Early Rearing Environment

Additional Resource

A supportive environment during the first 3 weeks of life is important for normal puppy development. This Animal Care Aid is part of a series developed to provide information about behavioral development in dogs. Refer to the other topics in the series for more information on socialization and maternal stress. PRACTICAL TIP Handling puppies daily is a good way to monitor their health, provide prompt veterinary care when necessary, and begin to socialize them. At birth, the puppy’s brain, spinal cord, and nerves are not fully developed. The early weeks are a period of rapid change, both physically and behaviorally.

USDA (2019). Early Rearing Environment. Retrieved June 20, 2023, from https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/downloads/dangerous-animals/ACaids_Canine-EarlyRearing_AC-19-006_6.19.pdf

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Topic(s): Behavior, Breeder Resource, Developmental Stages, ENS, Puppy Development