A dog’s behavior is determined both from its genetic makeup and from its environment. While dogs with a history of abuse can act fearful, more often than naught they were not properly socialized as puppies. Proper socialization gives a puppy guidance, confidence, and the ability to handle new situations with grace. In general the key socialization period for puppies is about 5-16 weeks. The curiosity period is from 5-7 weeks, and the behavioral refinement period occurs about 7-9 weeks. Fear imprinting can be seen from 8-11 weeks. Environmental awareness is seen from 9-12 weeks and seniority classification usually occurs from 13-16 weeks. I’ll expand more on each phase in the next article, so stay tuned.