Wonderful Journey from Puppy to Dog

Newborn Puppy

Adult dogs, at best, reach maturity similar to a 2 year old human baby as put forward by the acclaimed dog researchers.

So, the pinnacle of their adulthood has some telling effect upon your family and social life. We are going to divulge the evolving stages of the dog gradually getting to the ultimate level of sophistication.

As a responsible dog owner, you will be able to take due preparation along these deadlines and guidelines.

Neonatal phase


Timeframe: 0-2 weeks

What happens?

The puppy is merely equipped with touch, taste and smell sensations. They barely move anywhere except for crawling  and are entirely dependent on the mother for food, care, cleaning and movement. They can neither hear nor see things at this stage.

Food: The mother’s milk is sufficient.

Exercise: No exercise is recommended.

Transitional phase

Timeframe: 3-4 weeks

What happens?

Hearing capabilities along with vision develop at this stage. They grow clear sight in place of blurry vision by the fifth week.

Moreover, you get to notice the baby teeth. Flailing mobility gets them to interact with the littermates. They also learn how to bark resembling their parents. Weaning is a vital issue that commences at the end of this chapter as well. The puppy learns how to eliminate on its own without mother’s help.


Weaning stage calls for the introduction of other food to the puppy. Dog people suggest puppy dry kibble mixed with warm water and milk replacer should be considered as an excellent choice in this respect. They can take this formula at around a month of age. You may want to serve it several times a day.


Still no rigorous exercise schedule for the puppies. However, they can enjoy a walk or two outside. But the length should be less than 5 minute.

Socialization phase

Timeframe: 5-12 weeks

What happens?

Weaning, socialization, vaccination, training and real life experiences take hold during this time. By 9 weeks, the puppy can make the full use of all the senses. Weaning usually comes to an end at around the eight week mark. However, the mother continues with occasional feeding for a longer period of time.

According to the AKC reports, the puppy vaccination can begin from 6-8 weeks of age. Distemper, parvovirus, DHPP and rabies are some of the most recommended shots for the dog. Optional and recommended vaccinations may take place for 2-3 years depending on the health conditions.

Socialization commences from the litter and it is indeed a lifelong process that involves both humans and animals. But the watershed moment, in this regard, presents itself at this period. Littermates bestow the playing skills, inhibited bite, social aptitude as well as boundaries, excelled physical coordination and hierarchy. All these are almost complete within 12 weeks.

On the other hand, human interaction is permissible from 5-7 weeks. Positive human experiences can round up a sound personality in the dog. This time around, introducing the basic concepts of training such as house training is highly advocated. Other elementary behavioral practices and manners also build up as you familiarize the ideas to the puppy.


Puppy food bears exceeding importance in its growth. Normally, you should serve calorie-dense food than that of an adult dog. This trend must run on for at least a year. To further illustrate the perspective, high quality puppy food promises significantly more kilocalorie per cup measuring against the adult dog food of the same breed.

Long term physical support and growth genuinely relies on it. Amino acids, fatty acids and minerals have more bearing on puppy food. Your dog may suffer from nutritional deficit and weakness in absence of these components. 


There goes an easy rule of thumb regarding puppy exercise requirements. Dog pundits prescribe 5 minutes of exercise per month of age.

So, 2-3 month old puppies can actually take on 10-15 minutes of schedule. But you do not need to force it upon the dog. If you notice tiredness or lack of enthusiasm, let it go. Break the time in several chunks rather than going once for 10-15 minutes. It will markedly elevate their performance.

Hierarchy phase

Timeframe: 3-6 months

What’s new?

The lessons on submission and dominance play a vital role in dog society and this coaching takes place at this time. Peer dogs and other animals influence and streamline the overall behavior of a puppy.

Human interactions also bear significance as we, the humans, control the life of a pet dog. They bow down to the pack leaders and start commanding other guys around. A greater understanding of leadership is a vital segment of the socialization process as it continues up until 18 weeks.

They achieve a relatively relaxed attitude towards unfamiliar people, other animals, honking horns, veterinary examinations, crowds and relevant everyday incidents. Puppies learn how to subside their fear and aggression impulses.

Experts say that teaching a new trick becomes extremely difficult after they pass 18 weeks. A fine tuned dog leads a happy and peaceful life in a social environment. You can start leash training after 3 months. It further spruces up their behavior.

Teething and chewing are two other important happenings. At 3-4 months of age, 28 razor sharp puppy teeth fall down to make room for 42 adult teeth. Lot of pain accompanies the teething period due to gum sores and irritation.

The young dogs bite and chew literally everything around them to lower down the painful numbing feelings. You may assist the dog by giving him a superb chewing toy.

Otherwise, the puppy will spare nothing including shoes, furniture, sensitive toys and so on. On an important note, the dog also comes around the full concept of house training by the time he reaches 4-5 months of age.


Still you have to stick to the high calorie puppy food. You must ensure appropriate food amounts. Commercial food products come with a detailed age and weight based chart to cover your decision.

However, you may want to conduct a weekly analysis on how much the dog really consumes and if it needs more or less than you are serving. Naturally, training and teachings call for a lot of treats during this time. Take care of treats as well as it tends to contribute to obesity if you are not mindful. The quality and the amount both have equal importance in this respect.


Chewing, teething and other destructive behavior starts taking place and it requires sound control methods. Exercise is certainly the best way out. Keeping exhaustion and joint damage in mind, get the dog involved in outdoor activities including walking, running, interactive games and so on.

The puppy is prepared to undertake a gradual increase in exercise time. It can cope with 20-30 minutes of physical actions at the end of the hierarchy stage depending on the breed type. Beware of forcing the dog into submission in this regard.

Adolescence phase

Timeframe: 6-18 months

What happens?

Training and socialization takes complete shape during adolescence and you must continue leading them on the teaching trail as they are still on the learning curve.

However, the puppies have already mastered the concept of pack and leadership. Their behavior is channelled by the groupmates and people around them.

They are now largely prepared to handle social circumstances in the park, the beaches and the street. Nevertheless, trials on testing the boundaries of acceptable behavior remain quite prevalent in the character.

No chance of transgression will possibly escape their efforts. The puppy keeps probing into things around it and this tendency elicits another chewing stage at around 7-9 months. Sexual expressions and desires come out in the open if they are not neutered or spayed. 


Small and medium sized dogs reach adulthood at one year mark. You have to feed high calorie puppy food until then and switch to adult food after that.

On the other hand, large and giant breeds gain adulthood at around 18-24 months of age. You may consider adult dog food for them in respectively applicable times. The transition from puppy to adult food takes 7-10 days. Gradual increase in adult food ratio helps the dog better cope up with the changes.


Pick physical strength along with superb fitness contributes to intense physical activities during this time.

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