There are few experiences as joyful as bringing a new puppy into the home. Welcoming this little bundle of warmth, energy, and fun as the newest member of your family is a day that will never be forgotten. It's important to know that your little family member has special needs that must be met during this time of development. From potty training puppies to teaching discipline, it's important to know that your puppy is going through several stages on the way to being a fully developed dog.
In order to know your pup, you must get in touch with your dog's instincts and behaviors. As much is possible, it's helpful to get familiar with a dog's way of thinking. It's not enough to let a dog just grow up. For both of you to experience a loving, joyful relationship, it's important to guide your tiny friend from puppyhood into a balanced, friendly dog. Knowing the 5 stages in a puppy's life is an important first step.
Stage One (Birth to about 13 days) – Your pup is practically helpless. Restricted in motion, except crawling on the stomach, the puppy is only aware of physical needs.It's all about reflexes dealing with food, eliminating food, and getting close to the warmth of mom and brothers and sisters. Whimpering or whining is a reflexive behavior to indicate need of food or bodily contact.
Stage Two (13th – 19th day) – Your puppy will open his or her eyes. Development is fast during these 6 or 7 days. The pup can now see, hear, and walk. Puppies can be introduced to solid food since milk teeth begin to appear. Although there are quick changes during this stage, your puppy still will not be able to have any permanent learning ability.
Stage Three (19th day -7 weeks) – In general, what happens to your puppy during this stage plays a huge role in his or her future behavior. It's a critical stage of development and it's where socialization begins to take place. Your and your puppy will begin to bond during this stage, and your pup will form relationships with other animals during this time. You'll notice lots of wrestling and playing with brother and sisters in the litter during this time. It's important to note that puppy's acute hearing is developed here and loud noises will startle your puppy. Handle your puppy well and often during this stage. Stage three determines much of your pup's future behavior.
Stage Four (7 weeks – 10 weeks) – Your puppy should be weaned from his mom during this period. Motor skills are not completely developed, but your puppy's nervous system is similar to an adult dog. If your puppy had a happy third stage, he or she is thrilled about forming more human attachments with the entire family! This is the perfect time for your puppy to also begin learning.
Stage Five (11 weeks – 4 moths) – It's a great time to introduce discipline and routine. Your little pup will begin to be assertive and confident ready to test you in many situations. This is a fun time for learning, praise, and bonding as your puppy learns the rules of your household.
Know your puppy and the rewards will be amazing for a lifetime.