Sheltie Planet: Your Complete Guide to Everything Sheltie

Sheltie Puppy Development in 16 Pictures

By Rebecca Turner - download her Sheltie Anthology today


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 Shelties

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.

Newborn Sheltie at Birth

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.

Shelties at 2 Weeks Old

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.

Shelties at 3 Weeks Old

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.

Shelties at 6 Weeks Old

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.

Shelties at 8 Weeks Old Shelties at 9 Weeks Old

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 Puppy Development at 3 Months Old Sheltie Puppy Development at 4 Months Old Sheltie Puppy Development at 5 Months Old Sheltie Puppy Development at 6 Months Old

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).

Sheltie Puppy Development at 7 Months Old Sheltie Development at 8 Months Old Sheltie Growth Stages: 9 Months Old Sheltie Growth Stages: 10 Months Old Sheltie Growth Stages: 11 Months Old Sheltie Growth Stages: 12 Months Old

Thanks for checking out our Sheltie puppy development in pictures. Please share it with your dog-loving friends!

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Author Bio

Rebecca Turner is a writer studying for a BSc in Zoology at Massey University. She's taken care of Shelties for 10 years and written 100+ articles about the breed. Rebecca has a passion for animal biology and evolution which she writes about on her websites Sheltie Planet and Science Me. Visit Rebecca on LinkedIn or download her complete guide to Shetland Sheepdogs: The Sheltie Anthology.