April 21, 2005

The Homeostasis Period

Homeostasis is the ability to maintain equilibrium in a variable environment, to keep calm while things around you are changing.

The ability to cope with new stimuli, and adapt to new environments is learned. Innate fears do exist in some animals, though they have yet to be demonstrated in dogs. However a large number of fears arise from an individual's development.

The period that begins with the puppy's sensory development, 3 weeks, and ends when it develops a fear of the unknown, 12 to 14 weeks, is the period during which it is easier to establish emotional homeostasis through a process of organising stimuli from the outside world, and classifying them as known or unknown, agreeable or disagreeable, same or different. Through this process the puppy develops a frame of reference which allows it to classify new stimuli throughout its life and respond appropriately.

If puppy is exposed to a wide range of stimuli during this period, it will rapidly adapt to almost all human environments without stress.

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