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Puppy development: From birth to 12-weeks

Puppies are born blind, deaf and toothless, and are unable to regulate their own body temperature for the first week or two. A newborn pup depends on its mother and littermates for warmth.

Week 1 A newborn puppy spends 90 per cent of its time sleeping. All its energy is used for feeding and growing, and its weight will double in the first 10 days. A newborn is unable to support its own weight yet, but can crawl and wiggle about using its front legs. Weeks 2-3 In the second week of life, the puppy’s ears and eyes open, giving it a whole new sense of the world. At this point, the pup becomes chattier and starts to test out its vocal skills with yelps, whines, and barks. By week three, a newborn will take its first wobbly steps. This is a time of rapid physical and sensory development for any puppy. They begin to play with their littermates, and their personalities start to become evident. They will develop bladder control and so move away from where they sleep when they need to go.

Weeks 4-10 Puppies begin transitioning to solid food at around week 4 and have develop their baby teeth by week 6. In weeks six to eight a pup will learn to accept others as a part of the family. By the time the puppy reaches 8 -10 weeks old, they might be a little scared of meeting new people. Staying with their mother and littermates at this stage helps a puppy learn useful skills like bite inhibition, how to understand and react to normal canine communication, and their place in doggy society. Weeks 10-12 By week 12 the puppy is now ready to leave the litter for its new forever home. If you are bringing home a new puppy, one of the most fun and most challenging parts of the journey can be finding the perfect name for your pup. At this point, your new puppy’s personality will be on full display. Time to pick out a name, so your new puppy can begin to recognize it as a verbal cue.

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