudes the dog has inherited, we can take these aptitudes and with careful handling turn almost any pup into a
super working dog and a super companion.
Hopefully this article will provide some of the answers for the breeder. Each of the critical periods is explained in everyday language.
What must be done and what must not be done is spelled out in detail, along with the reasons why.
The one prevailing thought the breeder must adhere to is the fact that the outlined periods are not the "final word". It differs an average
time frame for the "average" pup. Some pups will follow the outline exactly, while others may be ahead of the schedule or slightly behind.
The actions and reactions of a pup during each period are described to gibe the reader some thing to look for to alert him to the fact that
the pup is entering that particular critical period. Hopefully it will help him determine when to put into practice each "Do" and "Do Not" on
the list.
If the breeder follows these guidelines in raising a litter, he or she is going to be one busy person! I recently raised a litter of ten puppies
and followed the outline with care. It meant many hours above and beyond feeding and changing newspapers. It also meant the help of
generous friends. Each pup was socialized individually on a daily basis and each pup received obedience training on a daily basis. It
meant rotating pups various pens and even rotating them to different homes and different environments . . . that's where generous
friends come in handy!       
Following the guideline was not complicated, but it was very exhausting! However, the results made it all worthwhile and very rewarding.
The pups were all placed in their new homes between 10 and 12 weeks of age. Each new owner continued the training at a formal
obedience class for puppies. This was achieved through a contract, which gage the new owners an opportunity to receive up to $85.00 of
the sale price of each puppy back as it proceeded through the various stages of training.       
Three of the pups qualified in obedience matches with above average scores at the tender age of 16 weeks! While be accepted
standards they weren't even old enough to enter obedience training, must less trials, they were and are outstanding puppies, well on
their way to becoming truly super dogs!
FIRST CRITICAL PERIOD
(Birth through three weeks)
BASIC NEEDS
Food, sleep warmth, massage.
His body thermostat is not sufficiently developed, so he has no control
over his temperature. You must assure the whelping room remains
warm.
Provide a warm whelping
box.
DO
Minimum of handling, and leave to their mother's care.
Mentally the pup is insulated from his environment. There is very little
difference in his brain waves awake or asleep. Since the environment
has no effect on his metal development at this age, leave him alone
except for attending to  his physical comfort.
DO NOT
Attempt to train.
Studies proved a pup is unable to learn anything except by long
repetitions of up to 80 times. Then can only retrain the stimulus for a few
seconds.
NEW ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
The pup has reflex responses only to hunger, cold, touch and even elimination, which is created by the mother's
massage and lapping. Pups will "pig pile" for warmth. Pup whines and cries. Swings his head from side to side. Can
crawl forward and backward, but does not venture out of the nest. His eyes will open between 10 and 19 days of age,
however he cannot see. He does not follow moving objects and does not startle at rapid movements. Around 18 days he
may get up on wobbly feet and walk.
SECOND CRITICAL ;PERIOD
(Fourth Week)
Food, sleep, warmth, his mother, canine socialization with his littermates,
socialization with humans on limited basis, unaltered environment.
BASIC NEEDS
Provide gentle handling
by humans.
An attachment  to humans is beginning to form, however, due to
importance of this particular period, handling should be by adults in your
immediate family. Not by strangers
DO
DO NOT
If removed from the litter the pup will lose his ability for socially adjusting
to dogs,  and will probably  remain a maladjusted "people" dog for the
rest of his life.
Remove from the litter.
Weaning will create an emotional upset that will be insurmountable. IF,
due to mammary problems or other unforeseen circumstances, the pup
must be weaned or removed from the litter, it should be done before the
21st day or after the 28th day.
DO NOT
Wean
DO NOT
Allow negative events to
happen.
During this period negative events can bring the inborn characteristic of
nervousness to light. Negative happenings can create shyness and
other unwanted qualities in a puppy. Once these qualities  have
developed they will be difficult, if not impossible, to erase.
NEW ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
All senses are functioning. The pup can see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. You will notice a loud noise or fast movement
will cause the pup to startle. Studies have shown profound changes are now occurring in the brain waves. The pup
stops all neonatal behavior such as crawling and swinging the head from side to side. The pup whines much less. He
doesn't sleep as much. He will leave the nest area for a considerable time by himself or with another puppy, but will not
travel very far away.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
This is perhaps the most critical of all the periods. Before this time the pup was insulated from the environment
emotionally, but now suddenly he can see and hear and he discovers the world to be a very scary place filled with
strange noises, sudden movements and contrasting shades of dark and light. Unless this period is handled with care
he can become so emotionally upset it will remain with him for life. For this reason any changes in his environment
should occur wither before or after this period. This is definitely not the time to move his whelping box to a different
location, or to introduce him to the neighbor's children.  However, common sense should be used. I knew one breeder
who adhered to the established critical periods, and during this week would seal off the whelping room, disconnected
his doorbell, his telephone, and refuse to even enter the room for fear of upsetting the pups with a strange noise. While
the pups do need a carefully controlled environment,  they also need contact with humans (preferably their breeder or
other responsible  adults). While you certainly wouldn't want to go into the room and drop a metal feeding pan, or allow
a screaming youngster to enter the area, you do not have to go overboard. Use your common sense in going about the
daily routines.
THIRD CRITICAL PERIOD
(Fifth through seventh week)
The pup is beginning to form attachments to people, as he is now able
to recognize people. By giving him personal attention away from the
litter and his mother he learns that he is an individual. Since he is
probably experiencing the beginning stages of the "social pecking
order" within his litter, the personal attention will help to counterbalance
the dominance expressed over him by some of the pups. Training is
begun in simple stages because the best time to teach him runs from
21 to 49 days. He is learning whether you teach him or not if he forms
bad habits, it could be a stumbling block to later learning.  By starting
now, you are helping him "learn to learn".
DO
Begin personal attention
and some training by fifth
week.
DO
Pfaffenberger studies proved regularity rather than length of time or
frequency of intervals of human socialization is very important.
Have regular socialization
times established.
At this age puppies will begin to wander out of their rests to evacuate.
This natural tendency to want a clean "den" makes housebreaking
easy at this age. Area used should be heavily lined with papers.
DO
Begin housebreaking.
This will help to even further establish the fact that the puppy is an
individual, and will help build his confidence in himself.
Allow negative events to
happen.
DO
This will help to even further establish the fact that the puppy is an
individual, and will help build his confidence in himself.
Continue with individual
socialization.
DO
Begin feeding puppies from dish, but do not remove the mother. She
should continue to have access to the pups and to nurse them
between feedings if she is willing.  Her presence is important during
this time, as she will begin disciplining  the pups. Do allow her to
discipline the pups. Many people are shocked when their bitch turns on
the pups with a snarl and a snap or bite on the muzzle, and will even
correct her for doing so. But, this is important to teach the submissive
postures. He is learning to be a dog, and during his lifetime, assuming
submissive postures will come along. Most pups need to be taken
down a peg or two at this age. Their teeth are sharp, and they get
carried away in their play. If the mother is removed, then you must
supply the discipline.
DO
Wean and discipline.
DO NOT
Remove from littermates.
Again, the puppy is learning to separate people and dogs. He is
learning he is a canine and he is learning to get along with other dogs
(learning greeting patterns, submissive and dominant gestures, and all
important play gestures). If he is separated from littermates during this
period, he will show less  interest in dog activities when he is grown,
and will probably pick fights  with every strange dog he meets. If
removed from the litter at the beginning  of this period, he is usually very
aggressive as an adult, especially if human attention replaces the dog
attention. He will be confused over his identity, and become so "people
oriented" that even his sexual desires will be expressed towards
humans instead of canines. He will be very difficult to breed to another
canine as an adult.
DO NOT
Do not completely remove
his mother before the end
of the seventh week.
Pups removed from their mother completely during this period are often
noisy and nervous for the rest of their life. Even though weaning has
been completed, she should have access to her pups to clean, play
with, and discipline them.
NEW ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
The social litter order is established during this period. The pups begin play fighting as well as actual fighting, primarily
over fool. By seven weeks the pup has an adult brain. He only lacks experience. Pups can recognize different people. He
responds to voices.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
If you must remove the  mother, you can do it by the fifth week, but you must leave the litter together,
and you must
supply the discipline. Unless it is absolutely essential, it is advisable to let the mother remain.
Now is the time to begin introducing your pup to the average noises of a busy household. By the fifth week he has become
accustomed to his environment and is well adjusted.
Using metal food dishes is advantageous, as the pup associates clanging noises with something pleasant. You can begin
setting the dishes down with a clang, and use a spoon to stir the contents in a clanging, banging noise. This assures you
will not have a pup that shrinks at the sounds of post and bands banging in the kitchen, or other accidentally dropped object.
You can begin soft hand-clapping  as you sit in the whelping area, praising and loving the pups when they run to you, and
then advance to louder clapping and other noises. The vacuum cleaner can be introduced first from another room, and then
slowly brought into the whelping room. The pups will learn to accept it much better while still with their littermates.  This is
also the time to begin the introduction to lead breaking. Each pup should be fitted with a buckle collar. A small length
(single strand so that it cannot become caught) of lightweight rope, or even a shoestring, can be attached to each collar. It
should not be so long as to hang down between the pups legs and snag and trip him as he walks. The pups will pull and
tug on each others short line, thereby accustoming them to the feel and weight of something around their neck, and to light
tugs on the collar.
During your individual attention  sessions, this is an excellent time to place the pup up on a table and gently examine his
teeth, his testicles (if a male, of course!), and begin foot caressing. By handling the feel and gently stroking them, the pup
becomes accustomed to his feed being touched. As you progress, introduce the nail trimmers and cut just the tip of each
tiny nail. Brushing can also be introduced at this time.
FOURTH CRITICAL PERIOD
(Eighth through twelfth week)
Human socialization, mother substitute, training.
BASIC NEEDS
Studies have shown that prior to eight weeks of age a pup will continue
to approach a person, even though that person frightened or hurt him the
previous day. Upon reaching the eighth week and being frightened, he
will remember and will be afraid of the person and try to avoid contact
with them. The eighth week is a period of fear for the puppy, and you
should avoid trips to the vet for vaccines (although this is usually the
week most pups are taken for their first trip), exposing the pup to new
situations that may be frightening.  As you can see, this rules out one of
the most common practices of transferring  the pup to a new home
during this time -- unless the new owners have been  thoroughly "grilled"
and will avoid any unpleasant experiences for the pup. This is also the
time many breeds have their ears cropped -- again it should be done
prior to the eighth week, or closer to the tenth week of life. Studies have
also shown that once a puppy passes this stage in his life, his devotion
to humans is to great (if he has been properly socialized) that even
though they may reject him and attempt to frighten him, he will still
approach and creep submissively to their feet!
Avoid frightening or painful new
experiences.
DO
DO
Remove from littermates and
mother influence, or rotate.
Leaving the pup with the mother can become very confusing, and
actually be damaging to his emotional development. During this period
she will begin actively rejecting the pup, which can be quite a blow to his
newly gained confidence. Leaving the pup with the mother can also
cause him to remain dependent on her, which again, will be damaging
to his emotional development. Since she is rejecting him, he will not find
the security he needs.
Anytime following the eighth week is an ideal time to place the pup in his
new home (provided the new owners are willing to follow through with
the remainder of the critical periods). He will naturally become attached
to the person who becomes his substitute mother.
His instinct to follow (the beginning of the pack instinct) comes into
being early in this period and he will naturally look up to his human pack
leader.             
It is important to separate or rotate the pups from or with littermates to
keep them from becoming bullies or cowards. The pup must remain
with the litter long enough to develop a competitive attitude, but leaving
him too long will have the opposite effect, and injure his emotional
growth. If removed from the litter and mother and raised with other dogs
in the family, for some reason, he is not affected in the same way. So
don't be afraid to place in homes that already have a dog.
DO
Provide love and attention.
The pup's ability to form a strong bond of affection and devotion is
greater during this period than at any other time in his life. That doesn't
mean he must be fussed over constantly or "coddled". But to help
achieve this bond to humans, he needs good care, and individual times
of play and petting.
DO
Provide supervised play with
children.
A dog does not see all humans as one species of animal, a child is
totally different from an adult, and a young adult is completely different
from an elderly person. Children and adults, as well as other animals in
the family or neighborhood  should not be allowed to scare or hurt the
puppy, (accidentally or on purpose),  so they must be watched carefully.
If you do not have children, then "borrow"  them from the neighborhood.
Introduce one child, and then gradually add several children. Do not
allow the puppy to pull or chew on the child. Have the child offer him a
toy, or if necessary correct the puppy gently.
DO
Provide supervised socialization
with as many different types of
people as possible.
His introduction to people during this period will determine his later
sociability and emotional outlook towards humans. His fondness (or
fear) of people will permanently affect how he accepts training and
directions. If he is properly socialized, it is possible to even overcome
the inherited breed characteristics of independence, aggressiveness,
and aloofness. The importance of closely  supervising all contact with
people during this time cannot be emphasized  strongly enough. You
must make sure nothing occurs to cause negative conditioning.
DO
Expose to the big, wide world
after the eighth week..
The pup should gradually be introduced to the "outside" world. He
should be taken in the yard, taken for walks, taken for short automobile
rides, and introduced  to strange new objects. Even the common
household garbage can may be a frightening experience, unless you've
been properly introduced! He should see and smell everything within his
reach. He should learn that bicycles are not to be feared, nor washing
machine noises, or automobile sounds and motion. Or doorbells and
telephones and a hundred other new and exciting and funny things that
make up his strange new world.
DO
Begin gentle but firm discipline.
During this period he is capable of accepting and understanding
discipline. By discipline,  we mean learning that all-important word "NO"
command.
DO
Complete your housebreaking.
During this period he is capable of going through the night without
having an accident, and he can progress from paper training to outdoor
training. It should be done only in a positive manner. His desire to be
clean in his bed area, as well as his desire to please, will make
housebreaking a snap at this time.
DO
Begin his simple obedience
training: response to sit,
stand, down, come.
His developing pack instinct will keep his total attention on you, the
leader, at this time and make training so simple you will vow to begin
training every additional pup you acquire at this tender age! Even
more important, what he learns during this time will remain with him
for life, and become a basic part of his complete personality and his
acceptance of training throughout his life. His house breaking
should be completed during this period. Progressing  from the short
line on the collar to an actual training lead.
Again, what he is learning during this period will shape his entire
attitude towards training and life in general. Everything related to
training should be done in a positive manner. During training
sessions forget that word "NO". He will be praised for correct
behavior and will receive "nothing" for incorrect  behavior. We merely
replace him gently in position, and praise when he responds. The
word "NO" can be employed in training when the pup is attempting to
bite.
DO
Be positive and constructive.
By working separately you are still stressing that he is an individual
and helping to build his confidence even more. In addition you are
also helping him understand he can be a co-worker with you. He
must be away from his littermates and mother and in an area that is
free of distractions so that his attention is focused only on you. He
can be trained with distractions, but the results will be much more
spectacular if distractions are not available.
DO
Work individually out of sight
and hearing of mother and
littermates, in a distraction free
area.
If you are planning to enter this pup in obedience competition now is
the time to begin retrieving! Actually the fetch test is used by "Guide
Dogs For The Blind" to determine how willing a pup is going to be to
work for man. They consider this test extremely important and have
found that pups that do not fetch willingly never become reliable
guide dogs.
DO
Begin teaching him to fetch.
The only restraints used should be the crate or other necessary
fencing to keep the puppy in his kennel or bed area. The puppy
should not be tied outside or left tied anywhere during this time.
DO NOT
Restrain.
Test proved that a puppy who is isolated from humans during this
period remain maladjusted for life. They also proved to be incapable
of becoming companions to humans as well as incapable of training.
DO NOT
Isolate from humans.
Your daily training sessions will provide ample contact with humans
-- but this can create what is known as single-person socialization --
a dog that accepts one person, but is terrified or aggressive to other
people. For this reason, again the importance of introducing him to
other people is stressed.
NEW  ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
Extreme competition now begins in the litter, creating bullies and timid, cowardly pups. The pup can now learn by association chain. Show
him what to do, and he will learn to do it. The natural pack instinct develops and he will willingly follow a human leader if the opportunity is
provided. He is learning at an accelerated pace. Because environmental influences create such a big impression on him, this is the best
time for man to step in and mold the puppy into exactly the kind of dog he wants. He will never again be as "pliable" as he is during this
period. His body sensitivity is increasing rapidly, and it is important to avoid physical punishment or accidental painful events.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
As you can see this is another  extremely critical period in molding your puppy. From my personal experience,  I would never purchase a
puppy over seven weeks of age, unless I knew the breeder was strictly adhering to the training and socialization in the various periods.
However, I would never sell a pup of my own breeding until they were at least 11 to 12 weeks of age. I know that most people are not
willing to put in the time to cover all the "Do and Do Nots", and I would want to make sure that this pup had the best possible start in life to
counterbalance the many new, strange, and frightening, as well as negative influences he is bound to encounter in the course of his life.
Although most of the studies stress puppies should be placed in new homes at the end of the seventy week of life, (because this is when
the permanent bonds of affection begin), you can keep the pup without detrimental effects if you are willing to devote the time and energy
necessary.
The pups should be watched closely during this period for signs of domination. If one pup continuously dominates another pup, then it is
time to begin your rotation of pups. In a few litters, no one pup is ever totally dominant -- meaning there are times when he is the guy on
top and other times when the pup he was just dominating is now dominating him. With these litters it is not necessary to provide separate
housing. But if a dominant pattern is developing then you must set up enough pens or crates (or whatever you are using) to accommodate
the pups in pairs.       
Let's assume that you have six pups in your litter. Today you might pair puppy A and B in one pen, puppies C and D in another, and
puppies E and F in a third pen. Tomorrow you would rotate these pups, placing puppies A and F together, B/D, and C/E. The next day you
would again rotate, placing A and E, and so on. In this way a dominant pup is never left with the one he is dominating more than a day.
Likewise, a submissive pup to pup "A" may be dominant to pup "D" and so on.  It is very rare for one pup to be dominate over every other
pup in the litter, just as it is rare for one pup to be the underdog and be submissive to the entire litter. This way each pup gets his
opportunity to be the dominate one, and he also learns he is not the "king of the mountain" as there are times when he must submit to
another pup.
In addition to rotating to counterbalance the pup's place in the world, you must hold daily training sessions and individual attention, and it
must be done out of sight and hearing of the rest of the litter or the mother. In this way the pup can successfully be kept for longer periods
before placing him in his new home, and still emerge a confident, sociable pup, with positive attitude towards training.
All pups tend to "mirror" their human families. If the family is noisy and active then chances are the pup is going to be nosy and slightly
hyper. Conversely if the pup is raised in a quiet calm atmosphere, he is probably going to be the same type of dog.       
It is important when placing your pups in a new home that the owners understand if they want a pup that is a gentle and loving as an adult,
then they must treat it gently and lovingly.
If the pup is always greeted, when the owners return  home, with excited cries of "Hello puppy! What a good puppy, blah,  blah, blah" the
pup is going to be overly excited each time his family returns which leads to jumping and running wildly through the house.
While the pup should certainly  be greeted, it should be done quietly with gentleness and loving attention.  The pup should be placed into a
sit prior to being petted which will end forever the problem of jumping up, and will teach the pup sitting quietly earns the welcome reward
of petting and praise.
FIFTH CRITICAL PERIOD
(Thirteenth through sixteenth  week)
BASIC NEEDS
Training, love, discipline, socialization to humans and canines.
The pup is ready to undergo formal obedience training during this
period. Disciplined behavior can be expected and enforced now. While
training is still done in a positive manner, mild corrections can be
introduced. Caution is advised as the pups attitude towards training
can become very negative. The method of training should be positive,
and gentle, but firm.
DO
Begin serious training.
DO
Avoid negative commands.
Withholding praise can be just as effective as negative commands
(such as "Shame, Bad Dog and NO" and other negative sounding
words). Praise for correct behavior  and ignoring the pup for incorrect
response to commands will keep his attitude  positive. All praise
should be delivered with feeling, rather that a monotone  of "good dog".
When introducing a new exercise, the pup should be trained in a
distraction free area. However, the exercises taught in the last period
can now be performed with mild distractions at first, and building up to
expecting obedience no matter what distractions may be in the area.
DO
Begin providing slight
distractions.
DO NOT
Wait until after 16 weeks of
age to train.
Studies have proven if a puppy goes beyond that 16th weeks  of life
without some form of training having begun, he may never reach his full
potential. He will still be capable of learning; and may even be a top
performing dog. But, if he turns out to be really good, just think what a
super dog he could have been if his training had been started at the
proper age! The studies of Pfaffenberger also point out that a dog that
begins training after 16 weeks of age will never make up for anything
lost through neglect in earlier training.
Even though you have been rotating the pups, now is the time to
completely separate all littermates. Leaving him with his litter beyond
the 16 weeks is going to make him a very "dog oriented" dog. His ability
to form a close bond to humans will be limited, and his attachment to
his new owners may never become strong. If he has been left with the
litter, and dominance patterns allowed to develop up till this age, he will
probably be a bully or coward for life and will be very difficult to train. By
16 weeks all of his emotions are developed, and what he is at this age
(whether it is hyper, calm, aggressive or shy) will remain fixed for life.
DO NOT
Leave with littermates.
NEW ACTIONS AND REACTIONS
The flight instinct develops. The pup cuts his teeth, and his apron strings. He will wander from the nest (and refuse to be
caught). He gets into increasing mischief. He will begin to try to assert his dominance over human pack members.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
Since the flight instinct begins to develop during this period, it is imperative that the puppy learns the recall before this
age. He must have obedience to that command so ingrained  in his mind, that he is unaware he has any option except to
come when called.       
Since this is the age of getting into mischief, he must be restrained to avoid injuring himself and to keep the breeder or
new owner from deciding  he is too much of a "monster" to keep! He is cutting teeth and will chew everything in sight. He
must be given plenty of chewable items of his own, and confined when he cannot be supervised.
He will begin asserting dominance in subtle ways, such as chewing on your hands and feet, grabbing pants legs, or
refusing to obey even when he knows the command well. This must be dealt with immediately, as it occurs, and firmly
(not cruelly). He must understand while he can dominate other dogs, and while he can be very confident around humans,
he can never be the dominate one over a human being. That, throughout his life, the human is at the top of the social
ladder.
THE JUVENILE  PERIOD
This period is a little more difficult to pinpoint due to the different rate of speed with which dogs mature. But, somewhere
between that forth and seventh month of the dog is going to enter into what is commonly called "fear of new situations"
periods. One day your pup will be working like a dream and be a well-adjusted dog, and suddenly the next day his
training seems to have gone to pot, and he becomes fearful of almost everything that is new to his environment. This is a
very difficult period for the dog.
While the common belief is still prevalent that you should not begin training a dog until it reaches six months of age, this
is the worse possible time to introduce a dog to a training class.
He is going through a fear period, and nothing could be more of a "new situation" than a training class to a dog who has
never been exposed to a large number of dogs and a large number of people, plus noise and confusion.
Dog shows and trials are set up to admit pups only when they reach six months of age. Again, this is the worst time to
take a dog for the first venture into the strange world of dog shows. If you plan to show, then make sure your pup is
exposed to matches and training classes prior to this period, so that it is not a new situation to him when he reaches the
"proper age".       
This period can last well into maturity, and if an event occurs that frightens the pup badly, it may permanently stay with
him. So be cautious in handling him during this time. Don't insist that he make friends with your long, lost "Uncle Harry" if
he appears afraid.       
Take him with you when you visit new places, but if he appears fearful, let him stay in the car, or keep him where you can
observe him at all times, so that you can reassure him, if needed.
What makes this period even more difficult is the fact that many pups are reaching sexual maturity, which again alters
their personality. This is a time when once again the pup is going to try to assume what he considers to be his rightful
place as "pack leader". You must be firm in insisting that you will retain this position, while at the same time avoid a real
trauma that is going to remain with him if he is in the "fear of new situations" period.
If the pup has been raised according to the charts on the preceding pages, you are going to have fewer problems with the
sexual maturity than you would have with a pup that has been raised permissively.
According to Dr. Michael Fox, "When permissively raised pups reach sexual maturity they may become even more difficult
to handle, showing extreme indifference to their owners and violent aggression when disciplined to forcibly restrained.
Humane destruction is the fate of many such dogs; owners who wanted to raise their pet permissively should have
chosen a more submissive and sociable breed or have had it castrated early in life to reduce the chances of sex-related
aggression and dominance fighting that is associated with maturity."
As stated in the beginning of this article, raising a litter of puppies properly is difficult enough, but multiplying that by six or
ten, or even twelve means devoting full time to the task. But, the rewards are great, especially when your new puppy
owners call you to state "I never knew owning a puppy was such a joy. Other dogs I have owned were pests, but this one
is so good,  and so obedient, I can hardly believe it"
The preceding article is reprinted from Off-Lead Magazine, July 1978 via SNAC, April 1979, via the;Deep South "Aussie Speaks".