Puppies go through an incredible series of changes in the first year of life. From being born blind and deaf to growing into a running, jumping ball of energy, this busy timeframe can be amazing, if overwhelming. To help you better understand what to expect, here is a brief look into a puppy’s first year and the important developments along the way.
As mentioned above, a puppy’s senses haven’t started working when they are first born. It isn’t until two weeks that their eyes open and other senses develop. What’s more, they will not be able to eliminate on their own and the mother must stimulate this body function. Because of this, the puppies are completely dependent on their mothers. They will sleep most of the time, waking only to seek her out and feed.
As the pups grow, owners will see a surge of independence and curiosity as the fear begins to subside. Personality traits will emerge — as will permanent teeth, making chew toys a necessity. Around sixteen weeks, puppies are ready for training classes with a focus on praising good behavior and socialization. Exposure to new things in a controlled setting — such as crate training and certain boundaries — is essential to help them feel more confident and secure in the future.
By twelve months, most dogs reach emotional maturity and have a defined temperament and loving bond with their owner that lasts a lifetime. Want to learn more about what to expect during a puppy’s first year? Check out the accompanying resource for a handy breakdown!