Click on logo for map to Second Chance

CenTex Humane Society
“Second Chance”
No-Kill Animal Shelter

5501 Clear Creek Rd., Killeen, TX 76549

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 (254) 526-6200

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Puppy Development 

  Monday-Friday Noon to 5pm • Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm

Find out what animals are available for
ADOPTION
 from the CenTex Humane Society at Petfinder.org

Developmental stages of a puppy
Copyright 2000. Dumb Friends League. All rights reserved.

The following chart provides general guidelines for the stages of puppy development.

0 - 2 weeks = Neonatal

  • Most influenced by their mother.
  • Touch and taste present at birth.

2 - 4 weeks = Transitional

  • Most influenced by their mother and littermates.
  • Eyes open, teeth erupt, hearing and smell developing.
  • Beginning to stand, walk a little, wag, bark.
  • By four or five weeks, sight is well-developed.

12 weeks = Socialization

  • During this period, puppies need opportunities to meet other dogs and people.
  • By four to six weeks they’re most influenced by their littermates and are learning about being a dog.
  • From four to 12 weeks they’re most influenced by their littermates and people. They’re also learning to play, including social skills, inhibited bite, social structure/ranking and physical coordination.
  • By three to five weeks they’re becoming aware of their surroundings, companions (dogs and people) and relationships, including play.
  • By five to seven weeks they’re developing curiosity and exploring new experiences. They need positive "people" experiences during this time.
  • By seven to nine weeks they’re refining they’re physical skills/coordination (including housetraining) and full use of senses.
  • By eight to ten weeks they experience real fear -- when puppies can be alarmed by normal objects and experiences and need positive training.
  • By nine to 12 weeks they’re refining reactions, social skills (appropriate interactions) with littermates and are exploring the environment, spaces and objects. Beginning to focus on people. This is a good time to begin training.

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3 - 6 months = Ranking

  • Most influenced by "littermates" (playmates now include those of other species).
  • Beginning to see and use ranking (dominant and submissive) within the pack, including humans.
  • Teething (and associated chewing).
  • At four months they experience another fear stage.
  • 6 - 18 months = Adolescence
  • Most influenced by human and dog "pack" members.
  • At seven to nine months they go through a second chewing phase -- part of exploring territory.
  • Heightened exploration of dominance, including challenging humans.

If not spayed or neutered, beginnings of sexual

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The Central Texas Humane Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
All content copyright ©2006 CenTex Humane Society.