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Timeline: Birth  to  8 Weeks

There is a lot that goes into raising a litter of puppies!  Once the puppies are born, this timeline will guide you through what each of our puppies experiences week by week while here at Pleasant Meadows.  We want to give each one of our puppies the best possible start in life, and we recognize the need for early stimulation, daily handling of the puppies with lots of love, cuddles, and kisses, and proper socialization to help give each puppy a solid grounding in life.  We will be sending out updates at two, four, six, and eight weeks of age, and the rest of the information can be found in this timeline below -- we simply couldn't fit every important detail into an update, so we added it here!  Some puppies advance faster than others and each litter needs to be treated as individual, and so if there is a difference in the "normal timeline", it will be noted in our bi-weekly updates.

You can jump to a specific week of puppy development by using the menu on the RIGHT to zip down to exactly where you want to go!

Birth to 2 days of age

Birth to 2 days of age:

All puppies are born with closed eyes and ears (they cannot see or hear until later), so their only senses at birth are smell, taste, and touch. Our puppies experience the sensation of human touch right from the moment they are born as we assist the mother in birthing, clamping of the umbilical cord, recording the gender and markings of each puppy born (for later identification), and assisting each puppy to nurse from the mother right away.  The puppies locate their mother's nipples by their keen inborn sense of smell.

For the first couple of days we handle the puppies only when necessary, to weigh the puppies daily to ensure that each puppy is gaining weight and growing (indicator whether or not a puppy is getting sufficient milk from the mother), and if any other assistance is required.

We also observe the puppies closely to make sure that they are all nursing properly, and eliminating (peeing and pooping), moving around and sleeping normally, and that the puppies are neither too hot or too cold.

Day 3 to 16 days of age

Day  3  to  16  days:

Within this time frame we will begin neurological stimulation based on the research and program developed by Arskeusky, Kellogg, and Yearkes and the "Bio Sensor" program (later known as the "Super Dog Program") which is highly endorsed by Dr. Carmen Battaglia. This program promotes early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. It's development utilizes six exercises which were designed to stimulate the neurological system.  This involves handling each puppy once per day, one at a time, while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in order of preference, the handler starts with one pup and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup.

Benefits of Stimulation

Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor
stimulation exercises. The benefits noted were:


1. Improved cardio vascular performance (heart rate)
2. Stronger heart beats,
3. Stronger adrenal glands,
4. More tolerance to stress, and
5. Greater resistance to disease.


In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non-stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.


Secondary effects were also noted regarding test performance. In simple problem solving tests using detours in a maze, the non-stimulated pups became extremely aroused, whined a great deal, and made many errors. Their stimulated littermates were less disturbed or upset by test conditions and when comparisons were made, the stimulated littermates were more calm in the test environment, made fewer errors and gave only an occasional distress sound when stressed. 


For information on this program in greater detail please CLICK HERE and watch the video below:

The "Bio Sensor" program in no way replaces the need for "normal" interaction with each puppy such as petting, cuddling, kisses, playing, etc. It is separate stimulation that has been proven to create better well rounded and confident dogs.

Somewhere during day 10 and 14, the puppies eyes and ears will open so that they can begin to see and hear the world around them.  Mental growth and physical development accelerate from this point onward due to the visual and auditory stimulation, as well as, muscle growth as the puppies increase their activity.

2 to 3 week of age

2  to  3  weeks of age:

The "Bio Sensor" program carries over 2 days into the 2nd week of age.

Two weeks of age marks a pivotal point in a puppy's life because of all the vital steps that need to be introduced this week. One of those steps is the very early stages of weaning the puppies from their mother, and this should always be done gradually and carefully!  The weaning process is done over the next 4 weeks of age so that it is introduced to the puppies in baby steps to avoid stress and in order that we can have our puppies weaned by 6 weeks of age, so that enough time remains for us to devote the final 2 weeks to establish each puppy on a feeding schedule that will allow the puppy a smoother transition into a new home.  We also want to ensure that each puppy is eating a sufficient amount of kibbles and drinking sufficient water.  Weaning the puppies by 6 weeks of age only means that the puppies are no longer nursing from the mother by 6 weeks, not that the mother is absent entirely. This careful weaning process will be explained throughout this timeline.  Please take a look at our Puppy Weaning Stages page for a complete and individualized breakdown of the process.

At 2 weeks of age we offer 1 to 2 meals of goats milk per day depending on how much milk the mother got in to begin with, and the puppies will still have full day/night access to their mom.

The puppies are dewormed at 2 weeks of age with Drontal ( StrongidT or Nemex may also be used -- all of those varieties are safe for 2 week old puppies).

When the puppies eyes and ears open, we begin to introduce them to auditory stimulation which includes:​


  • human voices

  • doors opening/closing

  • footsteps

  • sound machine (various sounds such as static noise, rain falling, thunderstorms and other nature sounds, etc.)

  • music (various CD's, Radio)

  • vacuum


During the early stages of their eyes and ears opening, there is a window of "no fear" where puppies can be introduced to various sights and sounds that if introduced at a later date may be harder for puppies to accept without fear.  A puppy may still show some fear later on, but it will make the experience a lot easier for the puppy to overcome.


Our puppies will be visually introduced to:​


  • humans (us and trusted friends or family)

  • various coloured whelping pads (the warm comfortable liners for our whelping boxes)

  • soft plush toys of various shapes, sizes, and colours

  • change of environment for puppy update photos at 2 weeks of age (usually a brightly coloured photo set)


With hearing and sight, the puppies have a whole new miniature world before them in their whelping box.  They begin to walk and investigate everything through continued tactile, visual, and auditory exploration.  Their physical, mental, and social growth expands greatly during this phase.  We will continue to monitor their weight at this time when we introduce them to tasting goats milk in preparation for the weaning process.  See our Puppy Weaning Stages page.

Below are just a few examples of the different types of sounds that our puppies hear throughout their 8 weeks here with us:

By 3 weeks the puppies are walking around on wobbly legs and the start of playing with their littermates is evident.  The puppies are held and played with daily to further their social interaction skills, and to create bonds with humans.

3 to 4 weeks of age

3  weeks to  4  weeks:

At 3 weeks of age we offer 2 to 3 meals of goats milk per day depending on how much milk the mother has, and the puppies will still have full day/night access to their mom. 

At this stage the puppies are playing fairly actively and are beginning to learn social skills from each other.  To continue their physical and mental stimulation we rotate a vast variety of educational toys every 1-3 days depending on cleanliness needs.  These brightly coloured toys include:

  • soft, plush stuffies (for comfort and texture)

  • an array of balls with rattles, bells, and lights (for general interest and sight and sound stimulation)

  • rubber puppy chew toys (to help stimulate their gums while their teeth are erupting)

  • crinkly toys (for auditory and mental stimulation)

Above are some examples of toys that may be used from 2 weeks onward.

Socially, as the puppies learn how to play, they will learn key behaviours such as what is known as "bite and be bitten" (if they bite their sibling, the sibling will bite back) which is not a form of aggression, but rather a very important lesson in the social structure of a dog pack.  We continue to hold and play with the puppies daily.

At this stage the puppies nails will have grown sufficiently to need trimming, so we introduce them to this for the first time, and take the opportunity to brush their fur as well.

4 to 5 week of age

4 weeks to  5  weeks:

At 4 weeks of age we offer 3 to 4 meals of goats milk per day, and by this time we are also introducing pre-soaked kibbles that are mashed up to be about an "oatmeal" consistency, and the puppies will have access to the mother for a few hours in the afternoon (they usually feed 2-3 meals from their mother during this afternoon time) and then again throughout the night.

Please, once again, be sure to read the Puppy Weaning Stages page for a complete individualized breakdown of the weaning stage. In the video you can see puppies from Norah x Idris 2015 drinking some goats milk with pre-soaked kibbles that have been mashed up to about an "oatmeal" consistency.

The puppies are again dewormed with Drontal (StrongidT or Nemex may also be used).

At 4 weeks we expand their small world and move them from their whelping box to a puppy pen within the puppy room which gives them more play space and an introduction to pee-pad training.  While the puppies were in the whelping box they were accustomed to a quilted pad, and when we transition them to the pen area they have a rubber mat for the flooring as well as a towel or fleece pad area for a change in textural stimulation. Once the puppies have caught on to the pee-pad training we introduce them to a puppy bed for a place to sleep in preparation for crate training to follow.

These stuffies show an example of a random assortment of the type of toys the puppies will play with from 4 weeks onward.

Above is an example of the whelping box where the puppies are born and spend the first 3 weeks of life.  Pictured are Norah x Idris's litter 2015.

To the left shows an example of a transitional puppy pen from the whelping box, implementing the pee-pad, also textural stimulation with the towel, the introduction of a puppy hut/bed as a precursor to the crate, as well as an introduction to water from a bowl. The pen will be enlarged as the puppies grow and need more space and have mastered the pee-pad training. Pictured is Rhianna x Idris's puppies 2014.

5 to 6 weeks of age

5 weeks to 6 weeks:

At 5 weeks of age we will be feeding 4 to 5 meals of pre-soaked whole kibbles (made soft with water), portions according to the size of each puppy. Only a small amount of goats milk is added if "comfort food" is needed.  The puppies will have access to the mother for 1 afternoon feeding and then again night time only, and this depends on how much milk the mother still has for her puppies.

The puppies are introduced to activity play centres for added stimulation.  These provide fun activities with a variety of textures, sounds, and bright colours.  Pee-pad training continues, and by now they are enjoying full-out-play with their siblings, and are able to make sense of the things in their environment.  The puppies start to view people as providers and look forward to interaction.

Above are examples of the types of teething and rope toys that are used from 5 to 8  weeks. 

Below are examples of assorted types of balls that are used from 3 to 8 weeks.

Above are videos of one of our activity play centers and one of our musical tunnels for the puppies!

Up until this point (unless otherwise specified) the puppies have been in our puppy room (Please see our Puppy Room Tour video!), and we integrate them into our living space (usually in our kitchen or living room) in a safe enclosure.  They meet our other dogs throughout the day not only from the confines of their enclosure but with periodic monitored "free time" when they can investigate and play with our dogs -- this is a really fun learning experience for them!  They learn key social behaviours such as respecting their elders in that of our dogs, and learning to be submissive and share.  During this time of 5 to 8 weeks the puppies will experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of a household, which include but are not limited to:

Auditory . . .


  • cupboard doors opening and closing

  • drawers sliding out and in

  • household doors opening and closing

  • doorbell and knocking on door

  • rattling and clanging of pots and pans

  • scraping and stirring of cooking utensils

  • loading and unloading of dishwasher

  • running water

  • appliance sounds

  • radio and TV sounds

  • vacuuming

  • footsteps in the hall, on the stairs, etc.

Visual . . .


  • furniture and decor (in different rooms)

  • appliances

  • people (family and guests)

  • new rooms (new furniture in each room)

  • vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping (seeing it move)

  • food being prepared for people and for our dogs

  • groceries and other shopping items being carried into our home

  • garbage being carried out of our home

Smells . . .


  • food smells for people and dogs (baking and meal preparation)

  • laundry soap fragrances

  • air fresheners

  • candle fragrances

Puppies seeing and hearing the vacuum! Here you can see Isabella X Tobi's puppies 2016.