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Benchmarks And Milestones

To pass the time while you are anxiously awaiting the birth of your new puppy, here is a brief description of gestational benchmarks:

Week One - Fertilization occurs; Moms are fed normally at this time.

Week Two (Days 8-14) - The blastocyst enters the uterus.

Week Three (Days 15-21) - Day 19 -- Implantation of blastocysts in uterus. They will then grow into embryos.

Week Four (Days 22-28) - Development of the puppies' eyes and spinal cords occur. The puppy’s faces take shape. During the next 2 weeks the important organs will develop - embryos are at their most susceptible to defects. Days 26 - 32 are the best days to palpate to feel for puppies. We start to limit strenuous activity for our Moms. Morning sickness may occur.

Week Five (Days 29-35) - Toes, whisker buds, and claws develop. The fetuses now look like dogs. Gender can be determined. Eyes now close. Organ development ends and the embryos are more resistant to problems with development. Mom’s weight gain will be noticeable and her food is increased. You can no longer feel the puppies when palpating, due to fluids in uterus.

Week Six (Days 36-42) - Puppies develop skin pigmentation. Fetal heartbeats can be heard with stethoscope. Mom continues to get bigger. We again increase the amount that she is fed. Our Moms start sleeping in their whelping box now.

Week Seven (Days 43-49) - Puppy growth and development continues. Mom definitely looks pregnant at this point! Food amount is increased again and divided into more meals. We put an absolute end to any roughhousing or jumping that the Mom may try to do.

Week Eight (Days 50-57) - Fetal movement can be seen and felt when the Mom is resting. Puppies can safely be born from now on
X-rays are taken to determine the approximate number and size of puppies. More food is offered (many small meals). Whelping kit is double checked for needed supplies.

Week Nine (Days 58-65) - Puppies continue to growth. Moms start nesting behavior and may act uncomfortable. We take our expectant Mom’s temperature several times a day from here on out. When her temperature drops to around 98-99.4 degrees, it is a sign that puppies should be born within 24 hours. We notify our vet that puppies will soon arrive. Mom’s appetite generally disappears as whelping gets closer.

Puppy milestones from birth to 12 weeks:

At birth - Your puppy can crawl forwards. Your puppy’s mother’s milk provides colostrum. This contains antibodies that help protect newborn puppies from disease.

2 weeks - Your puppy’s eyes open. His/Her vision is poor at first. Your puppy is de-wormed for the first time.

3 weeks - Your puppy begins to show some of their adult characteristics. Puppies begin to go potty outside the nest. It is not a natural thing for a dog to pee or poop in his crate. Dog mothers are meticulous about keeping the "nest" very clean. So, once a pup starts eating solid food, and the mother no longer cleans it up, it is up to us as breeders to keep the box very clean. By the time your puppy goes home with you, he/she will already be on their way to being housetrained – puppies do not pee or poop where they eat or sleep. Your puppy starts to learn how to crawl backwards and they show their first social signals, (growling and tail wagging.) The puppy now responds to light and movement and they start play fighting with their litter mates. Their ear canals open. Puppies start to show an interest in food (but continue to nurse too.) They can now drink from a dish. The puppies begin to show a startle response to loud noises. They try standing and walking, and make their first attempt at barking.

3-12 weeks - This is a very influential period of your puppy’s life and much of what is learned during this time may last throughout their life. They develop social skills and learn about their environment. We start structured socialization at this time. We try to make sure that they encounter many people, objects and situations they might encounter in later life, including being left alone for short periods, and riding in the car.

4 weeks – Puppies are de-wormed again.

5 weeks – Puppies receive their first Neopar vaccine.

3-5 weeks - The puppies begin to show early play behavior. Their milk teeth come in and they start to investigate new objects.

6 weeks - The puppies are de-wormed again and receive their first NeoVac vaccine.

6-8 weeks – The puppies are likely to be fully weaned. They now are eating four or five small (raw) meals a day.

7 weeks - Second Neopar vaccine is given.

8 weeks – The puppies are de-wormed again and they receive their second Neovac vaccine.

9 weeks – Puppies are given their third Neopar vaccine.

10 weeks - Puppies usually leave their mother and littermates to go to their new homes. Feeding is reduced to three meals a day. Puppies are de-wormed with a three day course of Panacur and given their third Neovac vaccine before they join their new families. This is the age when your puppy is most responsive to socialization. Now is a good time to find a puppy class to take them to where they can meet and play with other puppies and develop social skills.

12 weeks – Although still developing, your puppy is growing up and has made it through most of his/her major changes.

14 weeks - Last Neopar and Neovac vaccines are given.

(920) 698-1812 to discuss your new puppy.

Member of: SKC - AWSC - Great Lakes AWSC - WESSA - ASPC/AMHR/ASPR - SEWMEC - Beaver Creek Saddle and Bridle Club - HAME - AKC Canine Ambassador


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