Puppy development in 5 stages – What to expect

Puppy development in 5 stages

In this article, I will talk about the development of the puppy from the second week, which is the transition period.

Let’s take a look at the 5 different stages, but before doing so, keep in mind that these periods are generalizations.

Each puppy will develop at its own pace. A great deal of research shows that the conditions under which puppies spend their first few months of life can have a great influence on their adult life.

Here is the puppy’s development in 5 stages

Stage 1: 2 to 3 weeks – transition period

The transition stage usually lasts from the age of two to three weeks,and it’s during this time that your puppy’s eyes will open and he’ll slowly start to react to the light, movement and sounds around him.

During this time, your puppy will become a little more mobile. He will begin to recognize his mother and his littermates as “brothers and sisters”.

Group learning begins, this is primary socialization. 

The first grunts and barks will manifest themselves.

He’s going to try to explore his surroundings.

On the 21st day or so, the puppy blenches when you clap your hands.

He follows with his eyes a person or animal that moves and crawls towards him.

Stage 2: 3 to 12 weeks – socialization period

Between about 3 to 4 weeks of age, the puppy undergoes rapid sensory development during this period, such as play and movement.

He learns through play, behavioral sequences and hierarchy.

The puppy needs to be left with the mother and siblings until at least 7 weeks of age and preferably a little longer for optimal social development.

At about the 4th week, the puppy will start wagging his tail when he feels good.

It is best to avoid loud noises or sudden changes during this period.

Negative events can have a serious impact on the puppy’s personality and development.

At about the 5th week, the learning of the inhibited bite appears, the bitten puppy shouts to make the other one let go.

He begins to learn the different bodily attitudes characteristic of the adult dog.

This is how he discovers, in the course of the simulated fights, the attitudes of dominance and submission, which are indispensable for normal intra-species communication.

At about the 6th week, the puppy begins the social attachment to humans.

This is a very important period, the puppy should have a maximum of visits from men, women and children.

If this period is taken lightly, it is very possible to have behavioral disorders in the future.

Professionals say that the best time in a puppy’s life to learn social skills is between 3 and 16 weeks of age.

At about the 7th and 8th week, the food hierarchy between siblings becomes apparent.

It can also identify different friendly species and learn how to communicate with them.

In adulthood, the dog will avoid contact with species that he will not have known during this period.

The 8th week is also the legal age for selling the puppy.

At about the ninth week, from that time onward, every new living being provokes a fear reaction.

The acquisition of the communications systems is manifesting itself.

The fear stage lasts about 9 weeks to 3 months, and is characterized by rapid learning and a “fear period” that usually lasts until about 8 to 10 weeks.

Stage 3: 3 to 4 months – juvenile period

The juvenile period is a transitional stage between the period of socialization and puberty.

It usually lasts about 3 to 4 months of age, and it is during this time that the puppy is like a toddler.

He’s going to be a little more independent, like a child trying to exercise his newfound independence.

The puppy plays biting you with a real attempt to challenge your authority.

Stage 4: 4 to 6 months – puberty period

Appearance of sex hormone secretions, the puppy reaches sexual maturity.

He will further demonstrate his independence and stubbornness.

He is testing these limits, he will also go through a teething cycle during this time, and will also be looking for things to chew on to relieve the pain.

He may try to assert his “dominant position” over family members, especially children.

Many puppies at this age ignore their owners’ orders.

He will go through hormonal changes caused by his growing sexual maturity, and you may see signs of rebellion. (like a human teenager).

Stage 5: 6 to 18 months – young adult period

The young adult stage lasts from 6 months to about 18 months, and is usually a great time in your dog’s life.

He is young, exuberant and learning all the things he needs to become a true adult dog.


The development of the puppy is very important, you can start his education starting from his acquisition from the kennel at2 months approximately.

We have seen all the periods of development together.

Breeding plays an extremely important role in the behavior of your future dog, especially during the socialization period “stage 2” which lasts from 3 to 12 weeks, and it is the breeder who is responsible for this period until about 8 weeks, so 2 months and then it is you, the future owner of the puppy, who takes over the role of care taker until the age of about 12 weeks.

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