Puppy Development at 0-8 Weeks
Welcome Puppy Friends…
From the moment they are born, there are few things more adorable than a litter of puppies. If you are planning to adopt a puppy it is important to wait until they are around eight weeks old because they go through an array of changes in this short period of time. When you finally bring your puppy home, he or she will play with enthusiasm and without abandon, while also being a bit timid. The following briefly looks at the many changes a puppy goes through during his or her first two months of life, as well as lets you know what to expect when you finally bring him or her home. Finally, you will find tips on raising a puppy.
A Quick Look at the Puppy Stages
Puppies are both blind and deaf at birth. However, a puppy possesses the reflexes they need to survive including the ability to suckle milk, use the bathroom, search for warmth, and stiffen when grabbed by the neck. During the second week of life, their eyes will begin to open and will begin to hear sounds. However, their sight and hearing won’t be fully developed until the end of the fifth week.
During the third week, puppies will be busy growing physically and socially. You will see rapid changes until around the end of the fifth week. Puppies will begin to wrestle with their siblings, develop a startle response to loud noises, start standing and walking, show mild interest in puppy food, attempt to bark, and milk teeth will come through.
At the time of adoption at 8 weeks, puppies will be completely weaned and eating 4 to 5 small meals daily. In addition, may have received the first set of vaccinations. Be sure to clarify this with the breeder, as well as determine whether or not worming has been done.
Potty Training Your Puppy
Although 8 weeks is a tad young, you can work to prevent accidents until ready for toilet training. (In most cases a puppy will be housebroken by 4 to 6 months and fully potty trained by 8 to 12 months.) Be sure to develop a regular feeding and potty schedule. New puppies will need to be taken out every two hours. While indoors, watch for signs, such as circling, squatting, scratching, and sniffing as a potty break may be required.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
It is important to have a clear understanding of what to expect from your new puppy, as well know how to train a puppy before you bring them home. At around 8 weeks old, you can expect your puppy to play hard and spend plenty of time exploring. A new puppy may attempt to get out of open doors and windows, confuse cords and furniture for chew toys, and eat almost anything that comes into contact. This includes cleaners, medicines, etc. Puppies are perfectly capable of eating and drinking on their own, as long as you provide 3 to 4 meals daily until about 10 weeks old. After this, food can be reduced to twice daily, if this better fits your schedule.
Puppies are in the midst of teething at about 8 weeks old. A puppy will chew on anything to stop the feeling of pain from the first 28 teeth coming in. To decrease discomfort and to prevent chewing in your home, have plenty of soft chew toys on hand. At around 3 months old, puppy teeth will begin to fall out. This will continue until around 6 months old when you see he has all his permanent molars.
Supervision, Separation Anxiety, and Crate Training
It is important to note that puppies at this stage require constant supervision. If a puppy needs to be left alone at any time, a safe area, such as a crate or playpen will be required. Be aware that puppy separation anxiety may be triggered by moving to a new residence. However, it may not manifest for weeks or even months. Properly crate training your puppy is likely to end this behaviour. Puppies can learn that a their crate is a safe place to sleep. Puppies may whine when leaving them alone. Do not immediately return if they begin to whine. Gradually increase the length of time left alone and be sure to praise this when you return. While crate training puppies may seem harsh, it will greatly benefit your puppy in the long run.
Disciplining Your Puppy
Finally, your puppy make act out, but punishment can prevent you from bonding properly. Instead, opt for gentle correction. Be sure to stay calm if a toilet training accident happens. Clean it up and move on. Do not yell or shake them.
Raising a puppy isn’t always easy, but it is often very rewarding.