Critical period in the social development of dogs

Science. 1961 Mar 31;133(3457):1016-7. doi: 10.1126/science.133.3457.1016.


Litters of puppies were isolated, with the bitch, in fenced acre fields from 2 to 14 weeks of age. They were removed indoors at different ages, played with for a week, and returned to the field. The pups manifested an increasing tendency to withdraw from human beings after 5 weeks of age and unless socialization occurred before 14 weeks of age, withdrawal reactions from humans became so intense that normal relationships could not thereafter be established

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Psychology, Experimental*
  • Social Change*