Four weeks - the puppies should be weaned on to a solid diet.
Six weeks - legally puppies should not be sold at less than this age.
Eight weeks - Ideally a puppy should be at least this age when they go to a new home as this allows for the mother to have completed her disciplinary training of the pups, such as teaching
This time is very important for the pups as they learn how to interact and communicate with other dogs properly. However, not every mother is good at discipline and in large litters not every mother
can interact with them all, so if they are left with their siblings too long some may become bullies.
For a photographic catalogue of puppies development from birth to leaving home, see the Puppies section of our Gallery.
The breeder should supply all the necessary paperwork and a diet sheet detailing exactly what, how much, and when the pup is fed. It is very important not to change the diet immediately as
this can cause stomach upset.
Remember it will be stressful for the pup to leave its family and to go into a new home with virtual strangers. Allow the pup time to adjust to its new environment and people.
Try and keep everything calm and gentle in order that every new experience for your new pup is a nice one. It is important for the puppy’s happy adjustment that the puppy’s new life is
Twelve weeks - at about this stage your puppy should have his first trim, a video and other guidelines can be found on the grooming and puppy
Dentition and Puppy Teeth:
Most puppies will begin losing their baby teeth and replacing them with adult teeth at around 12 weeks.
Here are a few tips to loosen baby teeth:
Toys are important for all puppy development and when pups are teething their gums become red and swollen and have teeth which are like little needles!
Therefore, chewing on strong, safe toys or raw foods such as frozen carrots and frozen apple slices help.
Also try a few facecloths; tie a knot in the middle, then wet and put them in a zip bag and place
in the freezer. These facecloths should be used one at a time. The facecloths, frozen carrots and apples
will cool the puppy’s swollen gums and help to loosen and hook out the baby teeth.
Frequently, the baby canine teeth can grow alongside the new adult canine teeth (see Puppy 2 photos) and may appear misaligned. The bottom teeth may also look as if they are piercing the top gums, this is a natural process, the vast majority of puppies go on to develop normal dentition, and require no veterinary intervention. Only patience is required!
The photographs of two Wheaten Terrier puppies are shown depicting the typical progression of teeth
development; Puppy 1 from 8 weeks to 11.5 months and Puppy 2 shows what double canines look like!
At 8 weeks the gums are swollen as the puppy’s baby teeth break through the gums.
Puppy1 at 8wks. Left side
Puppy1 at 8wks. Right side
The following four images show Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 at 5.5 months.
These illustrate the difference in teeth maturity, which are both perfectly normal, as puppies develop at different rates.
Also Puppy 2 has double canines and the gums are swollen and the owner says a week later the baby canines had dropped out!
It is only in very rare cases, that the upper and bottom canine teeth are retained and require surgery. Please give puppy teeth time to mature naturally before seeking and allowing any Veterinary intervention.
Puppy1 at 5.5mths. Left side
Puppy1 at 5.5mths. Right side
Puppy2 at 5.5mths with double canines. Left side
Puppy2 at 5.5mths with double canines. Right side
Puppy 1 by 11.5 months, the teeth on Puppy1 are fully developed.
Usually puppies are fed four times a day until they are twelve weeks, three times a day until they are six months and then twice a day for the
rest of their lives.
For a puppy's first few months in its new home the breeders should give advice about the type and quantity of food needed.
For the adult dog there is a confusing amount of dog food on the market.
Just how much exercise is enough for your young puppy? View this Guide for safe exercise limits (opens as a
Your puppy is allowed to go out after his vaccinations, but it is a big mistake to go for a long hike in the hope of tiring him
out. His young bones and joints and growth plates are just not developed enough to withstand this. Have a look at the page on Luxating
Patella. He will become over-tired and grumpy, you may hurt the pads on his feet and he may well end up with an aversion to going on the lead.
Two ten minute walks each day are adequate for a young pup – couple this with the mental stimulation of training and play and you will have a happy, tired puppy.
Work up to taking your pup on two 25 to 30 minute walks when he is six months old.
An adult Wheaten should be given at least 25 - 30 minutes walk twice each day.
How do I know when my puppy has stopped growing?
Puppies grow at different rates - this video explains what to look for: