Developmental Stages and What You Should Be Doing ~

Birth to 12 days

Neonatal period Birth to 12 days Puppy can't hear or see well, stays close to mother and littermates.

Do= Breeder provides warm environment. Dr. Michael Fox conducted a study showing mildly stressing puppies during the first five weeks develops dogs which are superior when put in learning or competitive situations. They are better able to handle stress, are more outgoing and learn more quickly. Mild physical stress at an early age will actually increase the size of the brain. This is accomplished with the Superdog Program.


Transitional period 13 to 20 days Eyes open, puppy can hear, begins to walk in a wobbly fashion. They will begin to hear and will respond to taste and smell.

Do= This is the time to introduce novel stimuli to the whelping box such as a plastic milk bottle, knotted towel, cardboard box, etc. This is also a time to introduce puppies to friendly cats. It is important to continue picking up the pups daily, admire them, talk to them, and spend a few minutes with each one individually.


Awareness period 21 to 23 days Primary Socialization begins. Puppy is able to use senses of sight and hearing. Learning begins.

Do= It is a time of very rapid sensory development. A stable environment is crucial. It is important not to overload them. Radical changes in the environment must be avoided, i.e. do not move the whelping box!

It is essential that the puppy remain with the litter and the mother.

     Each day introduce a new surface such as concrete, linoleum, wood, carpet, matting, etc. Taking them two at a time will make it less stressful than one at a time. Very mild auditory stimuli is introduced, such as a radio playing quietly. I play music, sound effects and movies.


Canine Socialization 21 to 49 days Primary Socialization period - 3 to 5 weeks. Secondary Socialization period - 6 to 12 weeks "This period is especially important for the development of a stable emotional temperament and affective tone. Many social and emotional deficits observed in adult dogs are believed to result from removing puppies too early from the mother and littermates." - Steven R. Lindsay

Puppy learns species specific behavior that makes him a dog (biting, chasing, barking, fighting and body posturing. Learns to accept discipline from mother and to use submissive postures. Learns not to bite too hard. Learns to relate to other litter mates and develops a pack hierarchy through play. Mother begins to wean puppies between 4-8 weeks, but should be allowed as much time with the pups as she wants.

Do= Puppies require plenty of playtime with littermates, so they can socialize. Leaving the litter before 7 weeks can affect the puppy's ability to get along with other dogs later and they will likely have trouble learning to inhibit the force of their bite. Put an open crate in the puppy pen. Clear distinction between sleep and play area should be made. This ensures the puppy can leave his sleeping area to eliminate. This will make housetraining later much easier.

     Each puppy should have one-on-one individual attention with humans. Take two at a time for short car rides. Occasionally isolate puppies to prepare them for separation. Puppy's rate of mental development will now depend on the complexity of their environment. Exposure to a variety of noises and different floor surfaces is important. Begin positive training sessions at 5 weeks. I do tracking, leash work, sit down and come training from this time until you get your new pup at 8 weeks.


Human Socialization 7 to 12 weeks "100 new people by 12 weeks" - Dr. Ian Dunbar, PhD ”From now to the 16th week of the puppy’s life, his basic character is set by what he is taught. This will apply especially to his attitudes toward people and toward his ability to serve them the very best he can." –Pfaffenberger

The 49th day. The brain waves of the puppy are the same as a mature dog, but the puppy is a clean slate. Puppy should be completely weaned from mother. This is the age when most rapid learning occurs. Greatest impact on future social behavior will be made by any experience that happens at this point. The window of opportunity is closing. Although puppies can continue to learn to be comfortable with new things, it is not as easy.

Do= Best time to bring a puppy into its new home is around week 7or 8. "The 49th day" is recommended by Guide Dog raisers and supported by studies. Absolutely critical period in which puppy should be socialized - maximize this time! Enroll in a good puppy class! Ideal time to capitalize on educating your puppy. Take into account puppy's physical limitations and short attention span.


Fear Imprint Period 8 to 11 weeks Experiences a puppy perceives as traumatic during this time are generalized and may affect him all his life. It is a fact that a dog is most likely to develop an avoidance response if subjected to physical or psychological trauma during these four weeks. This period falls within the human imprint period. Anything that frightens the puppy during this period will have a more lasting effect than if it occurred at any other time.

Do= Keep training fun. Use short sessions, and keep all training positive. Gentle guidance and management are essential. Set your puppy up to succeed. This kind of mindset will enable you to be successful, as you continue to socialize your puppy. Puppies should not be shipped during this period and necessary visits to the vet should be made fun.  


Seniority Classification 10 to 16 weeks Learning to compete and cope. Social dominance. Puppy has been in the home for approximately six weeks. This period is known as the "period of cutting teeth and apron strings." Pups will attempt to clarify and resolve question of leadership.

Do= So long as you provide structure, control and leadership, this transition should be relatively painless.

If these things have not been provided, all heck is about to break loose!


Flight Instinct Period 4 to 8 months "Seems to forget everything previously learned." if you have done your homework it does not mean your puppy won't go through this - just be aware of it and ride it out. Just keep your pup on a leash until this passes.

               This stage can last from a few days to several weeks and can occur anytime during this period. A puppy will test its wings. He may challenge you in an attempt to resolve the question of leadership. He may not come when called. He may not play fetch even though he once did. He will be uncomfortable because his adult teeth are growing in.

Do= It is because of this stage that prevention over cure is advocated -- you must start socializing and training before now! When you notice a change in your dog during this time, he is probably going through his "flight instinct" period. Like a teenager going through puberty, your puppy is changing physiologically. Your awareness of these changes in behavior will help get you through this commonly difficult period. This is the time when obedience schools get most of their calls. Puppies that have not been socialized and worked with take a different path in life than pups that have. Be prepared with appropriate chew bones (large enough so that the pup will not choke) to help with your pup's need to chew. Use a long line in the park if your pup is not coming when called.


Second Fear Period 6 to 14 months Many dogs will show a rise in their level of aggression (reactivity) during this time. They may become protective and territorial, and may make a new attempt to dominate owners. Incidents of teenage flakiness may recur.

               Corresponds with growth spurts. Therefore it may happen more than once as the puppy matures. May suddenly be apprehensive about new things or shy or timid of new people or situations. Most of height growing is over, but pup will start to fill out over the coming year. Puppy begins to mature sexually: male begins to lift leg, and female has first heat period anywhere from 6-12 months. Puppy coat being replaced by adult coat, starting down the spine.

Do= This is a fear of new situations and are handled with the utmost patience. The dog is encouraged to work it out on his own. If anything, it is better to ignore the whole situation than to reinforce the fear by praising the dog or petting him while he is afraid. When you "reassure" a dog with pets and "it's okay, fella", you are telling him it is okay to be frightened and you are creating a potential problem. If your puppy appears apprehensive, avoid confrontation.

Build confidence through training. Avoid any potentially overwhelming circumstances you cannot personally oversee, such as shipping your pup in the cargo bay of an airplane.


Maturity 1-4 years Are you done socializing? NO! Like your training efforts, which continue on into adulthood and throughout your dog’s entire life, you are never done with socialization. He still needs to meet and greet people, go places with you, and continue to share your world and your experiences, if you want him to continue to be the happy, friendly dog he is today.

            Refers to sexual maturity as opposed to being full-grown. Smaller dogs mature earlier, larger dogs later. If you were lax in your work earlier on, you may now see the things you have missed: object guarding, unfavorable reactions towards unfamiliar people, animals, or things that your dog missed during the socialization stage.

Do= Until this period has been reached, it is recommended that your pup remains crated or the equivilent (structure) when you are not available to supervise his behavior. You will know when your dog can be trusted by testing him for short periods (10-15 minutes) while you leave the house. If your dog is damaging property while loose, he is not ready.


Breeders ignore when health problems are reported to them and don’t share the information. I can only assume they don’t want people to think they are producing defective pups. Breeders need to be made aware that most if not all health problems Lacys are having are stemming from vaccinating too young and new owners over vaccinating with a 3 shot whambo combo which is recommended by most vets who don’t know better. Include this warning in your puppy contracts. ABLA breeders have had no reported cases to date and encourage you to do your most to keep it that way by informing your puppy buyers. Over vaccinating can nul and void a health guarantee. If you DO NOT warn your puppy buyers then YOU are responsible for the resulting health issues. Not the unknowing puppy owner. Please pass this information on to everybody you know!

Unless a vaccine reaction is strong and immediate, most people – and a shocking number of vets – don’t connect a new or worsened health problem to a shot, let alone report the reaction. The 2007 World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Vaccination Guidelines say there is “gross under-reporting of vaccine-associated adverse events which impedes knowledge of the ongoing safety of these products.”  Former FDA head, Dr. David Kessler, says “only about 1% of serious events are reported to the FDA.”  He was referring to drugs for people; reporting of pet drug reactions is likely to be far worse.

How prevalent are reactions?

In 2007, approximately 6500 reactions were reported for the canine rabies vaccine alone. If as suggested only 1% of reactions were reported, approximately 650,000 reactions likely occurred.  And there are still more than a dozen other vaccines causing reactions.

A 2005 study reported: Young adult small-breed neutered dogs given multiple vaccines per office visit are at greatest risk of an adverse reaction within 72 hours after vaccination … and the risk increases with each subsequent vaccine given. Reactions studied ranged from hives to shock and even death. Although the less a dog weighs, the more likely the reaction — all dogs are at risk when multiple vaccines are given.

Adverse Effects of Vaccines
As the most commonly recognized adverse effect of vaccination is an immediate hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reaction, practitioners are less familiar with the more rare but equally serious acute or chronic immune mediated syndromes that can occur. The veterinary profession and vaccine industry have traditionally emphasized the importance of giving a series of vaccinations to young animals to prevent infectious diseases, to the extent that this practice is considered routine and is generally safe for the majority of animals. Few clinicians are prepared, therefore, for encountering an adverse event and may overlook or even deny the possibility.

Beyond the immediate hypersensitivity reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24 to 72 hours afterward, or 7 to 45 days later in a delayed type immunological response. The increasing antigenic load presented to the host individual by modified live virus (MLV) vaccines is presumed to be responsible for the immunological challenge that can result in a delayed hypersensitivity reaction. The clinical signs associated with nonanaphylactic vaccine reactions typically include fever, stiffness, sore joints and abdominal tenderness, susceptibility to infections, neurological disorders and encephalitis, autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) resulting in icterus, or immune mediated thrombocytopenia (ITP) resulting in petechiae and ecchymotic hemorrhage. Hepatic enzymes may be markedly elevated, and liver or kidney failure may occur by itself or accompany bone marrow suppression. Furthermore, MLV vaccination has been associated with the development of transient seizures in puppies and adult dogs of breeds or crossbreeds. Commercial vaccines, on rare occasion, can also be contaminated with other adventitious viral agents, which can produce significant untoward effects such as occurred when a commercial canine parvovirus vaccine was contaminated by blue tongue virus. Recently, a vaccine manufacturer had to recall all biological products containing a distemper component, because they were associated with a higher than expected rate of central nervous system postvaccinal reactions 1 to 2 weeks following administration.

If, as a profession, we conclude that we are over vaccinating, other issues come to bare, such as the needless client dollars spent on vaccines, despite the well intentioned solicitation of clients to encourage annual booster vaccinations so that pets also can receive a wellness examination. Giving annual boosters when they are not necessary has the client paying for a service which is likely to be of little benefit to the pet’s existing level of protection against these infectious diseases. It also increases the risk of adverse reactions from the repeated exposure to foreign substances.

Predisposed Breeds
Twenty years ago, this author began studying families of dogs with an apparent increased frequency of immune mediated hematological disease (i. e., AIHA, ITP, or both). Among the more commonly recognized predisposed breeds were the Akita, American cocker spaniel, German shepherd dog, golden retriever, Irish setter, Great Dane, Kerry blue terrier, and all dachshund and poodle varieties; but predisposition was found especially in the standard poodle, longhaired dachshund, Old English sheepdog, Scottish terrier, Shetland sheepdog, shih tzu, vizsla, and Weimaraner, as well as breeds of white or predominantly white coat color or with coat color dilution (e. g., blue, red). *German Shepherd and Dachsund have been determined through DNA to be a part of the Blue Lacy breed.

A significant proportion of these animals had been vaccinated with monovalent or polyvalent vaccines within the 30 to 45day period prior to the onset of their autoimmune disease. Furthermore, the same breeds listed above appear to be more susceptible to other adverse vaccine reactions, particularly postvaccinal seizures, high fevers, and painful episodes of hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD).

Full Article:

Dr. Jean Dodd is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on vaccination protocols. You can read all of her impressive credentials where I posted them in the forum along with a downloadable page of her recommended vaccination protocol. She even gives detailed reasons why you give the vaccines you do and reasons for why you don't give the others. This is all information I supply in your puppy packets to take home with your new Blue Lacy puppy. It also makes it convenient to have in hand when you go to visit your vet. Of course I recommend finding a Holistic vet to prevent dealing with the closed mindedness of your average vet. I follow her recommended vaccination protocol.

I administer Intervet’s Progard Puppy for Parvo/Distemper which is made specifically FOR puppies at 8 weeks. Never before 6 weeks. My own dogs do not get a second shot. I opt for a titers test instead. You are welcome to opt for either the titers test or the second dose of Progard Puppy, but I don't recommend more than that and never the 5 or 7 shot combo which null and voids the health guarantee in your puppy contract. The unnecessary yearly and repeated vaccinations also voids your health guarantee. I have found taking this stance with my health guarantee gives people a little added incentive to stand up to their average veterinarian. People just need to remember they work for you, you tell them what to do not vice versa.

I administer Thurga before and after vaccinations to minimize as much as possible the ill effects of vaccinations. I give my own dogs Lyssin before and after the required by law rabies vaccination.

I have all of my dogs and even the humans from time to time on Diatomaceous Earth. The benefits of which are just way too many to list here. You can follow the link above to see them for yourself.

Just to be sure puppies are worm free I use Panacur which kills all worms not just this or that. They get this at 5 and 7 weeks old.

Puppies are raised on bottled water.

They are also given Probiotics a couple of times a week. All of the information you need to continue to raise your new puppy in the best of health are provided in your puppy packet.




Methods of Stimulation

The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a program called "Bio Sensor" was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the "Super Dog" Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.


The "Bio Sensor" program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises which were designed to stimulate the neurological system.

                              Blue Lacy super dog program


These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results. These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding.


Benefits of Stimulation

Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:


•             Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)

•             Stronger heart beats

•             Stronger adrenal glands

•             More tolerance to stress and

•             Greater resistance to disease.

•             In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.




From the moment our puppies open their eyes we begin their socialization. All puppies go through various psychological stages of development during the critical first eight weeks of life. The first 2 months of a dogs life is equal to 14 months in a humans. The first 6 months equal to 5 years. So you can see the importance of the training and socialization of these first 8 weeks of life. Early handling and events that occur during the first 2 to 4 months of life are critical factors in the social development of the dog. Dogs that receive insufficient exposure to people, other animals and new environments during this time may develop irreversible fears, leading to timidity or aggression.

The socialization period begins at three weeks and extends to week 14. During this period pups learn to be dogs. Through play fight, play sex, play hunting, catching and guarding prey, they develop skills needed later in life. They learn the "language" of dominance and submission such as soft bite, head turn, threat intensity. They also learn to associate with and bond with people. People socialization starts with the basic associations formed from handling shortly after birth until six or seven weeks, before the fear response escalates. Unless socialization on dogs and people is well underway by then, it has only a small chance of happening at all.

"As each animal grows and develops three kinds of stimulation have been identified that impact and influence how it will develop and be shaped as an individual. The first stage is called early neurological stimulation, and the second stage is called socialization. The first two (early neurological stimulation and socialization) have in common a window of limited time. When Lorenz, (1935) first wrote about the importance of the stimulation process he wrote about imprinting during early life and its influence on the later development of the individual. He states that it was different from conditioning in that it occurred early in life and took place very rapidly producing results which seemed to be permanent.

Generally, genetics account of about 35% of the performance but the remaining 65% (management, training, nutrition) can make the difference. In the management category it has been shown that breeders should be guided by the rule that it is generally considered prudent to guard against under and over stimulation. Short of ignoring pups during their first two months of life, a conservative approach would be to expose them to children, people, toys and other animals on a regular basis. Handling and touching all parts of their anatomy is also necessary to learn as early as the third day of life. Pups that are handled early and on a regular basis, generally do not become hand shy as adults." *Carmen L. Battaglia

The last half of the socialization period is marked by the development of fear responses starting in the fifth week, then escalating rapidly through the seventh week to a peak at nine weeks, then levels off in the tenth week where it remains for the dog's life.

So when should you go knock on the breeder's dog and with a huge grin say, "I'm here for my puppy." First, the answer depends on the breeder and on how he/she treats the bitch and the pups. If it's the puppy factory alluded to earlier, where pups got little or no human contact from birth until you arrived to pick out your pup, seven weeks is already too late. If you must deal with such a breeder, and I can think of no reason why you would, six weeks is the oldest if you hope to save the pup. With the rapid onset of the fear response at seven weeks, every day after six weeks old increases the probability of the pup suffering because there is a lack of human contact. The dog, depending on inherited temperament and breed, will be impossible or at best extremely difficult to train, may be a fear biter, surely will be people shy, and will act like a wild canid generally if left in litter with no human contact.

Our Pet Pavilion Puppy Intensive Care Unit comes all the way from Korea since it's not available in the U.S.

Incubator Features:

Temperature & humidity control, Anion function, High-density oxygen supply, Nebulizer
-Incubation process management with PC
-Temperature Setting Limit: 18℃~30℃
-Humidity Setting Limit: 40%~70%
-Far infrared radiation and carbon heating element is  included in wall inside.
-Antibiotic air filter included for removing inner dust.
-Carbon Filter for deodorizing and anion apparatus
-Solenoid valve for medical treatment

french bulldog puppy

Anion …..  

Look at all the benefits for our little guys and girls with short visits to the Pavillion. The reason we feel refreshed in the woods or countryside is that there is high anion, the atom element with an electrical charge. If we get anion, it increases the vitality by accelerating the metabolism of the cell and it cleans our blood and helps swifter recovery from fatigue, heavy sleep and increases our appetite.

Main Functions :-

  •  Far infrared radiation and carbon heating element is used as a heat source. 
  •  Antibiotic Air Filter included for removing indoor dust
  •  Carbon filter for deodorize and anion apparatus
  •  Solenoid Valve for medical treatment is included 
  •  Teflon material water tank included for preventing algae growth
  •   Machine environment control and saving function on PC & Pet management system function

Our focus and goal here is to create the premier whelping facility for our dogs.  The puppies  at High Desert deserve and get the best of modern technology and up to date equipment to assure the healthiest and happiest puppies possible.  From the moment they are whelped our puppies receive the best to begin thriving and growing into wonderful long lived companions.  Our goal: to produce the most incredible Blue Lacys possible through genetics, socialization and holistic therapies.

Please peruse our site and read about what we provide for our growing puppies.  You never know what nature will surprise you with and we are prepared to battle the most difficult puppy.  We are proud and yes, we smile every time we watch all our puppies play and thrive ~ life is wonderful.

May your puppy be a super puppy too,
Stephanie Schenk


French Bulldog whelping

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Just for kicks and giggles we put together a sort of virtual tour of the puppy's room. No it's not impressive....but it IS fun. Click below to get there.



blue lacy puppy prints
blue lacy puppy prints