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Transitional Period 

Watch for eyes to open!
Handle each pup,
every day.

PHOTOS: I knew that it would be exciting to see eyes opening. But watching the ear canals develop from a flat surface took me be surprise. Seeing a pup startle at a noise for the first time is amazing.

Transitional Period ​
(Typically, Days 14-21)


At first, newborn pups have only smell and touch to guide them to mama, food and warmth. But somewhere around two weeks in, eyes begin to open, and ear canals deepen. This "transitional period" typically takes place from Day 14 to Day 21. You'll know your pups can suddenly hear when they first startle at that vacuum cleaner they used to ignore!

Keep in mind that the reason newborn ears and eyes are shut because they are still developing, and bright lights and loud sounds could harm them. Once they start to open, keep lights lower and sounds quieter that week. No flash photography, of course. 

The first half of this week, keep up the Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) exercises described on the previous page.​ Remember, the fancy name doesn't mean it's hard! It takes less than a minute per pup.

Once the pups can see their littermates, they begin to toddle over to chew on them. You know they’ve started on the concept of “self vs others” when they begin to bark and growl, and wag their tails. They are ready for socialization!

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