Puppy Social Skills

The primary canine socialization period lasts until puppies are approximately 8 weeks old. During these critical weeks, they learn how to be dogs; bite inhibition, accepting discipline (from other dogs), body language, play behaviors, and so on.

All puppies go through critical stages - important times when the environment profoundly influences later behavior. Gail Tamases Fisher, All Dogs Gym & Inn

Bite Inhibition is a dog not biting as hard as they can... they control the pressure of their grip based on what the situation warrants. Dogs use their mouths for so many things, and they have to learn the correct way to use them. There is no substitute for puppies learning this from other dogs during that critical stage in their development. This is one of the biggest reasons we keep the litter mates together with their mom (and dad if he's available) until they are at least 8 weeks old. In our experience, dogs that go to their new homes at around 6 weeks of age bite harder than those who stayed with their siblings 2 more weeks, among having other issues. It does not seem like a lot of time, but in a dog's life, it makes a huge difference. Especially when their brain is still developing at such a rapid pace during that time.

Accepting Discipline is becoming a necessity for our dogs as we grow into a more dog-friendly world. Towns all across the world are starting to see dogs as part of the family, which has led to the use of dog parks and beaches, doggy daycares, and bringing them to the patio of your favorite cafe. Dogs are bound to run into each other at some point (figuratively and literally), and they need to know, now more than ever, how to handle being "told off" by another dog without being traumatized or without retaliation-which could lead to a big fight.