Tips For Dogs

Dog Training – The Fear Imprint Period

Dog Training – The Fear Imprint Period

During weeks eight through twelve there is a period called the “Fear Imprint Period”. During this time, any particularly scary or painful experience will leave a longer lasting impression on your dog than if it happened at any other time in his life. If the experience is very traumatic, it can literally ruin your dog’s life.

During this time, you should avoid exposing your dog to traumatic experiences. For example, surgery such as ear cropping, if it is going to be done, should be done before 8 weeks or after 11 weeks of age. Also, when you take your dog to the vet, have the doctor treat him before doing any exams, just to make the vet visit a pleasant experience. While you should stay away from any stressful situations, continue to train your dog in a positive way.

During his first year of growth, you may sometimes see fear reactions. Don’t react by pulling him to the object he’s scared of. In fact, don’t soothe him or pet him. The reason for this is that he may think that you are encouraging his reaction and behavior.

What you need to do is distract the dog with another toy or treat to take his mind off the object that scared him and onto something pleasant. Practice some of the commands he’s already been taught so he can focus on a positive experience. In about two weeks or less, this fearful behavior will disappear.

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