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Your 4 To 8-Week Old Puppy: A Doodle’s Growth

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Check out how your 4 to 8-week old puppy is developing! Doodle puppies change and grow at an extremely rapid rate. Here’s how your 1-month old Dood is growing.

So, your Doodle puppy is 1 month old now. You know what that means, right? He will come home in about a month! And I bet you just cannot wait

(Have you started shopping yet? Be sure to view our Doodle Puppy Checklist!)

Let’s check in and see how your Dood is changing, developmentally-speaking. Physically and behaviorally, your Dood is going through a lot. It’s a lot of work to go from being a helpless newborn to a fully independent adult! 

Moreover, in this timeframe, it is incredibly important that your 4-8 week old puppy starts being socialized. Let’s find out exactly what that means and why it’s so important.

Socialization Period (4 to 8 weeks)

Socialization Period (4 To 8 Weeks): An Overview

Socialization is the process during which a puppy will develop positive relationships and behaviors with people and other animals. We want him to develop confidence and tolerance so he can be happy and well-adjusted. 

Socialization really starts happening from 4-6 weeks as puppies begin playing with their siblings. They learn crucial social skills, including inhibited biting (gentle biting for play only) as well as social structure and ranking.

Socializing Your 4 To 8-Week Old Puppy

Ample early socialization will influence his behavior and adaptability for years to come. To ensure this, it is very important that he is exposed to other people, animals, and places early on. 

Expose your puppy to a variety of people:

  • Young kids (with supervision)
  • Older kids (still supervise)
  • Adults
  • Older adults
  • Men and women

Right now, your puppy’s breeder is (hopefully) starting to expose Puppy to a variety of new environments, surroundings, and stimuli (i.e. sounds and odors) to help reduce the fear of the unfamiliar as he grows older. This should be all around the house as well as including things like:

  • Car rides
  • Ringing phone
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Ringing doorbell
  • Crate training

The most vital period for successful socialization is during the first four months of life. Early socialization (or the lack thereof) will determine Puppy’s lifelong behaviors. However, care should be taken not to permanently separate your 4-8 week old puppy from his mother yet.

At this point in time, house training can also begin by letting Puppy go outside with mama to start going potty outside.

We talk more about your role in socialization in Your 2 Month Old Doodle Puppy.

4 To 8-Week Old Puppy Growth: Physical And Behavioral Development

Your puppy has already changed so much during his first month of life. This next month will also bring some big changes, although they may not always seem as dramatic as they were when your puppy was a newborn

Perhaps that’s because in this month your puppy is still going through some physical changes, but he’s really working on learning behavior and socialization skills.

Physical Changes for 1-Month Old Puppies

  • Your Dood can really run and play now. He will start to wrestle with his siblings and play with toys.
  • He can bark and growl, too, causing quite the ruckus!
  • By the end of week 6, Puppy is probably fully weaned and eating food five or six times a day. It’s important not to rush the weaning process because it could create problems around food when your puppy is an adult.
  • Your 6 to 8-week old puppy should receive his first vaccinations for parainfluenza, distemper, and measles. He’ll need 2-3 injections spaced 2-4 weeks apart.
  • Also at 6 weeks, your 1-month old puppy will also be dewormed for the 3rd time.
  • From now on, a Mini/Medium Doodle puppy may gain around 5 ounces a week, whereas a Standard (large) Doodle puppy may put on 2.5 pounds per week (wow!).

Behavioral Development In The Second Month

  • By 5 weeks, your Dood will be familiar with his surroundings and start really participating in playtime. With siblings, it’s playtime all the time!
  • Positive experiences with humans in weeks 5 – 7 will greatly influence his future behavior..
  • By 7 weeks, the breeder might start house-training Puppy. 
  • Puppy will continue learning inhibited play biting and other dog socialization cues from his siblings. Mom will also start disciplining to help her babies learn.
  • He may start to enter the first fear period and show fearfulness at strange sights and sounds. He may startle or jump at new things. This is a normal developmental stage and doesn’t mean you’ll have a fearful dog.

A Word Of Caution About Socializing With Other Animals

While this is a time to begin socialization training, you don’t want to expose your puppy to other dogs or cats until they have had their second vaccinations. Don’t worry, the time will come soon enough! Unfortunately, puppies can pick up diseases such as distemper, parvo, or hepatitis, from other animals that can be fatal.

It’s generally considered safe to allow your puppy to play with other vaccinated dogs or take a puppy class with a trainer a week after the second parvo/distemper vaccine. At this time, your puppy can also interact with other types of animals too, including cats and horses. Just make sure the other animals are friendly, or it can cause life-long challenges for your 8-week old puppy.

For now, avoid dog parks because there are just too many variables for such a young puppy.

It’s Time To Welcome Your 8-Week Old Puppy Home

At the end of his second month, your 8-week old puppy is fully weaned, independent, and ready to come home! You’ll need to continue with human socialization once you bring him home. Find out more about how to continue training from 8 to 12 weeks.

Ready to start preparing to bring your 8-week old puppy home now? Check out our Doodle Puppy Checklist!

More Doodle Puppy Development Guides

Attributions:
Pin it Image by Farm Doodles, used under CC BY 2.0 / Enhanced from original

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