The Second Stage of Puppy Development

Transitional period -Two to three weeks

  • Rapid physical and sensory development during this phase; puppy transitions from being highly protected from its environment to being extremely sensitive to it.
  • Eyes begin to open at approximately ten days followed by the ears opening; both eyesight and hearing improves daily with the range of hearing being close to two times that of humans. Hearing levels can actually attain ultrasonic level; hearing is evident by the puppies startle response to sounds.
  • Will respond to taste and smell.
  • Develops the ability to stand and towards the end of the three week period will have mastered a wobbly walk.
  • Vocabulary expands from grunts and mews to yelps, whines, and even barks.
  • Initial eruption of teeth occurs by the end of the transitional period.
  • Begins to control bodily functions rahter than dependance on the mother to stimulate bladder and bowel evacuation.
  • Limited interaction with littermates occurs.
  • With all senses engaged this is the time to introduce new stimuli to the whelping box; studies indicate that mildly stressing pups with different stimuli during these early weeks of life will help develop dogs that are superior in learning, handle stress better, and are more outgoing.

Submitted October 2017 by Kelly