Puppies grow and develop much faster than people do. Everyone is familiar with "one human year is equal to about 7 dog years." That is generally true, but.. the FIRST year of a dog's life is actually equal to about 15 years. Knowing and Understanding this will help you raise a wonderfully socialized, and well behaved puppy.
From the time a puppy is born to the time it is chosen as a family pet, it ages about two years. during this very important time, the puppy is "imprinted" with lessons by it's mother and littermates.
Most breeders believe, and research has shown that puppies thrive when they are held in human hands from day one. A puppy that is raised indoors with it's litter., and slowly introduced to human sights and smells and other stimulus is much more likely to do well with humans later in life.
If possible, get to know the breeder and meet both of the puppy's parents in person. If it is not possible to meet them, make sure you have seen pictures of both the male (sire) and female (dam), and inquire about their temperament. A breeder who has properly socialized their young pups will be proud to share pictures with you.
Many people make the mistake of acquiring a puppy without knowing the environment it came from. Do not buy a puppy from a pet store, or from a basket of pups for sale in a parking lot. Unfortunately, some people pray upon our desire to nurture and love these beautiful little creatures. They may be adorable, but most have never seen a veterinarian, are unvaccinated, and may be full of disease causing parasites. Some of these poor puppies may even have life threatening congenital abnormalities.
The only way we can stop puppy mills and end irresponsible backyard breeding is to stop buying dogs without seeing where they came from.