Newborn puppies are born with their eyes closed and they will remain closed up until 10-14 days. Newborn puppies cannot support their weight for the first two weeks of life, so they crawl around on their bellies, pushing with their legs and building strength. Newborn puppies are not able to urinate or defecate on their own. They need to be stimulated to urinate and defecate for the first several weeks of life. Mom does this by licking the anal and genital areas. Puppies are born without teeth or ability to hear. Between one to three weeks are still too young to respond to training or socialization. In a nutshell, all they do the first week is eat and sleep!
Puppies should double their birthweight between 7-10 days. This is the best way to tell if the puppy is healthy and doing well! In this time between the 7-14 day mark, their eyes will start to open. However, they won't be able to see clearly at first. The eyes will gradually open wider as the days go by. Puppies eyes will continue to develop over the next several weeks, reaching full vision by eight weeks of age. The pups hearing will keep developing as well. Not much changed in the first 2 weeks. Still very dependent of their mom and sleep majority of the day. between weeks 3 and 4 weeks, their eyes-sight is getting better and better! The pups are learning to walk and move around. They will typical start trying to "play" or a sad version of it! After 14 days of age, physical changes open up a whole new world for them. By 3 weeks, they begin to explore the world and learn about being dogs. This is a critical time for their socialization and when the socialization process begins. They are learning how to interact with other dogs by interacting with the mother and littermates. Human socialization is very important at this time as well.
At weeks 4-6, they are really starting to come out of their shells. They are moving around great and full of energy! They can see, hear and smell great. The puppies are able to potty on their own and their puppy teeth will start coming in! The mother will gradually start feeding them less and less often. Once their teeth are fully in, they start the weaning process. This is the age the puppies typically graduate from their welping box, into a more suitable pen! More space, toys and interaction with humans. At this age they should be introduced to new people and sounds! Some sounds include the vacuums, dishes, and children. At this age you are able to start introducing them to a crate and begin potty training.
This is the last few weeks with mom and littermates before they meet their new families! This is the age where they become really fun. They have developed their own personalities and are playing NONSTOP. During these last 2 weeks, the puppies are weaned and eating puppy food. The mother is no longer needed but still interacts with the puppies. This is the time where we can really start working on the potty and crate training! It is best to develop a routine that can be transferred to their new loving home! Around seven to eight weeks old, the first "fear period" will begin. This is a time when most puppies seem to be afraid of new things. Anything you can introduce them to before this time will help make the fear period go more smoothly. Hence why we introduce the more common "fear" triggers to the puppies at a younger age! At 8 weeks old they are in transit to their new families, feeling confident and well adjusted!