STAGES OF GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPY DEVELOPMENT
All German Shepherd Puppies are born very dark black with their eyes and ears closed. While every litter is different and the size of newborn puppies in greatly depend on the term, number of puppies in a litter and other factors, the average weight of a puppy in our breeding program is around 500 grams - give or take. All puppies are born very hungry and are latching to their mom shortly after birth. At less than a week old, the puppies began to stretch their legs. They also arch their backs when picked up. They crawl more frequently. Around the week and one half mark, their eyes are ears began to open. Their eyes are blue. And they aren’t able to focus immediately. Just not yet!
Their eyes and ears are fully open and they are able to determine shapes. They also experience their first incisor teeth. Crawling is much easier at this stage. The puppies begin to:
become more independent from their mother
eliminate on their own
take their first wobbly steps
Puppies are walking pretty well at this point and their gait becomes similar to an adult dog. This time is full of exploration, from their environment to their littermates. The puppies learns social skills and experience emotional development. Puppies are able to identify their own species. They can also form bonds with others outside of their kind, including humans.
Fourth week - early socialization
The puppies learn how to interact with their littermates and adult dogs.
Social play is an important aspect of this stage. They play fight and communicate with their littermates and humans and begin playing with toys.
At this point, most of them have a full set of teeth. They have started to eat soft foods (homemade fresh cottage cheese made with goat's milk) in addition to the milk they are getting from their mother. We prep food for puppies every day, and puppies love this diet - they are growing and eating more and more everyday.
This is a great time for exposure to new experiences as the puppies are fearless in exploring their environment.
Early socialization during this period is important in that it will shape the puppies’ later relationships with humans and other dogs.