Featured articles

  • Puppy Proofing Your Home

    Puppies love to explore every corner of your house, and put everything in their mouths. Here are a few tips for preparing your home for your mini adventurer. Read more

  • Toilet Training Puppies

    Toilet training your puppy can be a frustrating – and messy – experience. Here are some tips to help make life easier and keep your home a little cleaner Read more

  • Puppy Socialisation

    Many behavioural problems in dogs are due to inappropriate or insufficient socialisation. So get puppy out there in the big wide world! Read more

Physical Changes

  • Puppies go on a remarkable journey of growth in the first year of their lives. As newborn pups they can't hear or see, but by 4 to 6 weeks old have all the senses working well and be able to walk and even run.
  • By 6 to 11 weeks old, puppies start to have much better bladder control and start sleeping through the night.
  • At around 3 to 4 months they will become stronger and start to engage in more robust activities.
  • Play fighting should be avoided or they will think this behaviour is acceptable
  • They also become sexually mature which can lead them to become increasingly rebellious.
  • By the end of their first year, puppies can differentiate the smell of one human from another and will have developed about 80% of their coordination and agility, as well as being about 80% of their adult size.
  • They will shed their baby coat as they develop their own distinctive coat and will have all 42 teeth which makes it easy to tear through furniture and other belongings.


  • When puppies are newborn they remain with their mother and litter mates, avoiding too much interaction with people.
  • Over their initial few weeks, handling by humans increases and is important to get them used to frequent handling to make grooming, cleaning teeth and administering medications much easier.
  • Traumatic experiences in the first 2 – 3 weeks can harm puppies for life so tried to try to avoid loud scary noises that make them scared and anxious.
  • By the fifth week, although still with the litter, they can be more exposed to everyday life being around other pets, family members and general background noise.
  • They should be occasionally isolated to get them ready for separation from mum and the litter.
  • Sleep and play areas should be separated so puppy can leave the sleeping area to go to the toilet. This will make housetraining much easier.
  • At 6 - 11 weeks the puppies start to go to their new home from the breeder.
  • It is time to start exposing them to people outside the family and teach them some simple commands. Now is the time to enrole them in puppy school.
  • 3 to 6 months is a key time for consistent obedience and behavioural training, when playfulness is in abundance and they discover their independence.
  • Short, fun, training sessions with positive rewards are recommended as you allow your puppy to socialise more fully around other people and animals.


  • Puppies will feed on their mother's milk until 4 or 5 weeks when Mum will start to wean them. Puppy food can then be slowly introduced by mixing one part water with 3 parts food to make it easier to digest.
  • From week 7 they should be fully weaned from their mother, able to eat dry puppy food and be able to lap water.
  • Throughout all stages of puppyhood it is important to make sure they are getting the right amount of calcium, protein and calories. See information on puppy diet.
  • At 3 months, teething can become an issue sometimes causing lack of appetite. Give them food that relieves the pressure of teething e.g. frozen raw chicken necks.
  • Don't let them chew on anything they can swallow – because their curious nature will probably ensure this happens.
  • Try to feed at the same time each day, introducing good habits to avoid obesity in adulthood.

Vaccinations and other preventative treatments

  • Pups need their first treatment for intestinal worms at 2 weeks of age with another at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of age. Following this they will need to be wormed every 3 months (every season) for the rest of their life. Canex® Puppy Suspension, Canex® tablets and palatable chews can be used for this purpose.
  • At 6 weeks start on flea prevention – Revolution®
  • First puppy vaccination due
  • At 10-12 weeks a second vaccination may be required. Depending on the vaccine protocol used by your veterinarian, a third vaccination may also be required at around 16-18 weeks of age.
  • At 12 weeks puppies should be on a heartworm preventative.
  • By six months puppies should have received all their vaccine shots
  • They can now be spayed or castrated (desexed)
  • Brush and comb their coat daily
  • Brush their teeth daily
  • Maintain heartworm, flea and worm prevention, and tick prevention in areas where they are a problem.