Have you ever heard about imprinting? It is a very important process in the life of all dogs. Whether you have heard about it or not – – if you are a dog owner – – the information in this article will be of interest to you, especially if you have a puppy.
First, let’s look at the definition of this word and why it’s important for your dog.
What is imprinting?
Imprinting is the period in which a puppy recognizes and perceives all dog and human behaviors.
This stage is important because the dog’s personality and character will develop according to what it sees.
The most sensitive part of this period happens when the puppy is between two and seven weeks old. At this stage, it remains whith its mother and siblings. It will absorb the behaviors that will define its future personality.
Furthermore, during these weeks the animal will realize who it is and who are its fellow dogs. However, its relationships don’t have to be limited to dogs. Little by little, it will start having slight contact with humans. It would be good with several humans if possible, and not always with the same people to grow up understanding that humans are good life partners.
Why is imprinting important for your dog?
The perception of these behaviors will allow the dog to grow confident, be capable to trust, and have no insecurities which lead on to being scared or aggressive.
Therefore, it is important for a puppy to be with its mother and siblings for at least seven weeks (45 days). If during that time the puppy has interacted with other dogs, species, or humans, there is a high chance it will be a happy and well-rounded dog.
Likewise, when dogs socialize with other people during imprinting – – not only its future family – – it will help the animal become kind, caring, and social instead of unfriendly and antisocial.
Obviously, imprinting will mark the life, personality, and character of your dog. Therefore, it is important it is done correctly.
How do you know if your dog has gone through good imprinting?
If your future puppy isn`t from someone you know, you can observe the animal’s behavior even if he is still a baby. A dog with good imprinting will do the following:
- It will come to you. Even if it has never seen you before. A puppy with good imprinting will run playfully towards you. It won’t growl when petting it while it eats or drinks. It will try to get the attention of other dogs in order to play.
- It will examine you. Once it comes to you, it will smell you and even give you a playful nibble to show its confidence towards humans.
- It won’t hide behind mom. A dog – – no matter how young it is – – that hides behind mom shows distrust, fear, and shyness. This means it hasn’t gone through good imprinting.
Keep these signs in mind and don’t believe everything the person selling the puppies says. Even if you already have a furry friend at home, don’t forget to follow-up on the socialization process so that it is a sociable dog around other animals and people.
If you are going to raise puppies, invest some time to ensure they go through good imprinting.