Once puppies are born, the week to week development can vary but most newborns stick to the same growing pattern. Unlike human babies, puppies develop quickly within their first two months of life and the changes are so quick that you may miss an important milestone. From the first week to the eighth, you are going see your tiny bundles of joy go from wriggling whimpers to full-blown walking balls of energy.
Here’s our report from the Whelping Box:
We were born April 21st, 2012 and we will be ready to go to our “forever homes” in late June. There are 4 boys and 2 girls and we all love snuggling together in a big “puppy pile.” Our names are Aiden, Brogan, Cora, Finn, Liam, and Éireann. Éireann, Finn, Brogan, and Cora are already “spoken for,” but we boys are waiting for our “forever homes.” We’re all SEVEN WEEKS OLD now. You might think we haven’t been doing much for these first forty-nine days of our lives, but we’ve been quite busy. Just look!
Here it is, Day 49, and just look at what’s happened:
THIRD STAGE OF PUPPY DEVELOPMENT: 7 – 12 Weeks
That little puppy has grown up pretty quickly and by 8 weeks old he’s ready to leave his canine family and go to his new home. Tiny breeds may mature more slowly and it’s better to keep these pups with their momma for up to 10 – 12 weeks.
He may be a little guy, but a puppy of this age is curious, outgoing and intelligent. He’s ready to find out all about the world around him and is eager to please his people.
Right now your puppy is the proverbial ‘blank slate’ and it’s easiest time to teach and train your puppy. He’s small enough to control, eager to learn and respects you as his ‘leader’. What he learns now will stay with him for life – good or bad – so make it good!
Socialization is also very important during this stage of puppy development… the more new sights, sounds, smells etc. that he can experience the better. Puppies who have lots of socialization experiences and stimulus during this period will be much better equipped to handle change as they grow.
Countless studies have shown that the best time for a pup to leave his momma and go to his new home is right around 8 weeks of age, so during this stage a puppy often moves to his ‘forever home’ and family.
Many new owners aren’t sure what to expect at first and there is often an adjustment period, you can learn more about the first few days/week with a new puppy on my Bringing Home A New Puppy page.
There is also the first ‘fear period’ to deal with. This usually comes on around 8 weeks of age and the pup may seem scared of his own shadow, wanting to stick close to you at all times.
His needs: He’s about to take off on a huge learning curve, so it’s the perfect time to start introducing your little guy to some basic manners and puppy training. Start basic obedience at home, and then move onto a formal obedience class once he’s fully vaccinated.
What you feed your puppy will have a long-term impact on his health and longevity. Feeding one of the best puppy food choices available is a big step towards keeping him happy and healthy, and growing at the proper rate.
It’s also vital to balance his need for socialization against health risks. Your puppy is very vulnerable to disease at this point in his life, so NEVER allow an unvaccinated puppy to interact with other pups or dogs who are not FULLY immunized.. also don’t give him access to any public areas such as parks, stores, sidewalks etc.
Any fearful reactions are pretty normal at this age, and are usually nothing to worry about. You don’t want to ‘coddle’ a pup who is behaving this way. Just maintain a positive attitude and use a happy, upbeat tone of voice so that he realizes there is nothing to be scared of.
Also, never push your pup to do something that he’s clearly terrified of – that will cause more problems than it will solve.
Check out some pictures of our adorable pups! We are accepting puppy applications now!