Puppy Guide: First 3 Months | Hill's Transforming Lives

Puppy’s first three months

Your puppy’s first three months

No matter your puppy’s breed, all puppies develop in the same way and will pass through the same stages from infancy to maturity. However, the speed of development of certain dog breeds may vary. Generally, smaller dog breeds develop faster and attain maturity before the age of one whilst larger dogs can take up to eighteen months to reach full maturity.

From the start to 2 weeks

Similar to a newborn baby, puppies will mostly sleep and suckle during their first few days on earth. Unlike a newborn baby, puppies are capable of crawling in order to seek warmth. Between days 10 and 14, their eyes will open but their sight will be relatively poor for the first few weeks.

At week three

At this point, the puppy’s teeth will start to come through, and they’ll start to learn and drink. Shortly after this, their sense of smell will develop. The breeder should subject the puppy to some mild stress, nothing to be alarmed about, this is simply picking him up and holding him in different positions. By doing so, your puppy will get used to human handling.

Between weeks 3 to 12: socialisation time

This period is vital, as your puppy will need to experience humans, other dogs and his surroundings, which is needed for him or her to develop into a happy and healthy and well-balanced pet dog.

Stage one (3 to 5 weeks): Your little puppy will start to react to any loud noises, including those of the mother when she wants the pups to stop feeding. Next, your puppy’s hearing, sight and sense of smell are working more efficiently, with the occasional bark, wag of its tail and play-biting its brothers and sisters. It’s at this point in time that they’ll start eating solid food and looking for a place to go to the toilet.

Stage two (5 to 8 weeks): You’ll notice that your puppy’s face will become more expressive and his ears and eyes will be more coordinated. They’ll start playing more and will now be ready to depart to their brand new homes. During the final week, your puppy should have plenty of contact with humans, children as well as adults, with at least five minutes’ attention per day. After a few weeks, your puppy will start to settle in with you and your family, which is the time you should start with house training.

Stage three (8 to 12 weeks): Your little puppy will express a strong desire to please as he or she tries to establish its position in the family. Now is the time to start teaching your puppy fun games whilst discouraging play-biting.