Stages of Puppy Development

Puppies' Development - week by week

Puppy at 0 to 2 Weeks – The Neonatal Stage

This is the newborn stage that lasts until two weeks of age. At this point, puppies are blind and deaf. They don’t have teeth and can’t regulate their own body temperatures. Expect puppies at this point to sleep almost constantly and their mother will take care of everything - feeding them, and keeping them clean. 




Puppy at 2 to 3 Weeks – The Transitional Stage

They will start to open up their eyes at the age of 10-12 days and respond to sounds at the age of 3 weeks. You will also notice at this point the puppies starting to get more mobile, although they will still tend to crawl instead of walking and will stumble a lot. They will start playing with each other , they start using their paws at play. They will start wagging their mini tails :)

They will still breastfeed a lot but we will also start giving them some puppy milk replacers in order to get used to drinking.




Puppy at 3 to 4 Weeks –  the "Critical Period" in Socialisation

The puppies will start to get fully alert and aware of their environment and may recognize us - Andi & Sarah as we are frequently around. During this stage, you should take steps to avoid sudden changes or loud noises since negative occasions can affect development and the dog’s personality. It is crucial that the puppy still stays with the mother at this point since they are learning ‘how to be a dog’, how to act themselves and how to interact with others of their species. They will learn these new skills through playing. 





Puppy at 4 to 5 Weeks - Introducing new food & the house training

Puppies will be bigger now in body size and more developed mentally. It is very important to give various and great number of toys to the puppies during this period and give them more space to live & play - we will establish a huge "puppyland" in our livingroom where the puppies can run & play freely without cages. We spent a great amount of time inside the "puppyland" with them :)

The puppies can walk and run better now. They start chewing the bigger chewing toys for eg. the nylon bones, chewing sticks and the mini rope toys. 

We will reduce the amount of puppy milk replacers we gave to the pups and we will start introducing them the puppy dryfood dissolved with lukewarm water in order to be more pappy & pulpy :) The pups will still breastfeed 1-3 times a day but these occasions are not as significant  as they were in their early days.

We will also start the house training process with puppy pee pads now.





Puppy at 5 to 6 Weeks - Keep going on Playing a lot & learning the house training


The puppies in this stage are starting to be extremely playful and they are full of energy :D They will also sleep less than in their early stages. 

Becasue of the wet dryfood we give them they will start pee & poo like adults and because of this it is very nice that they are already good at using the pee pads :) 

The pups will run around and play a lot together - and their mother is also loves to play with them :)




Puppy at 8 to 12 Weeks – 2nd Socialization and Fearful Period Although not all puppies go through a fearful period, most pass through a time where they are afraid or terrified of nearly everything, including items they used to be okay with. To help ease them through this process, avoid traumatic events, loud voices, or harsh discipline. You should also make sure your pooch has plenty of human contact during this stage. If you want, you can start leash training and even teach simple commands such as sit, down, stay and come. In terms of development, you will notice that your puppy can sleep through the whole night and starts to develop better control of their bowels and bladder. During this time, you should make sure you don’t bring your dog to areas un-vaccinated or stray dogs frequent since they will be more prone to a fatal disease, such as an infection. New outings should wait until they are fully vaccinated. Puppy at 3 to 4 Months – The Juvenile Stage At this point in development, a puppy can be compared to a juvenile. They will be more independent and may ignore the basic commands that they know very well. If this happens, firmly and gently reinforce the commands and other training. You may also notice your pup starting to test your authority by play biting or similar actions. You can stop this by saying “no bite” or “no” then ignoring them for a few minutes. You can also redirect your dog to a toy that they can bite. You should keep playing with your puppy on a regular basis at this time, but don’t wrestle or play tug of war. Either can end up teaching your pooch that it is okay to fight with you and challenge your authority. Puppy at 3 to 6 Months – The Ranking Period When your puppy is between four and six months old, you should expect them to be somewhat bratty, showing more willfulness and independence. They are more likely to test your limits and may try to show dominance over children or other family members. They begin to understand ranking, in terms of dominance and submission, and where they ‘stand in a pack.’ Counteract this by keeping up the training with basic commands and obedience. Don’t be lulled into confidence, however, and avoid letting them off the leash unless you are in a confined space. If they fail to listen to you or come when called, it can be dangerous as it puts them at risk of injury when in public. It can also hurt future responses to you, making them less likely to listen. This is also when your dog will be teething, so give them toys like frozen dog Kong toys to relieve pressure and pain. Chewing behaviors will also start growing at this point so look for some safe chew toys to keep your dog entertained. This is when hormonal changes start to occur and is the ideal time to spay or neuter your pup. Puppy at 6 to 18 Months – Adolescence After six months, your pup is already in the final stage of puppy development but is still young. This is a fun and exciting time for your pooch since they will be learning, full of energy, and exuberant. During this time, it is important to remember that even if your puppy now looks like a grown-up dog, they are still a puppy, at least in their mental capacity and emotional maturity. Work to slowly increase training and other activities. You can even work on advanced training such as agility or herding. Another option is to simply keep training them to ensure they interact in a non-aggressive and non-threatening way with other animals. It is also possible that your dog will go through another fearful period of time at some point after they reach six months. Not all will experience this, but if yours does, don’t force them to face their fears unless they are ready. You can speed up the process with counter-conditioning and desensitization.

Latest update: 2018-09-10

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