Newborn puppies are completely dependent on their mothers for their care and feeding. While these younglings are able to crawl around a bit, they won't begin to walk until around 3 weeks of age. Dogs this young won't be too steady on their feet, but he'll soon they'll develop the coordination they need to begin running around in no time.
At birth, a puppy has the ability only to crawl short distances to locate his mother's teats, by following his sense of smell so he can feed. By about 2 weeks of age, the little one's eyes and ears open, giving him the ability to see and hear. At around the same time, he and his siblings will begin to stand up and walk a little bit on their own, according to the Brightwood Animal Hospital. Your little one will walk about slowly and unsteadily for a week or so as he gains coordination.
Walking and Running
Around 4 weeks, your puppy is no longer reliable solely on his mother to keep him warm; by now he can urinate and defecate on his own. About this time but he'll likely be running around and playing with all of his littermates. With his newfound independence, he'll begin playing games with his siblings and learning important social behaviors. Around 5 weeks old, your puppy will start to explore the area of your home outside of his nest box, so you'll need to supervise him and his littermates, according to the website of Austin, Texas. When he reaches 6 to 7 weeks of age, he'll be able to walk, run and play with confidence.
Walking on a Leash
Begin training your puppy to walk on a leash when he reaches 8 to 10 weeks of age. This is the age that you can safely separate a pup from his mom and littermates to rehome him, according to the Hartz website. Start little Eddie off with a light, pup-size collar you can attach a light leash to, the Cesar's Way website recommends. Get him used to the collar and leash by giving him treats and engaging him in fun games with his favorite toys while he's wearing them. Encourage your pup to walk while on the leash by tempting him forward with treats and keep him from pulling on the leash with a treat held at your side.
Put down some soft blankets or rugs for your pup if you have slippery floors. These items provide Eddie's little paws traction as he develops his coordination. Begin socializing your puppy to other people and pets when he's fully mobile, but do so only with animals you know are healthy. Your puppy won't have all of his vaccinations until he's around 4 months old, depending on the date of his first one. Potty-train him using newspapers indoors at first, progressing to outdoor potty training when he's leash trained so he won't accidentally run off.
By Susan Paretts
Brightwood Animal Hospital: Canine Raising Puppies
Hartz: Milestones in a Puppy's Development
AustinTexas.gov: Nursing Mothers and Their Puppies
PetEducation.com: Caring for Newborn Puppies & Their Mother
Koret Shelter Medicine Program: Canine: Guide to Raising Orphan Puppies
The Complete Care of Baby Animals: Expert Advice on Raising Orphaned, Adopted, or Newly Bought Kittens, Puppies, Foals, Lambs, Chicks, and More; C.E. Spaulding and Jackie Clay
Cesar's Way: Introducing a Puppy to Walk on a Leash
2ndChance.info: Ain't Misbehavin' - Training Your New Puppy
About the Author
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.