Puppy Growth and Development Phases

There are various phases that mark the developmental stages of a puppy. Here’s a look at them, and trace the journey of a young pup growing into a mature dog.

A dog is a man’s best friend and how! Loyal, cute, cuddly, and extremely loving, dogs are a delight to have as pets. Pet dogs give us that sense of completion with their unending love that goes unspoken but is felt from the heart. Whichever the breed is, puppies are always adorable and a bundle of joy to have around the house. Mischievous but with a streak of innocence, pups need a whole lot of love and care. For all the dog lovers, let’s take a look at the growth and developmental phases of a puppy.

0 – 2 weeks
This is the time when they are completely dependent upon their mother. This is the most exciting time, when they are learning about bonding with their mother, and trying to move around on their tiny legs.

2 – 4 weeks
Even at this stage, the puppy is dependent upon the mother. Its eyes then open and its sense of smell and hearing begin to develop. During this phase, they also learn how to stand and walk a little. A tiny woof may also be expressed sometimes when the pup is in a playful mood. By the 4th or 5th week, their vision is fully developed.

5 – 8 weeks
This stage is very important for social growth and development. This is time when it learns more about social interaction with the mother and the siblings. It even learns few disciplinary acts from the mother. At this time, you can even try to handle the pup, but do not separate it for long intervals from its mother.

9 – 12 weeks
This is when they also discover new opportunities to meet other dogs and people. They are influenced by their environment. They learn certain social skills and know about relationships. They learn to explore their surroundings.

12 – 16 weeks
At this stage, the pup shows an air of independence, and would insist upon chewing and gnawing everything that comes its way.

17 – 40 weeks
During this phase, it will continue to grow at a rapid phase. It may even tend to be a bit of a brat off and on. You would surely need to keep it disciplined so that it picks up obedience skills.

40 weeks – 1 year
Depending upon the breed, the puppy may even be a mature adult, although this is still a stage of development. Some large dog breeds are considered to be adults after 18 months. Some pups tend to look larger in size, but are immature in behavior. Perhaps, in this sense, we can describe it to be the teen years. After a year, many dogs reach sexual maturity.

Wondering when a puppy is full-grown? The answer is, never! A pup would always retain its mischievous attitude even as a dog. All your pup needs is loads of love and care. Be prepared to get plenty of love and warm licks in return.

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