Developmental phases of the puppy: The first four weeks
From helpless puppies to curious explorers: in the first four weeks of life, baby dogs go through a lot of exciting developments. Read here about what they are and why the little ones still rely completely on their dog mother during this time.
Bitches are pregnant for about nine weeks and then give birth to an average of two to six puppies. The little ones usually stay with their mother for twelve weeks and need food, warmth and protection in the first few weeks.
Dog puppies in the first two weeks of life
A newborn dog still has eyes and ears closed. He can not smell much either, communicates through beeping and spends the first days and nights cuddling with his siblings and mother, drinking milk, being cleaned and sleeping.
At just under a week, one or the other baby dog makes its first attempts to crawl through the whelping box and tries to stand on its own legs or walk a few steps in the second week.
When the little ones are between 10 and 16 days old, their eyes and ears open – but it takes a few days for the dogs to hear and see properly.
The development in week three and four
In the third and fourth week of life, the puppies begin to observe the world around them and to hear sounds. They now react to sounds and practice hard to sit and walk – but they still look very clumsy and still have a lot to learn in terms of balance.
As soon as they are a bit safer on their feet, the little ones start to explore the area diligently and curiously. The youngsters also start barking during this time and already try cleaning themselves. Until the puppies are allowed to leave their mother, you have to wait until they are at least eight to twelve weeks old.
Here are some some other relevant resources that you may find helpful…….