During the first two weeks of your puppies' life, they will grow literally by the day, and gain about 15% of their weight every day. With the beginning of the second week, their development will have maximum speed, when they will progress very quickly from tiny blind helpless babies who were born with a large head restricting their movements, in fairly independent small dogs.
Transition from second to third week
As soon as your puppies reach the middle of the second week of life, their eyes will begin to open, and from 10 to 14 days they will already see everything. The mother will regularly lick and bathe them, thereby cleansing her eyes and stimulating them to open. By the end of the second week, they will begin to recognize the movement and change in the brightness of the light, and will already pay attention to surrounding things. Puppies will become a little more coordinated, begin to crawl out of their nest and try to walk.
At the same time, the puppies will begin to form their first connections, recognizing the mother and their fellow tribesmen, and will also learn to recognize objects around them that will be constant in their environment.
From the third to fourth week - the development of feelings and personality
During the third week of puppies' lives, their environmental awareness will expand significantly, and they will begin to recognize people who come and go on a regular basis. For puppies, this will be the first conscious experience of contact with a person who will shape their image for the rest of their lives, so it’s important to make sure, especially at this stage, that your puppies will not experience any negative experiences with people and will not be exposed to any things that might scare or shock them. If puppies develop bad associations at this stage, it will be very difficult to change them at later stages.
At the same time, the puppies will begin to imitate their mother and will try to clean themselves, go to the toilet and develop other normal dog habits. At this point, your puppies will really learn to be like dogs!
Week 4-7: Discipline and Social Development
In the fourth week of life, puppies will begin to learn to play and interact with their peers, with their mother and with any other adult dogs that live in the house. Toothy little puppies will automatically try to grab and bite everything around, and at that moment the mother will begin to teach them about the unacceptability of biting and other good manners. In addition, at this moment, the mother will gradually wean them from her milk, and the puppies will begin to show interest in the solid food that an adult dog eats. She will also begin to softly establish herself as a pack leader among puppies. At this point, you should begin serious acquaintance and interaction with people, spend time socializing the puppies, forcing them to get to know and play with you and your family, and teach them to never bite, but just have fun.
Although communication with people is very important for puppies at this age, they will still spend a lot of time with their mother, and you should not try to speed up their weaning or remove them from their mother by more than ten minutes at a time.
From the fourth to the seventh week of life, puppies will begin to understand the principles of safe play, as well as respect, but not be afraid of people. At this age, it is important not to overdo it in their discipline, so do not scold them when they bark, spit, throw things or fight each other.
Week 7-12: First Vaccinations and Puppy Fear
During the seventh and eighth week of your puppy's life, you will need to take care of their primary vaccination in order to prepare them for meeting other dogs and keep them safe.
It should be noted that between 8 and 12 weeks your puppies will begin to learn at a very fast pace, when they will have numerous contacts with the outside world, they will learn new smells, sounds and sensations, as well as really recognize people and new dogs.
Most puppies, although not all, will have to go through a huge number of terrible things for them, they can be scared by absolutely harmless things, situations and some people. At this time, it is still important not to overdo their discipline in order to avoid exposure to any really dangerous or frightening situations. Having a mother or people they know can help them reduce and survive all the fears that arise and teach them the correct reactions to these stimuli.
At this point, you can also start teaching puppies basic commands, such as sitting or standing, as well as teaching them how to use the toilet so that they can develop their bladders and sleep all night without any incidents.
Do not forget that at this stage it is important to undergo a full course of vaccination of puppies in order to provide them with the necessary protection so that they can start communicating with other dogs outside the house.
At about the age of 3 months, your puppies will turn into fully formed young dogs, ready to go out into the world without their mother and fellow tribesmen. Weaning by this time should be completed, and the puppies should eat on their own. Their training of new teams and appropriate manners at this time should be in full swing. Congratulations, now all your puppies are ready to start their life in their new homes!