Neonatal - 5 Weeks

Neonatal Period (0–13 days)

Puppy’s brain is not yet highly developed. He responds to the mother’s licking for elimination; responds to warmth and food. Puppy’s reflexes are slow. Make sure the puppy is safe, warm, and well fed.

Transitional Period (13–20 days)

Puppy’s eyes begin to open. He starts to walk and attempts to explore his surroundings. By 19 days, puppy’s ears begin to open and he will startle by noises. By 20 days puppy’s teeth begin to emerge.

Puppy Toddlers (3 – 6 Weeks)

This is when the social period in your puppy’s life begins. The puppies emerge on their own from the litter and venture into the surrounding environment. Gentle handling by you will help him to form a trusting relationship with humans in order to become man’s best friend.

During the toddler period puppies learn basic behavioral patterns specific to dogs: While playing, they practice different body postures, learning what the postures mean and how they affect their mother and litter mates. They learn what it is like to bite and be bitten, what barking and other vocalizations mean and how to use them to establish social relationships with other dogs.

From the age of five weeks, the mother teaches her puppies basic manners. They learn to be submissive to her leadership and what behaviors are acceptable. If necessary, she growls, snarls, or snaps at them as a form of discipline. When weaning the litter, for instance, the mother will discipline her puppies so that they will leave her alone. Because the mother disciplines them in a way that they clearly understand, after a few repetitions, the puppies will respond to a mere glare from her.

A 5 week old puppy can begin to understand housetraining rules.