Dogs who raise puppies raise their offspring into perfect dogs. Wolves who raise wolf cubs raise them into perfect wolves who are prepared for life as survivors. When humans raise puppies into dogs, they run into trouble. Why? First of all, we don't allow the puppies to get the natural upbringing that they would and ought to receive had they been brought up by other dogs. Secondly, we expect the dog to respect our human rules, which are often meaningless to the dog, and we fail to take into consideration the dog's age, developmental stages and its capacity. The result is that the dog fails to meet our too high demands. Puppies who grow up surrounded by their own kind, gradually learn to obtain the self-control they will need as adults. And they learn so well! As adults they have obtained all the self-control necessary to survive. We need to learn to raise puppies in a similar way that they would be if they were raised naturally by other dogs from birth to adulthood.
Puppy license The first and major mistake we make as puppy owners is to set our expectations and demands so high that there is no way the puppy will be able to meet them. In nature and where the dogs are allowed to grow up naturally in a pack, they learn self-control very gradually. Until they are about 16-20 weeks old, they have a so-called 'puppy license'. They get to flutter their license about and say 'na-na-na, you can't get me - 'cos I have a puppy license!'. We often see how the puppies are taking advantage of this license. They bully the adult dogs around them, and we can almost see that mischievous sparkle in their eyes. A lot of adult dogs let the puppies carry on with unbelievable patience during this period of time.
By 16-20 weeks of age, the puppy license is about to expire. Now, the puppies gradually need to learn to control themselves better and behave more politely. They will still be forgiven for their many mistakes and errors - after all, they are not yet adults. Adulthood will come naturally with time and experience.
It may seem confusing that a puppy can move from one developmental stage to another within only a few days, but we need to keep in mind that they go from puppyhood to adulthood in less than two years. In comparison, humans take 20 years before we can call ourselves adults, and many need even more time than that!