Labrador Retriever is the most famous dog breed of the United States originating from Newfoundland. It is a trusting and kind dog breed that every family admires.

All dogs go through certain development phases before becoming an adult. Similaryly, the Labrador Retriever also passes through a series of development phases before hitting adulthood. Here are details about the stages that it passes through.

Newborn Stage

The Labrador Retriever puppies are born at the end of 9 weeks of pregnancy with their ears and eyes completely closed. Despite having a fur coat, the newborn puppies cannot maintain their body temperature. For this, they rely on their mother and littermates.

A Labrador Mother with her puppies. Image Source: Instagram@maxyfiore

The Labrador Retriever puppies are also toothless, but can however suck their mother’s breast to feed. They are completely dependent on the care of their mother.

Note: Once Labrador Gave Birth to a Rare Green Puppy in Scotland.

Neonatal Stage (Birth to 2 weeks)

The Labrador Retriever puppies grow rapidly during their first week to ten days and are also likely to double their birth weight. Changes under eyelids will take place in the first week and eyes will open partially or fully in the second week. Ears will also open and they will be able to hear.

Transitional Stage (2 to 4 weeks)

The Labrador Retriever puppies are able to stand and sit in the third week. Furthermore, they will start interacting with their siblings beginning play and will start growling at one another. The puppies start running and playing along with wagging their tails.

A Labrador Retriever puppy playing.

Senses of hearing and smelling develop and the mother and littermates of the Retriever puppies influence their behaviors.

Socialization Stage (4 to 12 weeks)

Socialization Stage is a very important stage for the Labrador Retriever puppies. They’ll need occasions to meet other dogs, pets and new people. Influence with their littermates increases as they learn more about being a dog. Not only that, but interaction with people also becomes influencial.

Also, the Labrador Retriever puppies learn to play, develop social skills and learn the soft mouth bite. They have full use of their senses within 7 to 9 weeks and become eligible for beginning the elementary training.

Ranking Stage (3 to 6 months)

In this stage, the Labrador Retriever puppies are influenced by their pack members. They are likely to use ranking (dominance and submission) within their pack.

Two Labrador Retriever puppies playing with each other. Image Source: Instagram@paws_and_affection

Teeth development is completed during this stage. As a result, the Labrador puppies start teething and chewing. Positive reinforcement and kindness are very important to control these habits.

Adolescent Stage (6 to 18 months)

Adolescent Stage begins with the Labrador Retriever puppies challenging people as a part of exploring their dominance in the “pack”. They begin exploring more for extending their territory. Sexual behaviors and emotions are very well developed this time. Formal training is a very important part during this stage.

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