How Do Dogs Grow and Develop?

While it varies slightly by breed, puppies usually go through five stages, including the neonatal stage, the transitional stage, the socialization stage, the ranking stage and the adolescence stage before becoming fully developed dogs, notes the Dog Time website. It is in these stages that the animal is most influenced by its surroundings and able to learn behavior from other dogs as well as humans.

The following is a list of stages that dogs go through after birth, as described by the Dog Time site.

  • Neonatal stage
  • This stage takes place immediately after birth for about 2 weeks. The dog has taste and touch and is influenced by the mother.

  • Transitional stage
  • The dog is influenced by mother and litter mates. The senses of smell and hearing start to develop, and the dog opens its eyes.

  • Socialization stage
  • The dog begins to play and learns how to interact with family members, other animals, and humans.

  • Ranking stage
  • The dog starts teething and chewing. The dog also starts to fall into a rank based off of its family dynamic.

  • Adolescence stage
  • The dog now starts to challenge others to learn about its dominance and who dominates it. It is largely influenced by human interaction and starts experiencing sexual behavior.

  • Beyond the adolescence stage
  • The dog is now fully sexually developed and socially developed. This stage starts around 2 years after birth.