When you bring home a young puppy, you should make a point of frequently picking her up and holding her. The more you do, the faster her brain will develop and the sooner she’ll reach emotional maturity. It’s believed it has something to do with the way mother dogs treat their young. New mothers often lick their pups — to clean them, to neutralize odors, and so on. The licking is thought to help mature them, and your own physical interactions simulate that engagement and will help to bring a puppy along. It won’t have quite the same effect as a mother’s touch, but it’ll go a long way.