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PETsMART

Information About Puppies

Breaking Down Your Puppy's 1st 12 Weeks

 

Your puppy's behaviors during the first three months are called the Developmental Periods. These are the stages starting from birth, which is the Neonatal Period between the first two weeks of his life all the way to the Environmental Awareness period, which is the period lasting between ten to twelve weeks of age.

Developmental periods are an essential part in your puppy's growth. This is the stage where your puppy develops his own unique personality that will be the basis for his behavior as a mature dog. It is also the stage where he becomes aware of his identity and learns about the environment around him.

It is helpful to know these periods in your puppy's life in order for you to have a better understanding of how to take care of him. Below is a list on what to expect during your puppy's developmental periods.

One to two weeks - This is the stage when inherent behaviors are seen. They are crying, sucking, touching, and crawling. They have no ability to learn anything at this period. They sleep about ninety percent of the time. They have no sense of sight and sound and are very susceptible to cold temperatures. They need their mother's touch to stimulate urination and defecation.

Three weeks - They start to walk at this age. Their eyesight and hearing are dim but developing rapidly. They are starting to urinate and defecate without their mother's stimulus and are starting to develop interest with the rest of the litters.

Four weeks - They start to become aware of the many sights and sounds around them. They realize that people are significant but that their mother is still the most important part of their lives.

Five weeks - The stage where they are not scared of anything. They start to become very alert. They are developing awareness to people and are starting to play with them.

Six weeks - They have full development of eyesight and hearing. They are very curious and love to explore. Their legs are getting stronger.

Seven weeks - This is where you can start housebreaking them. Puppies in this stage are very involved with their own needs and are not likely to respond when being called.

Eight and nine weeks - They begin to respond more to their name and start following you around. They are cautious about new things.

Ten to twelve weeks - They respond to their name at all times and start to come when being called. They are more dependable with housebreaking and learn not to get stepped on.

Back to the Information About Puppies page

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