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Stages of Puppy Growth and Development

 The following sections detail the various Growth and Development stages up to 1 year old with puppy behavior details: Let’s take a look at the different stages, but before we do, keep in mind that these stages are generalizations – each dog will progress at its own pace.

Newborn Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior up to 3 weeks

  • A puppy is born blind, deaf and toothless
  • During its first week 90% of a puppys time is spent sleeping and 10% eating. They are only able to crawl
  • The puppy's eyes, which are closed at birth, open when it is between one and two weeks old. It then begins to see
  • The pups ears should open when it is two to three weeks old
  • Puppies whimper when they are cold, hungry or uncomfortable
  • Puppies grow while they sleep
  • A puppy is reliant on its mother for the first few weeks for food, comfort and to learn basic dog requirements

Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 3 to 7 weeks old

  •  A puppy will be weaned between the ages of 3 and 7 weeks
  • During the ages of 3 to 7 weeks its first teeth, or milk teeth will appear
  • A puppy is taught basic behaviour disciplines from its mother
  • A puppy will continue to develop by socializing with other dogs and animals and people
  • Puppies will stand up and start walking
  • At the age of 3 weeks a puppy will develop its sense of smell
  • At 3 weeks the puppy will begin to bark and show social development such as wagging its tail, growling and baring its teeth
  • Up to the age of 4 weeks the mother will be with the puppy almost constantly
  • The puppy has good use of its legs and is able to chase
  • Between 4 and 5 weeks the mother will gradually spend time away from her puppies
  • Rapid growth and development rate at this stage
  • Interaction with litter mates leading to Order of Dominance
  • After weaning puppies need to receive a series of vaccines in order to develop immunity on their own. Vaccinations for puppies generally include distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, rabies, and sometimes bordetella

Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 7 and 12 weeks

  •  Puppies are usually found new homes at this age it starts focusing attention on its owner rather than other puppies
  • The first fear period of the puppy begins
  • A puppy starts to learn it name but still has a short attention span
  • The puppy will start house training
  • At first, the puppy should be fed four times a day. (Feedings should be reduced to twice a day by the time a puppy is mature or even once a day in the case of a dog that gets little exercise)
  • The puppies motor skills improve
  • The puppy will use its basic instincts to naturally explore its new environment and the different things within it
  • Puppies will still sleep a lot and grow as they are sleeping. During times of stress, a dog raises its hackles - the hair along the neck and spine
  • Puppy training must begin and pups need to be made aware of your rules
  • Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 12 and 16 weeks
  • The first of the permanent teeth will work through
  • Ensure the puppy has plenty of attention and toys to play with
  • At this age a puppy might demonstrate Pack Leader Behavior and test who is the Boss. A puppy will challenge your authority

Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 4 and 8 months

  • The adult teeth continue to come through and during this time puppies need to chew! The incisors and the canines are very important because the dog bites and tears at its food with these teeth
  • Provide them with items to chew
  • The confidence of the puppy will now have grown as would its physical size
  • The puppy will be showing interest in chasing other Puppies at this age and starts to become independent
  • Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 12 and 16 weeks
  • The first of the permanent teeth will work through
  • Ensure the puppy has plenty of attention and toys to play with
  • At this age a puppy might demonstrate Pack Leader Behavior and test who is the Boss. A puppy will challenge your authority
  • Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 4 and 8 months
  • The adult teeth continue to come through and during this time puppies need to chew! The incisors and the canines are very important because the dog bites and tears at its food with these teeth
  • Provide them with items to chew
  • The confidence of the puppy will now have grown as would its physical size
  • The puppy will be showing interest in chasing other Puppies at this age and starts to become independent

 

Puppy Growth and Development & Behavior between 8 months to 1 year

 

  • Feeding frequency should be considered - reduce to 2 or 3 meals per day
  • Some dogs reach sexual maturity at the age of eight months
  • The puppy is old enough to start Obedience Classes or a professional training program
  • The puppy would have grown to approximately half to three quarters the size of and adult
  • Female dogs would have probably reached their eventually height but will to continue to 'fill out'

Growth and Development & Behavior - 12 months old

 

  • Puppies are now considered to have finished their development and growth rate and are viewed as adult dogs.
  • Although sexually mature beforehand, a dog usually does not attain full growth until at least its first birthday.

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