It is true that the older you get the more life experiences you've had. Does that mean as well that the older you get the smarter you are? Not always. And the more people I meet the more I realize this to be true. Where am I going with this? I'm leading to puppies and their life experiences. It amazes me everytime I see the little ones and just how well they have adapted to life after only being here for a few short weeks. Even the ones having the disadvantage of being raised in a home where there is no socializing no external stimulus; these handicapped pups adapt to their mundane environment.
I have seen vast difference in puppies of the same age. But the really big difference lies in the socializing and life experiences that each litter of puppies has. There are puppies who are literally left for most of the day and only on occasion see a human; not a great start in life. These puppies fall short in the life experience; and when introduced to "real" life often seem shell shocked. They lack the confidence to go out and discover; this is sad to see and completely avoidable.
There is alot more to raising puppies than making sure that they are being fed. If you are a breeder you have the job to ensure that each puppy in your charge is given the best advantage at dealing with their future life. There is tremendous amount of information for a puppy to learn from day one to the 8-10 weeks they are with the breeder; before they are cast into our big world. So what should a breeder be doing?
Early neurological stimululation is becoming very popular in the circle of better breeders. This involves several exercises that are done with the puppies from day one. There is alot of research that goes into these tests and they are very specific in function and short in duration; only 3-5 seconds long. With these tests they have found that puppies in later weeks are more able to make decisions and become far less stressed than puppies who have not been given these early neurological stimulation exercises.
Along with these very specific interactions there should be daily life interactions. Being picked up, held close, rubbed, exposed to loud noises and life in general. But there is also a limit to what a puppy can handle and over stimulation can have negative effects as well as no stimulation. But when given the proper amount of early neurological stimuation; these puppies are far more equipped to deal with life, bottom line. Puppies who are outside or kennel puppies lacking the experience of environmental stimulation when they are young are far less equipped to deal with anything life has to throw at them.
This is yet another reason to go to a breeder who is doing their best to achieve better puppies, no matter what breed or mix you are thinking about.