Your puppy is likely to be at least 8 weeks old when you first meet. With the help of her mother and breeder, she’ll already have taken some important steps to becoming well–balanced and socialized. Here are some basic puppy stages of development:
The Neonatal Period (Birth–2 weeks old)
- At birth, your puppy is entirely dependent on her mother for food and warmth.
- Sensory capabilities and motor skills develop quickly as physical changes enable your puppy to see, smell, hear, taste and touch her new world for the ﬁrst time.
- Initially crawling and then wobbling, she will eventually learn to walk.
- Your breeder ensures the secured living area is large enough for your puppy to remove herself from the sleeping area to urinate and defecate, providing a natural introduction to potty training.
- Your breeder will gently handle the puppy to introduce her to human contact.
The Awareness Period (3–4 weeks)
- Your puppy will start to learn how to eat without suckling.
- Exploring a stable and familiar environment helps develop her senses.
Initial Socialization (4–8 weeks)
- The breeder facilitates a wide range of positive experiences and contact before your puppy reaches the age of 8 weeks, helping prepare her for experiences in a new home and out in the world.
- To prepare for life without her mother, your puppy will be weaned and become self-sufﬁcient with feeding and drinking.