Doodle puppies, like their adult counterparts, are wonderful. If you’re waiting for a newborn puppy to bring home, here’s how your puppy is developing in the first month after being born.
So your Doodle puppy was born! Woohoo! You can now begin counting down the days until they get to come home with you.
In the meantime, it might interest you to learn what is happening with your Dood developmentally. Physically and behaviorally, your Dood is going through a LOT. They grow and change daily at this stage, which means there’s a lot to keep up with!
We’re walking you through all the major (and minor) milestones of the first month so you can keep up with how your puppy is growing in preparation to come to their new home. To make it easier to follow, we’ve divided this list into two main categories: physical development and behavioral development. Let’s dive into physical development first.
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Newborn Puppy Physical Development
A newborn puppy changes dramatically just in their first 4 weeks of life. Knowing all of these changes that your puppy is going through will help make waiting to bring them home just a little easier.
Neonatal Period (0 To 2 Weeks)
This newborn period is a CRUCIAL time in your newborn puppy’s development. Puppies are born nearly helpless: neurologically immature, blind, and deaf. They depend on their mama for everything. Here’s how a puppy will change in just the first two weeks.
- Your newborn puppy can touch and taste at birth, but that’s really about it.
- He was born covered in fur.
- He cannot regulate his own body temperature and therefore needs his mama to keep warm.
- At birth his eyes and ears are closed, so he cannot see or hear.
- Only his front feet are strong, allowing him to pull himself towards mama. He isn’t able to support his body weight to stand up.
- He spends most of his time sleeping or suckling. In fact, he will spend about 10% of his day eating and 90% sleeping to continue developing.
- His brain activity will be almost identical whether he’s awake or asleep.
- Most of the time he won’t make any sound. The exception to that is the tiny squeaky noises he’ll make when he’s cold.
- If your newborn puppy’s tail is going to be docked, this procedure will take place in the first two to three days.
- All of his sleeping is helping him to grow very quickly. By ten days old, he will double his birth weight!
- During week 2, Puppy’s eyes will start to open, though he probably still won’t be able to see very much. One eye may open before the other.
- In week 2, he will also add another 5-10% to his body weight.
- Your newborn puppy’s forelegs will get noticeably stronger.
- By the end of week 2, the breeder will begin to handle Puppy more and get him used to human contact (which has been shown to also help speed up neurological development).
- The breeder will also deworm him for the first time.
Transitional Period (2 To 4 Weeks)
Now your puppy will begin to develop a little more independence and won’t be quite so reliant on his mama.
- Puppy’s eyes open up and his vision will improve to the point where he starts to respond to movement and light!
- He can stand and sit up. By the end of this week, he’ll be able to take his first wobbly steps and walk.
- His sense of smell and hearing develops. He’ll start to respond to sounds and will probably show a startle reflex to loud sounds.
- He can wag his tail.
- He will be able to better regulate his body temperature.
- By the end of this period, Puppy will cut all his milk teeth. The front teeth, canines, and incisors will be the first to appear. To prepare for weaning, he’ll start eating puppy food now.
- Your newborn puppy will start experimenting with making dog sounds and may even start to bark.
- He will also have become really active and strong on his legs.
- He can see very well now.
- By the end of this period, Puppy should be able to go potty independently and will use his new strong legs to move away from the sleeping area to go potty.
- He will start cutting his back teeth.
- He may start trying to climb out of the whelping box.
- The breeder will deworm him for the second time.
Newborn Puppy Behavioral Development
Your newborn puppy will go through tremendous physical changes in the first month, but he’ll also make huge strides socially.
- Your Doodle puppy will want to stay close to mama and will actively seek her anytime he’s separated.
- Your newborn puppy will require mama to lick his anogenital region to stimulate peeing and pooping.
- Puppy will start learning some simple social skills, including tail wagging, growling, and pawing as he plays and play-fights with his siblings.
- Your Doodle puppy will also learn coordination and the ranking process.
- He may start nipping to relieve discomfort from teething. Interactions with mama and siblings teach bite inhibition.
- He will learn appropriate submissive and attention-soliciting and attention-receptive behavior.
- Your (not so) newborn puppy will start to show signs of distress when separated from his siblings or if he wanders too far away from the litter nest.
- He will gain confidence and learn appropriate social behavior with other dogs.
- He will grow in independence gradually as he passes through the key puppy development stages.
- Dood also begins to develop and show his personality.
Wow! That’s a lot of growing and changing to do in just 4 weeks! And if you think that’s a lot, check out what happens in his second month.
If you want to start preparing for bringing your (not so) newborn puppy home, check out our Doodle Puppy Checklist!
Why It’s Helpful To Know About Your Newborn Puppy’s Developmental Changes
Every puppy goes through several milestones on their journey from newborn to full grown adult. We’re going through your puppy’s physical and behavioral development for the first year, breaking down all the changes he’s experiencing each month.
When you know what to expect, you can better understand what’s age-appropriate, know that your puppy is developing normally, and know that your puppy will “grow out of” some of his more challenging behaviors.