The developmental stages of puppies are important to be familiar with if you are getting a new puppy. You might want to know what to expect from your puppy. I recently read that soon after a puppy is born his sense of smell is already developed. Around the time of the third week, the puppy may try to communicate with his brothers and sisters. By the fourth week of the puppy’s development, his senses are fully developed and he is able to really check out his environment around him. My Poodle Care blog offers additional information on the following topics: developmental stages of a puppy, dog care and training, adopting rescue dogs, socialization of a puppy, separation anxiety, puppy proofing the house, along with lots of house training and puppy care tips.
The Puppy’s Stage of Development at Eight to Twelve Weeks (2 – 3 months) of Age
Puppies have different needs during certain stages of development in their lives. During the first eight to twelve weeks of their lives, puppies have a great need for their mom and litter family. It is such an important time in the puppy’s development because the mom will teach the puppy a great deal during these first weeks. The puppies are usually with their mom for a minimum of eight to ten weeks to ensure proper nourishment and socialization with the family litter.
At eight weeks of age, the puppies may be somewhat well socialized with each other. The puppies probably will have met some people other than the breeder. They will begin to develop their individual personalities.
One of your goals may be to have your puppy grow up and mature to be friendly, happy and very well-adjusted for their lifelong emotional well-being. Socialization is so important for your puppy. You will want them to feel comfortable in their new world.
It is helpful for puppies to learn how to cope with their environment, (which includes people, animals, places and things), in a healthy and positive way throughout their lifetime. You will want your puppy’s socialization experiences to be positive.
A puppy is usually very eager to explore their new environment. Puppyhood is an important period for your dog’s development. Positive influence in the early weeks of the puppy’s life can be very beneficial. The time before the puppy is 16 weeks old is an important developmental time period when he may be very receptive and influenced by his experiences. Praise and positive reinforcement are so important with socialization and training. Socialization begins on the day your puppy is born and continues for the rest of his life.
The Puppy’s Stage of Development at Twelve to Sixteen Weeks (3 – 4 months) of Age
Your puppy may be at the developmental stage where he is very curious about his new environment. It is so important to puppy proof your house.
At this age, your puppy may be very dependent on you and may want to be right with you the majority of the time. You can help build your puppy’s confidence and be a good leader by beginning to teach him a few basic commands, such as sit, stay and come. You will want to incorporate housetraining for your puppy.
Your puppy may be in a very good developmental stage to hopefully learn things quickly. You can establish a nice emotional bond with your puppy. He will learn to feel safe, secure and confident in his new home.
The Puppy’s Stage of Development at Sixteen to Twenty-Four Weeks (4 – 6 months) of Age
Your puppy may be more independent and may want to test you or his environment a little more. You may need some patience and be consistent and keep up your training lessons during this developmental stage. Your puppy may be slightly more brave with his efforts. It is helpful for you to guide and encourage your puppy along.