Tag Archives: puppy stages

Your Puppy’s Development: 6 Weeks


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Your puppy is now six weeks old and one step closer to becoming independent! He is likely weaned, or very close to being weaned from his mother. Just as humans learn appropriate behaviors from their family and peers at a young age, puppies also must learn social cues during this period of development in order to integrate smoothly into the world. At this age he may even be learning to use the doggy-door! But there’s more for your pup to learn in the sixth week of his life.

Health
Puppies begin getting first their vaccines between six and eight weeks old. This gives them a great start in life and ensures immunity to many common puppyhood illnesses, like distemper, parvo, and Bordetella. PuppySpot requires all breeders to perform a comprehensive health evaluation for every puppy and keep their puppies up-to-date on all vaccinations and de-wormings.

A Growing Appetite
At six weeks, many puppies can start to eat dry kibble and their feeding can be reduced to three times a day, now that they are old enough to go longer between meals. Puppies can start by eating kibble soaked in warm water for one meal a day and drinking their mother’s milk for the other two meals. The amount of food the puppy eats will gradually increase as he gets more comfortable eating solid food from a bowl.

Socialization
Puppies at this age regularly interact with others, including their mom, littermates and breeder. A puppy greets his littermates with sniffing to the nose and tail. He also learns a lot from his mom—the best example of mature doggy behavior around. A puppy takes after his mom’s example, but he may still be quite rambunctious while he is learning.

A Typical Day
A puppy at six weeks will be curious about his surroundings, as well as those who inhabit it. He’ll sniff his littermates’ noses and tails the same way adult dogs sniff each other when they first meet. Humans may view sniffing each other’s rear ends as an odd way to say hello, but it’s just how dogs get to know each other. The stronger the scent, the more information is available for a pup’s nose to pick up!

Your six-week-old puppy is no longer glued to his mother, and is starting to spend more time interacting with his littermates. He likes to use his newfound mobility to learn from and form relationships with his family. But he’s still got a long way to go before adulthood!

Your Puppy’s Development: 5 Weeks


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Week five is when a puppy is exposed to new faces other than his mom and littermates. At this age, your puppy appears more playful and curious by the day. She is exploring the world around her and learning how to interact with others. Socialization is all about learning how to interact with other dogs and humans and your puppy is just beginning this process. Since her eyesight is now well-developed, she is fully aware of her surroundings and eager to take her place in the big, busy world.

Socialization

At five weeks old, a puppy begins to form relationships with people and other dogs. Her first interactions will be with her mother, but now that her eyesight is fully developed, the puppy will start getting to know her siblings, caretaker and other humans. She now interacts with people every day, getting to know their touch and scent. She also learns to identify and interact with her littermates. These early lessons on how to be a dog will be useful for years to come.

Playtime

A puppy five weeks of age enjoys playtime with her littermates, mother and human caretakers. This is also when, as fidosavvy.com describes, your puppy learns the important lesson of “bite inhibition” and the difference between fighting and play biting. This lesson teaches a puppy the appropriate limits of play in her future interactions with others.

A Typical Day
Your puppy already looks more active—rather than sleeping all day, her open eyes give her more reasons to stay awake and explore. She enjoys activities like playing with humans and her littermates, and is learning more about the world every day.

A puppy at five weeks old takes in a lot of new information, while also enjoying herself as she gets to know the pups and people in her life. Socialization holds special importance during this period, and a breeder might accomplish this by encouraging her to spend more time with her littermates instead of predominantly with her mother. Giving the pup some alone time also helps prepare her for her eventual journey to meet her new family!

Your Puppy’s Development: 4 Weeks


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During the first four weeks of a puppy’s life, integral development begins that will set the stage for the rest of his life. While still very young, the puppy takes his first step towards independence: weaning. It is during this period of time that your puppy starts to gain independence from his mother. The puppy no longer relies on his mother as his sole distributor of nutrition. This is where human intervention enters the equation to make sure the puppy grows and receives the best care possible. Your experienced breeder takes on a very important role full of responsibility at this stage.

Because puppies are in the care of their breeders until at least eight weeks old, we’ve put together a snapshot of developmental milestones your puppy experiences, starting at four weeks old.

Physical Changes
At four weeks, your puppy undergoes a major increase in growth. A puppy’s eyes open between two and four weeks old. Like human babies, puppies are born with bluish-gray eyes, but by this stage, their eyes settle into their adult eye color. Your puppy now has a full set of puppy teeth and can begin weaning. He starts to eat soft foods, and according to fidosavvy.com, some mother dogs will even regurgitate their food to give their puppies a soft form of nutrition. When not sleeping, your puppy spends most of his time eating and still needs food at least four times a day.

Socialization
While your puppy’s motor skills are still limited at four weeks old, he shows the beginnings of playful behavior through his various human and canine interactions. Every breeder has certain practices for further preparing your puppy for socialization as an adult. A common practice among breeders is a method called “tolerance training,” which is a way of handling the puppy to make him more tolerant of future handling from new people. This training can be especially helpful to prime for your puppy for contact with young children who do not know their limits when it comes to handling living creatures. This training can include gently tugging on puppies’ tails, lightly squeezing their paws, turning the puppies over and rubbing their bellies.

A Typical Day
A four-week-old puppy spends most of his time sleeping and eating, but the rest of the time is spent exploring! He can stand up, walk around, wag his tail and test out little puppy barks. He interacts with his littermates and learns about his place in the world as a pup.

Between two and four weeks of age the puppy begins to gain independence from his mother, heightened senses and greater knowledge about his surroundings. The socialization that takes place naturally between him and his littermates and his increased ability to observe his surroundings will give him a good foundation for a healthy and happy future.