Pup Development Stages


From Birth to Eight Weeks



Birth to Two Weeks:


At this time the pup sleeps almost 90% of the time. The only senses it responds to are scent and touch. Its born with the ability to smell but not hear or see. It drinks

milk from the mother and seeks warmth and intimacy from her as well as its siblings. At this stage of its life it needs stimulation to urinate and defecate and this is

usually provided by the mother through licking etc. The pups can just about turn themselves over, they manage to crawl and their nervous systems are developing

at a very fast rate, as are their brains.


Two to Four Weeks:


At this age sense of smell becomes more acute, the eyes open and hearing becomes activated so two more sense enter the pups life. Teeth begin to form and

biting starts as can barking and wagging tails. They are able to stand on all four feet and take their first few steps. They even begin to play with their mother and

siblings and should be exposed to different sounds and smells so they grow up to be confident dogs. They begin to respond to human voices if introduced to them

and encouraged. They can also lap food with their tongues and no longer need stimulation to defecate or urinate.


Four to Six Weeks:


During this time puppies still interact largely with their own mother and siblings. They may begin to venture some feet away from their mother and siblings but will

quickly run back if the distance gets too much. They are walking and running properly now but they still tire quickly. They can begin to growl, bare their teeth, begin

pawing, playing dominance games with their siblings and are very curious. Weaning can begin at six weeks.


Six to Eight Weeks:


The pups are now curious about everything. All their senses are functioning extremely well and they are investigating anything they can. At around eight to nine

weeks though they enter a cautious phase again. They startle easily, can become fearful quickly and are careful and hesitant with new things in their environment.

They should be introduced and exposed to different stimuli and given the opportunity to discover and settle with new sounds and sights at their own pace and be

encouraged to overcome insecurities, instead of being removed or rescued from such situations. Puppies need routine, should begin to be house trained and can

be weaned off their mother at eight weeks. However whereas they may not need their mom for survival anymore they still need her to teach them manners! In

situations where mothers are around their pups, no puppy should be separated before the age of eight weeks from its mother. Not only is this important for

developing good immune systems but also for establishing the foundation of a stable, balanced, secure and socialized puppy.