The development of a puppy runs through different stages (Puppy Growth Chart):
Puppies are born with closed eyes and are completely dependent on the mother. Their body temperature is 39.5 Celsius but they can’t keep up the temperature on their own and need to stay close to the warmth of their mother and their bothers and sisters.
The body of puppies consists 84% of water. Heart beat is 200 beats per minute.
Nervous system is not developed yet. They don’t know the world around them and sleep 90% of the time. Their behaviour is based on reflexes only like sucking, crawling or sounds that are caused by hunger, pain or feeling cold.
A puppy urinates and poops as a reflex caused by the mother’s massage of his tummy or anus through licking.
How big a puppy grows depends on the breed, of course. There are small dogs and big dogs so it makes no sense to put up a chart. There is no chart that fits all.
After one year most dogs are grown up.
after 2 Weeks
The nervous system is developed sufficiently to open the eyes and ears to see light and hear sounds. Teeth are starting to grow and the puppy is crawling around. They sleep a lot and fall down when trying to walk.
after 3 Weeks
They can urinate and poop on their own and can walk well but can’t run fast properly. They try to leave the box to explore the world around them.
after 4 Weeks
They don’t get milk from the mother but get dog food. They can play and fight with other puppies and can carry toys. They play outside of the box and the mother does not remove their poop anymore.
after 5 Weeks
They grow quickly and their movements become more coordinated. They start learning and can recognize and differentiate people and their voices. Mother dog is trying to educate the puppies and this is important for their later life. If the puppy bites hard she will bite him also and so he learns not to bite so hard that it hurts.
after 6 Weeks
The puppies behave like adults and show and test dominant behavior to establish themselves within the ranking hierarchy of the pack. To remove the puppy now from the pack is too early because he learns social behavior. He plays with his brothers and sisters and learns when to submit to domination and not to bite too hard when fighting with the others.
after 8 Weeks
Don’t remove the puppy now from his family as he learns to have fear now. This week is important for his future development. If you take him into your car in this week and he experiences fear then this might be a traumatic experience for him that stays for a long time in his mind. Just wait a few weeks longer before you take him home and let him stay with his family until he is 10-12 weeks old. After this he is more stable and can deal better with various unpleasant situations.
after 12 Weeks
He is socialized and ready to learn rules. Teach him from now on what is allowed and what not.
after 16 Weeks
Teething starts now. He loses his milk teeth. Get chewing toys now or he will chew on your furniture legs. Training is important too from now on.
after 6 Months
He is almost grown up now. The bone structure gets more stable but is still growing. His teeth should be okay.
after 7-8 Months
The puppy is a “teenager” now. He disobeys your commands and will test and provoke you just like a teenager does.
Don’t worry he will come to his senses soon.
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