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
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
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
6-8 weeks – The puppies are likely to be fully
weaned. They now are eating four or five small (raw) meals a
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
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
14 weeks - Last Neopar and Neovac vaccines are given.
to discuss your new puppy.
- Great Lakes AWSC
- WESSA - ASPC/AMHR/ASPR
- Beaver Creek Saddle
and Bridle Club - HAME