Sheltie Puppy Development in 16 Pictures
How do Sheltie puppies develop and what do they look like growing up? Sheltie puppies go through rapid developments after birth, maturing into adult dogs by 1-2 years. Check out these growth stages in photos.
Newborn Sheltie puppies are completely vulnerable. Their eyes are closed, they can't hear, and they even need help from mom to pee and poop. Their bodies have only a fine layer of fur, so they huddle up to mom and their litter mates to keep warm. Their first experience is being licked clean by their mother's tongue.
Neonatal Shelties: 0 to 2 Weeks Old
In the first week of life, Sheltie puppies sleep and feed lots, enabling them to more than double their weight. They're too weak to support their own weight though and can only slither across the ground by wiggling their legs. They do have a good sense of smell and touch at this point which helps them feed.
Transitional Shelties: 2 to 4 Weeks Old
From 2 weeks old, Sheltie puppies open their eyes and ears, enabling them to receive lots of stimulus and explore their new world. They start to communicate through yelps and yaps, and can stand and walk by 3 weeks old. They start to play, become independent from mom, and poop away from their sleeping area.
Socializing Shelties: 4 to 10 Weeks Old
This is a critical Sheltie growth stage, not just physically but socially too. During the 4-10 week window, puppies learn how to interact with litter mates and people. They learn about bite inhibition, where play bites are met with yelps and withdrawal, so they don't do it again. Socializing Shelties is a complex process of learning and sets the rules for attachment for life.
Weaning Shelties: 8 to 12 Weeks Old
Weaning is usually done by 8 weeks old, so that puppies are no longer dependent on mom's milk and can chew solid food with their puppy teeth. They're adopted out to new families now to catch the bonding window. However, it's also when puppies go through a stage of fear, and they need extra help at this point to gain confidence and form secure attachments. Puppy training and housetraining can also take place from now.
The Ranking Stage: 3 to 6 Months Old
These playful puppies are like little kids now - curious and bursting with energy. The ranking stage is named for the dominance hierarchy common to all dogs and wolves. Puppies learn the rules of submission and dominance and find their place (their rank) in the pack.
Sheltie Adolescence: 6 to 18 Months Old
In this final stage of puppy development, Shelties cement their place in the human and dog pack. They are heavily influenced by their pack, so this is an ideal time to expand on basic training commands established as a puppy. They're still very energetic and males have the highest amounts of testosterone at this age, although this can be reduced with neutering by 1 year old (see The Pros and Cons of Neutering).
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