Dog Training 

The Many Stages of Puppy Age (and How to Deal With Each)

Just like babies, puppies go through different stages, from newborn to adult. Puppy development is broken down into different cognitive phases, during which they learn new tricks and make discoveries during their explorations.

What phases do puppies go through?

The stages of puppy development are often divided into weeks. Puppies go through a growth spurt every two to four weeks and experience a cognitive leap into new insights into how the world works and what they can do with their bodies. The gap between these leaps increases as they grow and learn more complex tasks.

Most dog experts divide their growth stages into the following categories.

Birth – 2 weeks

The neonatal stage; At this stage, your puppy is dependent on its mother for all of its needs. Puppies are born who can neither see nor hear; The only senses they have are touch and taste. They will “root” for their mother by contracting their front limbs.

Newborn puppies communicate with high-pitched squeaks and howls. The mother takes care of all needs, from feeding to cleaning. If you are planning to bond with your pup, this is the perfect time to introduce them to your scent. Handle it with care. Remember, you will be sleeping a lot at this stage.

2 – 6 weeks

The transition phase This development phase begins at around two weeks of age. The puppy’s eyes open and their hearing develops. Puppies become aware of their surroundings, not just their mother and littermates. Puppies between 2 and 4 weeks old take their first steps.

They discover playing and can leave their bed / sleeping area to relieve themselves. The puppies’ milk teeth are starting to form and they should start experimenting with solid foods. Try to interact with them and call them. You will soon learn the sound of your voice. This phase is the first in which they begin to interact with the world beyond their mother.

6-8 weeks

New beginning and socialization. Your puppy is developing quickly. They found out that they are now a dog. Eight weeks is the ideal age for a puppy to move into a new home or to stay with you and build on your loving bond.

Research has shown that moving a puppy to a new home on the 49th day is ideal. This is ideal for the puppy to learn and begin puppy training for manners and potty habits. This time is crucial as they can adapt to changes and deal with minor stresses. Your puppy can also wean his mother’s milk at this point.

Photo by Hannah Grace on Unsplash

8-12 weeks

Fear stage. This phase is known as the push-off or fear phase. Your new pup can make associations with objects. It is at this stage that fear is born and bred in a dog. Puppies should be handled with caution at this stage, and it is best to avoid anxiety.

During this phase, you should focus on creating as many happy moments and positive experiences as possible. Positive reinforcement at this stage is vital to a happy dog. The same gentle coo that soothes a baby works well for puppies too. Make sure you encourage them and develop an inner sense of security in your pup, especially at the end of this period.

3 – 6 months

This period marks the end of the period of fear; Puppies are a bundle of energy at this age. The fear they felt in the last phase is replaced by ample curiosity. You become an explorer and discover the art of chewing. By 16 weeks, puppies can develop itchy gums from adult teeth. So this is the perfect time to get your pup lots of chew toys.

This phase is critical to training and maintaining a routine. Your dog will test limits with their limitless energy. It’s a good idea to keep a calm and collected training schedule. It is best if you neuter your dog around the age of six months. This prevents hormonal fluctuations that can cause problems later in life.

Photo by Andrew Schultz on Unsplash

6-18 months

All trainings that were carried out before this point in time have prepared for this phase. Once you’ve cemented in training, this stage won’t be all that difficult to tackle. In this phase, puppies become instinctual beings.

Their sense of independence will skyrocket and they won’t need you so much anymore. They’ll want to explore independently, so keep them on a tight leash. Puppies need to be guided and encouraged to stay by your side.

During this time, a phase of fear could develop again. It is important to maintain a routine and consistency in your pup’s life. With the right guidance, they will become mature and under-educated adult dogs.

18 months and beyond

This is the stepping stone to adulthood. You should improve your dog’s home training and good social skills. You will develop self-control during this time. Your dog’s personality should be obvious by this point – cute!

This phase is all about connecting with your dog and developing a routine for his favorite pastimes. You will learn how your dog likes to do things and develop a routine from there.

Promote security and happiness

There is no doubt that puppies are clumsy and playful. Much like we childproof our homes for newborns, you should do the same for puppies too. They often have limitless energy and can rip through a house pretty quickly. That being said, there is no better feeling than inviting a new pooch into your home and heart. Remember that your puppy should be handled with caution, especially during the anxiety phase. Try to set up some home solutions to avoid falls, such as B. Ramps for climbing furniture or baby gates to keep them away from the kitchen or other unsafe areas.

About the author:

Emma is a professional writer and blogger with two furry friends and a great knowledge of pet behavior and health. She has written for numerous major animal magazines and health websites, and is a regular contributor to The Catington Post.

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