It has been such a joy to watch our shorties grow up. Over the years, we have learned so much about this breed and have enjoyed not only their silly antics, but also their unconditional love of their family.
In order to understand why your puppy doesn't listen to you at times, you need to understand each stage of development a puppy goes through as it matures. Let's take a look at the different stages, but before we do, keep in mind that these stages are generalizations each dog will progress at its own pace.
Stage 1: The Transitional Stage 2-3 Weeks: The Transitional stage generally lasts from age two to three weeks, and it's during this time that your puppy's eyes will open, and he'll slowly start to respond to light and movement and sounds around him. He'll become a little more mobile during this period, trying to get his feet underneath him and crawling around in the box (or wherever home is). He'll start to recognize mom and his litter mates, and any objects you might place in the box. Stage 2: The Almost Ready To Meet The World Stage 3-4 Weeks: The Almost ready to meet the world stage lasts from 3 to about 4 weeks, as your puppy undergoes rapid sensory development during this time. Fully alert to his environment, he'll begin to recognize you and other family members. It's best to avoid loud noises or sudden changes during this period - negative events can have a serious impact on his personality and development right now. Puppies learn how to be a dog during this time, so it's essential that they stay with mom - litter mates. Stage 3: The Overlap Stage 4-7 Weeks: From 3-4 weeks, your puppy begins the most critical social development period of his life - he learns social interaction with his litter mates, learns how to play and learns bite inhibition. He'll also learn discipline at this point - Mom will begin weaning the pups around this time, and will start teaching them basic manners, including accepting her as eader of the pack. You can begin to introduce food to the pups starting around the 4th week - transition gradually as Mom weans them. Continue handling the pups daily, but don't separate them from either Mom or litter mates for more than about 10 minutes per day. Puppies that are removed from the nest too early frequently are nervous, more prone to barking and biting and have a more difficult time with socialization and training. Puppies need to be left with Mom and siblings until at least 7 weeks of age and preferably a little longer - for optimum social development. Experts say that the best time in a puppy's life to learn social skills is between 3 and 16 weeks of age that's the window of opportunity you have to make sure your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted dog. It's extremely important to leave your puppy with Mom and his litter mates during as much of this period as possible. Don't discipline for play fighting, housebreaking mistakes or mouthing - that's all normal behavior for a puppy at this stage. Stage 4: The "I'm Afraid of Everything" Stage 8 Weeks to 3 Months: The "I'm Afraid of Everything" Stage lasts from about 8 weeks to 3 months, and is characterized by experience this, but most do, and they'll appear terrified over things that they took in stride before. This is not a good time to engage in harsh discipline (not that you ever should anyway!), loud voices or traumatic events. At this time your puppy's bladder and bowels are starting to come under much better control, and he's capable of sleeping through the night (At last, you can get some rest!). You can begin teaching simple commands like come, sit, stay, down, etc. Leash training can begin. It's important not to isolate your puppy from human contact at this time, as he'll continue to learn behaviors and manners that will affect him in later years. Stage 5: The Juvenile Stage 3 Months to 4 Months: The Juvenile stage typically lasts from 3 to 4 months of age, and it's during this time your puppy is most like a toddler. He'll be a little more independent - he might start ignoring the commands he's only recently learned - just like a child does when they're trying to exert their new-found independence. As in "I don't have to listen to you!". Firm and gentle reinforcement of commands and training is what's required here. He might start biting you - play biting or even a real attempt to challenge your authority. A sharp "No!" or "No bite!" command, followed by several minutes of ignoring him, should take care of this problem. Continue to play with him and handle him on a daily basis, but don't play games like tug of war or wrestling with him. He may perceive tug of war as a game of nce - especially if he wins. And wrestling is another game that can rapidly get out of hand. As your puppy's strength grows, he's going to want to play-fight to see who's stronger - even if you win, the message your puppy receives is that it's ok to fight with you. And that's not ok! Stage 6: The Brat Stage 4-6 Months: The Brat Stage starts at about 4 months and runs until about 6 months, and it's during this time your puppy will demonstrate even more independence and willfulness. You may see a decline in his urge to please you expect to see more testing the limits type of behaviors. He'll be going through a teething cycle during this time, and will also be looking for things to chew on to relieve the pain and pressure over other family members, especially children. Continue his training in obedience and basic commands, but make sure to never let him off his leash during this time unless you're in a confined area. Many times pups at this age will ignore commands to return or come to their owners, which can be a dangerous, even fatal breakdown in your dog's response to you. If you turn him loose in a public place and he bolts, the chances of injury or even death can result so don't take the chance. He'll now begin to go through the hormonal changes brought about by his growing maturity, and you may see signs of rebelliousness (Think adolescent teen-age boy!). If you haven't already, you should have him neutered or spayed during this time. Stage 7: The Young Stage 6-18 Months: The Young hood stage lasts from 6 months to about 18 months, and is usually a great time in your dog's life - he's young, he's exuberant, he's full of beans and yet he's learning all the things he needs to become a full-fledged dog. Be realistic in our expectations of your dog at this time - just because he's approaching his full growth and may look like an he's not as seasoned and experienced as you might expect. Gradually increase the scope of activities for your dog, as well as the training. You can start more advanced training during this period, such as herding or agility training, if that's something both of you are interested in. Otherwise, extend his activities to include more people and other animals allow him to interact with non-threatening or non-aggressive dogs. Congratulations! You've raised your puppy through the 7 stages of childhood, I mean puppy hood, and now you have a grown-up, dog! Almost feels like you've raised a kid, doesn't it? The 7 Stages of Puppy Development by Charlie Lafave
http://spencersmountainaussies.weebly.com/ With many years of experience, we agree with the information posted below and appreciate the opportunity to share this insight with our Shortiejacks visitors. Choosing your pup......Male versus Female Most puppy buyers have a personal preference when making the choice between male verses a female puppy! Many behavioral characteristics are more common in males while other characteristics are more common in the females. Evaluating characteristics may be helpful in determining which sex best suits your lifestyle.
The following characteristics often apply to females:
1) Reserved: Females take life more seriously and learn faster, however they tend to be busier compared to the males. If you notice this in the puppies, it may increase with age. Often, they prefer & respect their special person - tolerate others. 2) Independent: Females prefer to be in control. They may come to their owner but may leave when had enough attention. 3) Stubborn: A female is typically the ALPHA of their pack. They desire to control situations and respond to challenges. 4) Territorial: Like males, a female (in tact or spayed) may mark their territory. 5) Protective: Females are more protective of their home or (from their canine perspective) their den. 6) Behavior and mood changes: Females start cycling around 6 months of age, and twice yearly thereafter. Their hormones attracts intact males. The following characteristics often apply to males: Keep in mind, these are generalizations and there are exceptions. 1) Affectionate: Male dogs are typically more affectionate than females. They tend to crave more attention from their owners (more than the females do) and share more affectionate behaviors with their family members. They are eager to please and prefer to remain close to their special person. 3) Food Motivated: Males tend to be more food motivated which makes training easier. 4) Exuberant: Male dogs maintain a fun loving and puppy like exuberance throughout their life. 5) Aggressive behaviors: Intact males may display aggressive behaviors toward other males and exhibit marking behaviors. It is a known fact that the neutered males are more loyal, make better pets and are easier to obedience train. 6) Protective: Males are more protective of their yard (from their canine perspective) their territory. Most of them like to patrol something they perceive as theirs, they will mark over it. If you already have a dog and are considering adding a new dog or puppy to your pack: Adding a dog of the opposite sex is generally the best choice. Dogs of the same sex are more likely to challenge each other, than dogs of the opposite sex. 1) If you already have a male dog, he will likely be more accepting of a female, and you will have fewer dominance issues if you add a female to your pack. However if you decide to add another male to your pack, they can peacefully co-exist with your guidance. It is important to closely monitor their interactions from the very beginning. Never allow aggressive behavior from either dog. For long term peace of mind, it's highly recommended to neuter both males. 2) If you already have a female dog, she will likely be more accepting of a male. Most males tend to be more submissive. If he does not challenge your female, most likely she will not instigate a fight with him. Adding another female to your pack may be more challenging (depending on their personalities). The toughest combination is two females because they are more likely to fight than a male and a female or two males. Many breeders and knowledgeable dog people own many females that coexist together with out conflict, because we maintain the alpha position and watch for the slightest signs of discontent. Our females have established and accepted their pack hierarchy and we reinforce it. Whether you choose a male or a female, is your personal preference. The characteristics listed above are generalizations and do not apply to every dog. There are many variables that modify behavior. Depending on the birth order, many male puppies display female characteristics and many female puppies display male characteristics. Please Take Note: Spayed females and neutered males are less likely to exhibit the (gender specific) behavior issues and disrupt your canine pack. Spaying and neutering also eliminates territorial marking.
PLAYTIME THEN and NOW
Playtime is filled with lots of cool indoor and outdoor activities. They run and play freely throughout the day under constant supervision. If I am at my desk, they are either at my feet or out with their dad. We monitor their behavior via security cameras at all times. We work very hard at not only encouraging our shorties to share their toys, but to run and play in packs as mother nature intended.
Nothing like a morning game of ball to get the day going!
Biscuit says it aint over till it's OVER! The old man can still catch the ball at 14!
Pooltime is very important here a Shortiejacks. It is a great way to observe each shortie for their alpha status. Jacks are competitive by nature and want to be first to get the ball or control their space. The pool not only provides our shorties with a daily, cool and enjoyable experience, but also enables us the ability to monitor their social skills at a time when they have increased potential to be possessive.
There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than to see my babies enjoying their life here at Brightjacks'