Birth & Growth

Puppies are immature at birth. Eyelids and ears are closed and sealed. The eyes will open in about 10 to 14 days and the ears open after that, at about 13 to 17 days.

When you pick up a puppy at birth it should wiggle with a lot of energy; feel firm and plump. It is able to move around the whelping box looking for warmth and food. For the first 6 days pups are unable to shiver
and maintain their own body temperature. Puppies are never real still and a healthy pup will twitch and jerk. This active sleep helps the pup develop muscle tone and should be seen 75% of their sleep time.

The first couple days weight is checked every 3 to 4 hours. A healthy pup will double their birth weight in 7 to 10 days. Without proper care and moderating a pup could be lost in a matter of hours.

A look at pups under 1 hour of age. Weight at birth 5 oz to 8.5 oz.

30% of puppies die between birth and weaning. 3/4th of these die in the first 2 weeks. Some causes of death are lack of advanced preparation, inadequate heat in the whelping area, not keeping the area clean, or lack of care by the dam. Weight should be checked on a gram scale every 3 hours for the first day then every 6 hours the second day. Daily weighing for the next two weeks . Every 3 days for a month. This should be increased with any sign of a loss in weight
Puppy Diseases:

Bleeding , Toxic Milk, , Navel Infection , Septicemia , Herpes Virus, Flat Puppy , Skin Infections , Conjunctivitis , Hypoglycemia , Hernia

Pups should be checked every 3 to 4 hours to be sure they are getting enough nourishment. Often times the smaller less aggressive pups will be forced off the nipple causing them to become dehydrated Using a gram scale allows you to find the problem before it is a problem. Pinching the skin on the neck up and letting go to see how fast it goes back into place is another test

A puppy that is nursing correctly will have it’s tongue wrapped around the nipple, as pictured above.

The pups will start to lay in all kinds of positions.

Mother will keep count and clean the pups day and night.

The First Couple Weeks

During the 2 and 3 days the pups should have their dew claws removed. This is done to prevent possible pain and injury latter in life.

On the 2 to 3 days of life the umbilical cord will dry up and fall off.

By the third day the kids and Mom are starting to get a hold of this new Life. Pups will wonder more around the pen. Mom needs to take head counts more often to see where all the kids have wondered off to. New born pups need to be handled. This early life handling will promote a better socialized dog. Nails should be checked and clipped if needed.

Yes nail trimming does start this early

Cleaning up after the pups is in full swing at this point. Pups still need to be burped or colic might develop. Dogs accomplish this when they lick and stimulate the pups.

A healthy puppy will generally double their birth weight in a week to 10 days.

The pigment (color) will start to come in. This will develop at different rates in each pup. Adding sunshine will help, or, later on, after the pups are weaned, kelp can be added to the diet to promote further coloring.

By early observation many problems can be avoided

Just under 2 weeks.

Eyes open 12 to 14 days of age. When they first open some of the pups will be cross eyed and there is a blue/gray cast to them that clears as they mature and they get use to the light. Pups begin to get up on their rear legs and walk /stumble around the pen. Some play starts as they lift a front paw and try to bat a litter mate. Most generally ending in the pup falling over. The puppies will even start to move from their bed to relieve themselves on the paper provided for that use.

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