Your new puppy’s parents and its genes will play a significant role in determining how your puppy will turn out when it is fully grown into an adult dog. However, as the owner, you will also be able to have some say in how your puppy develops into an adult dog. You can assist your new puppy in developing healthy socialisation skills by caressing him or her, playing with him or her, and teaching him or her appropriate behaviour.
Your new dog will have been weaned by the time he or she is six weeks old, but puppies continue to receive important training from their mothers until they are between eight and ten weeks old. At this point, they are mature enough to part with their moms and other members of their litter. The following is a general outline to the stages of development that your puppy will go through:
Two to four weeks
* This is called the transitional period and it is the time when your puppy will be most influenced by its mother and its litter mates.
* Teeth begin to come in and the puppy’s eyes will start to open, their sense of smell and hearing will now develop.
* They begin to stand and try to walk, the tail will wag and the puppy can bark.
* By the end of the fourth week the eyesight should be fully developed.
Three to twelve weeks
* During this period the puppy should have contact with other people.
* By three to five weeks the puppy is well aware of its surroundings and its companions.
* By weeks four to six the puppy is influenced by its littermates.
* From four to twelve weeks a puppy will start to be influenced by the people around it, they will learn how to play and begin to develop social skills.
* Seven to nine weeks and the puppy will begin refining its skills and can start to be house trained * Eight to ten weeks the puppy can experience fear and needs positive training from this age.
* Nine to twelve weeks the puppy begins to refine its actions and explores its environment more, the puppy will focus more on people.
Three to six months
* A puppy will be greatly influenced by playmates.
* The puppy will begin to grasp ideas of submission and dominance.
* The puppy will begin teething at this stage.
Six to 18 months
* The puppy is more influenced by people.
* During the months seven to nine the puppy will go through another stage of chewing anything and everything.
* Dominance will increase particularly in male dogs.
* Sexual behaviour will start to show in dogs that haven’t been neutered or spayed.