Dogs protect babies

Puppy development - from birth to 12 weeks

Dogs between birth and the end of the 1st year of life are called puppies. During this time they go through many development processes. A newborn puppy bears little resemblance to an adult dog. Most developmental steps take place in the first 12 weeks of life. Every dog ​​develops individually. While small breeds of dogs grow up faster, some large breeds of dogs are not physically mature until they are 2 years old.

The Development of the puppies also varies from breed to breed. For example, Cocker Spaniel puppies open their eyes earlier than Fox Terrier puppies, Basenji puppies are more likely to develop teeth than Bobtail puppies. Regardless of the breed, all puppies are born in complete dependence on their mother dog.

Puppies are blind, deaf, and toothless at birth. They cannot maintain their body temperature on their own. You cannot pass feces or urine on your own. Puppies depend on their mother and littermates to warm them. A Puppy outside the warm puppy nest can quickly die of hypothermia. Cold and lonely pups scream loudly for their mother.

The first stimulus after birth is usually the mother's warm tongue, which washes the puppy and stimulates its circulation. The bitch licks the puppies to keep the nest clean and to stimulate the passage of urine and feces.


Neonatal phase: birth up to 2 weeks of age

For the first 2 weeks, puppies sleep almost 90% of the day. The entire time you are awake is used for sucking.

All energy is focused on growing. The birth weight doubles within the first week of life. Newborns are unable to carry their own weight, so they move forward paddling. These easy locomotion exercises stimulate your muscles and coordination skills.

From birth, puppies can smell, taste and respond to touch. These senses are essential for finding the fragrant mammary gland. They take the first milk from the mother's breast, which is called colostrum. Colostrum is rich in immune substances and helps to protect newborns from infectious diseases in the first few weeks of life.


Transition phase: 2-4 weeks

The 2nd week of life brings big changes for the puppies. The eyes and ears open. The ears open a little after 14 days, the eyes between the 10th and 16th. Day of life. Now you learn how the mother and other dogs look and sound like. Your own spectrum of vocalizations expands. Puppies can carry their own body weight on their legs around the 15th day. They learn to walk around the 21st day

The 3rd week is a time of rapid physical and sensory development. The puppies gain a piece of independence from the mother dog. The social game with the littermates begins, they learn the basics of dog behavior. At this age they start to get some chunks of food from their mother. Baby teeth slowly break through the gums. The teeth fully emerged by 5-6 weeks. Puppies can now leave the nest independently to pass urine and feces.


Socialization phase: 4-12 weeks

Now puppies are in the socialization phase, this lasts a little until they are 10 weeks old. For the rest of her life she will remember interactions with the environment and caregivers / dogs during this phase.

From the 4th week onwards, the mother dog's milk production decreases or the amount of milk is no longer sufficient to meet the puppy's energy needs. So the puppies are slowly weaned.

The most critical phase is between the 6-8. Week of life. Now, puppies are the most likely to accept new members in their family. The external stimulators now particularly drive the puppy's psychological development. The brain waves of puppies around the age of 50 are very similar to those of adult dogs. By the 8th week, puppies are usually completely weaned from breast milk.


Development 8-12 weeks

Most puppies are now going through a period of fear. They tend to be skeptical or fearful about new things. Anything that causes you great fear during this time can leave a lasting impression. Therefore, every puppy owner should now especially avoid over-stimulating the puppy. Careful socialization helps prevent anxiety reactions later in life.

Puppies are now moving to their new home. They will adapt better and be “easier” to raise if they can stay with their littermates for a while. From the 8th week on, puppies in Germany can be permanently separated from their mother, later is better. Because with the 8th week the social game really starts. These exercises with the mother and siblings help to train bite inhibition, to behave like a dog and to find a place in the company of dogs. Puppies easily take over these learning experiences to a new home.

Even after the 12th week, a dog still has a lot to learn. Before a dog is physically and mentally mature, it has to go through many more developmental phases.