What does a puppy mean? Puppy is a word that refers to a young dog that grows quickly after birth. To be specific, it sometimes refers to newborn creatures not only dogs such as rats, sharks, seals, guinea pigs, giraffes, or wolves. The weight of puppies is between 2.2–3.3 lb (1–1.5 kg). Some breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier can change their coat color while growing up.
Usually, Mamma dogs give birth after 63 days of getting pregnant of a litter that exceeds 6 pups. Generally, mama dogs should directly take care of their pups as they are very weak when they are born. People can help feed the puppies to let the mama take more care for the smallest in a litter to become stronger. As the puppies become 1 month old, they start to eat solid food on their own. Sometimes, their mama can give them some digested food or let them eat on their own. At this stage, the puppies are prepared to nurse themselves but that doesn’t deny the fact that the mamma would occasionally nurse for comfort.
Just like all baby creatures, puppies need to be cared for and given enough food and amount of sleep. Also, they love spending time together and contact physically with their siblings.
All puppies’ senses develop rapidly from the moment they are born as they can barely open their eyes at their first weeks, but they have a very functional sense of smell. So, they can rely on this sense totally to find their mother’s teats, and to locate their siblings from a short distance.
Pups can only open their eyes after 9 to 11 days from birth. They can’t see anything as their vision is poor while they develop their retinas very slowly.
Also, puppies can barely hear as their ears are nearly locked. This can fade away when they reach their 13 to 17 days after birth and their response to sounds become more active. When the puppy become 4 weeks old, it can bark, wag their tails, bite, and growl.
The signs of growth appear during the pups’ first 3 months quickly. And this is clearly after their ears and eyes open and they can depend on themselves totally.
As time passes, the improvement of their strength and their coordination is clear. They start exploring the world by playing with their siblings many games such as tug-of-war, dominance, and wrestling.
Puppies are lovely creatures as well as highly social. They love spending most of their time playing and interacting with their mamma and siblings. Also, pups at the age of 8-12 weeks are very socialized with humans and develop social skills around people.
However, those that don’t interact with people during this period will show fearful behavior towards humans or other dogs as adults. The perfect period of socialization can reach its optimum between 8 and 12 weeks.
It’s better for the puppies to be introduced and encountered to 100 varied selections of people and different environments by their 12 weeks according to the American Kennel Club and professional animal trainers.
Docking and declawing
The idea of docking tails started firstly to prevent injury among working dogs. But now docking is mostly done for purely cosmetic reasons. The practice of cropping in some breeds is traditionally performed anywhere from slightly to almost entirely.
In the United States, docking and cropping are permitted while in many European countries they are forbidden such as Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, Scotland, England, Slovakia, Poland, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Greece, Austria, and parts of Canada. However, in 2008, the practice of cropping is opposed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
It’s better for some breeders to declaw their pups in the case of ripped-off and ingrown nails, and dewclaws, or to prevent any possible injuries caused by scratching. The process of declawing and docking is usually performed by an experienced breeder or a vet within the first few days after birth.
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