Puppy Development From Newborn to One Week Old

By now, you’ve seen the photos of puppies in every adorable pose imaginable. But as much as we love to look at those photos, many of us don’t actually know what’s going on with these little guys during their first few weeks of life.

While there are many differences between puppies and human babies—we hope you’re never tempted to lick up a mess your puppy has made—there is one big thing they have in common: their rapid growth during the first few weeks of life.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what your new puppy will be doing at one week old so you can better prepare to bring home your newest family member.

Puppies really aren’t anything like babies, but they do have a similar time of rapid growth and development while they’re very young. If you’re considering getting a puppy, knowing what to expect can be helpful.

Puppies really aren’t anything like babies, but they do have a similar time of rapid growth and development while they’re very young. If you’re considering getting a puppy, knowing what to expect can be helpful.

Puppies need to be fed, cleaned up after and cared for like babies. They also need to be socialized (introduced to other people and animals), trained (learned basic obedience commands) and loved on by their owners just like human infants do.

And just like children, it’s important that puppies have safe places where they can play safely away from danger—whether it’s electrical cords or hot ovens!

When you first bring home your new pup, he or she will likely sleep most of the day in order for his/her body to adjust from being inside his/her mother’s womb into being outside in the real world with all its sights sounds smells etcetera…

Here’s what your puppy will be up to at around one week old.

At around one week old, you’ll notice that your puppy’s eyes are still closed and he or she is more like a little jellybean than a puppy. However, they can hear and react to sounds.

Your pup will have started growing its sharp baby teeth by this age, but won’t have all of them in yet! In addition, his or her sense of taste will be completely developed by now—which means that those milk-filled bottles you’re feeding him or her should be coming with lots of tasty treats on the side!

Sleeping and waking up

Your puppy will spend the first two to three weeks of his life sleeping more than he is awake.

Your puppy’s sleep patterns are very different from those of an adult dog, so it’s important that you learn how to read them correctly and adapt your expectations accordingly.

Your puppy will need lots of sleep during this time because she is growing quickly, but if she sleeps too long it could be a sign that something is wrong with her health or environment.

It’s normal for puppies under one week old to sleep most of the day and night; however, some breeds are known for having shorter periods between waking and sleeping than others do, which can make it difficult for owners who want their dogs on a more traditional schedule (such as going out every morning).

Eyes, ears, and other senses

When you bring home your new puppy, its eyes will be open and it will be able to hear. At birth the sense of smell, taste and touch are developed; however, they’ll continue to develop as your puppy grows older.

If you have a newborn puppy that’s been separated from its mother or if it was born in outside conditions (such as being left on someone’s doorstep), it needs special care during this time because its immune system isn’t fully developed yet and can make them more susceptible to disease.


Puppies start walking at about the same time as babies, around four weeks old. They will begin by walking on their own, but will look like they’re falling over every few steps. Their legs will be straight and their feet may kick out to the sides when they walk.

You should not worry if this happens; it is normal for puppies to walk this way initially while they learn how to move correctly with their legs bent inward toward each other.

When you see your puppy starting to wiggle around more than usual (usually after a nap), that’s a good indication that they’re ready to start learning how to walk! When you do see your pup trying this new skill out, try clapping and encouraging them every step of the way so they know what behavior gets praised by you!

Socialization, first steps

It’s important that you get your puppy started on a good track. The first step is socialization, which is about getting your pup comfortable with other dogs and people. It also helps him learn how to interact with others, both of his kind and humans. During this time, he’ll start learning how to walk around without falling over, sit down when asked and lie down when tired or scared.

He can also start learning new tricks like rolling over or playing catch with a tennis ball! If you don’t have another dog in the house for him to play with yet—and if not, we recommend finding one soon—you can set up an appointment at a local training facility near you so they know what he needs help with before his first vet visit later this week (see below).


There’s a lot puppies go through during their first week of life, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re curious about what happens to puppies over the next few weeks, check out our other articles on puppy development.