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 January 4, 2013 and we will be ready to go to our “forever homes” in mid March. There are 6 boys and 1 girl and we all love snuggling together in a big “puppy pile.” Our names are Angus, Gimli, Keegan, Bentley, Iona, O’Reilly and Doolan. We’re all FIVE WEEKS OLD now. You might think we haven’t been doing much for these first thirty-five days of our lives, but we’ve been quite busy. Just look!
Here it is, Day 35, and just look at what’s happened:
During the fifth week, the puppies will be getting regular supplemental feedings. Small dry kibble is being introduced to wean from an all-wet diet. This is the preparation stage for full weaning of the pups from their mother by the end of the fifth week. We are taking the time to interact with the puppies individually so that the young pups begin their socialization training with humans and not just with their littermates.
Puppy Development: Stage 3
Week 4 to week 12 typically comprise the third stage of puppy development. During this stage, the senses begin to mature and socialization becomes an important part of the puppy’s life. The puppies are interacting with other dogs and with people during this key phase.
For the first few weeks of this phase, it’s likely that the only other dogs the puppies will have access to are his mother and littermates. The puppies’ normal body temperature is approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and their systems will begin regulating that temperature naturally. Additionally, the instinct to squat will take over and external stimulation will no longer be required for the puppies to move their bowels.
Early socialization will manifest as a basic kind of play with the puppy’s littermates – wrestling and a reserved play-biting known as “inhibited bite.” This is the way in which the puppy will begin to learn about social structure and pack ranking. Rules, boundaries, and limitations set by his mother begin to take shape. Physical co-ordination and eyesight are still not fully developed, but the puppy’s mobility will have progressed beyond wiggling, rolling, and flopping around.
Weeks 5 through 7 are the time for the puppies to begin their socialization with people. Their sense of hearing is well-developed enough to allow command conditioning using positive reinforcement, as well as name recognition. The puppies are responding when they are being called; which makes it so much easier to keep them all in line.
Well that is all for this week! Stay tuned for next week’s report and check out the pictures below!