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 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 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, he possesses the reflexes he needs to survive including the ability to suckle milk, use the bathroom, search for warmth, and stiffen when grabbed by the neck. As he moves into his second week of life, his eyes will begin to open and he begins to hear sounds. However, his sight and hearing won’t be fully developed until the end of his fifth week.
As he enters his third week, he will be busy growing physically and socially. You will see rapid changes until around the end of his fifth week. He will begin to wrestle with his siblings, develop a startle response to loud noises, start standing and walking, show mild interest in puppy food, attempt to bark, and his milk teeth will come through.
By the time he is ready for adoption at 8 weeks, he will be completely weaned and eating 4 to 5 small meals daily. In addition, he may have received his first set of vaccinations. Be sure to clarify this with the breeder, as well as determine whether or not he has been wormed.
Potty Training Your Puppy
Although 8 weeks is a tad young, you can work to prevent accidents until he is really ready for toilet training. (In most cases, he 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. When he comes home, he will need to be taken out every two hours. While indoors, watch for signs, such as circling, squatting, scratching, and sniffing, that he may need a potty break. Finally, be sure to return him to his crate when you cannot watch him. Dogs usually prefer not to soil their crate.
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 him home. At around 8 weeks old, you can expect your puppy to play hard and spend plenty of time exploring. He may attempt to get out of open doors and windows, confuse cords and furniture for chew toys, and eat almost anything he comes in contact with. This includes cleaners, medicines, etc. He is perfectly capable of eating and drinking on his own, as long as you provide him with 3 to 4 meals daily until he is 10 weeks old. After this, he can be reduced to twice daily, if this better fits your schedule.
Your adorable puppy will be in the midst of puppy teething when he moves into your home. He will chew on anything to stop the pain he feels from his first 28 teeth coming in. To decrease his discomfort and prevent him from chewing up everything in your home, have plenty of soft chew toys on hand. At around 3 months old, his puppy teeth will begin to fall out. This will continue until around 6 months 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. When you cannot watch him, he should have a safe area, such as a crate or playpen. 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 behavior. Begin by placing him in the crate for a short period of time. Do not immediately return if he begins whining. Gradually increase the length of time he is left alone and be sure to praise him 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 he has a toilet training accident. Clean it up and move on. Do not yell at him, shake him, or rub his nose in it.
Raising a puppy isn’t always easy, but it is often very rewarding.