During the toddler period puppies learn basic behavioral patterns specific to dogs:
- While playing, they practice different body postures, learning what the postures mean and how they affect their mother and litter mates.
- They learn what it is like to bite and be bitten, what barking and other vocalizations mean and how to use them to establish social relationships with other dogs.
- From the age of five weeks, the mother teaches her puppies basic manners. They learn to be submissive to her leadership and what behaviors are acceptable. If necessary, she growls, snarls, or snaps at them as a form of discipline. When weaning the litter, for instance, the mother will discipline her puppies so that they will leave her alone. Because the mother disciplines them in a way that they clearly understand, after a few repetitions, the puppies will respond to a mere glare from her.
- A 5 week old puppy is beginning to understand house training rules and begins to understand living with humans as well.