How could you not love puppies? We are hard-wired to find these miniature tail waggers irresistible. Their squishy, adorable faces, wet noses and tiny paws, you just want to eat up, capture us at a primordial level. But there’s actually a lot more to these downy little cuddle monsters.
10. Puppies are born helpless.
Like humans, puppies are born without teeth. However, unlike humans, a newborn puppy can’t hear, see or smell, either.
When a puppy is first born, it only responds to warmth and touch.
A puppy doesn’t open its eyes or begin to hear until it’s about 1 to 2 weeks old and doesn’t develop full sight until about 6 weeks. They can’t smell much until about three weeks old. Until then, it’s very important for the mini-pooch to stay close to mom and its siblings to eat and grow properly.
9. Puppies sleep a LOT
When it comes to sleeping, the newborn puppy isn’t much different from us humans. A puppy gets about 15 to 20 hours of sleep per day. Must be nice. The average newborn human sleeps 16.
And like its human counterpart, the tiny canine spends the rest of its day eating. For the new puppy, a lot of growth happens in the first few weeks. A puppy attains half its adult weight at about 14 weeks of age, or five months for large breeds.
8. Your puppy can understand your gestures
Your puppy can understand human social cues like pointing, but it’s something that it learns over time. In 2007, researchers tested 6-, 8-, 16-, and 24-week-old puppies on their ability to decode a human’s finger point.
Though these researchers reported that dogs of all ages could understand the cue and use it to find food under a cup, Subsequent analysis by another research group showed that those skills improved over time.
Not surprisingly, the older the pups were, the better they were able to understand the pointing and choose the correct cup.
7. The word puppy is pretty old
The word puppy has been used for a young dog since the 15th century. It likely evolved from Middle French poupée meaning “doll or toy”. Meaning shifted from “toy dog” to “young dog” in the 1590s, replacing the Middle English word “whelp”.
We still find the word “whelp’ used in modern English as both a noun meaning puppy and more so as a verb for the process of a female dog giving birth. ie whelping a litter of puppies.
The word pup is also used for young sharks and seals since the 19th century and has extended to young giraffes, guinea pigs, and rats.
6. Speaking of whelping
How many puppies a dog whelps varies by her breed. While a 2011 study of birth data from 224 dog breeds found that the average purebred dog litter consisted of five or so puppies (5.4, to be exact), older and smaller dogs tend to have fewer pups.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks gave birth to the most puppies (an average of 8.9 puppies per litter), while toy Poodles and Pomeranians gave birth to an average of 2.4 puppies at a time.
Fun fact: The most puppies in a single litter were 24, born in 2004 to a Neapolitan Mastiff in Cambridgeshire.
5. Puppy Pee Cosmetics?
The Oxford Dictionary defines “puppy-water” as an obsolete word meaning “the urine of a puppy, formerly used as a cosmetic”.
Yeah, you heard right, puppy pee as a cosmetic. Puppy water’ was a rare but highly regarded cosmetic. It was supposedly good for removing wrinkles, tightening and lightening the skin and eradicating blemishes.
This recipe for ‘puppy water’ appeared in the Book of Receipts, an almanac of recipes and home cures published in 1684 by author Mary Doggett.
We’ll stick to teaching our puppies to pee outside, but thanks.
4. Keep your puppy’s name short
Puppies only listen to the initial syllable of a word- So if your pup is named ‘Princess Prancy Butt’ then the only part of the name that your little girl will come to recognize is ‘Prin’
Trainers say that your pup will learn and more quickly respond to short sounds, making training easier and long-term control of the dog easier; even three syllable words can be confusing for some dogs.
So, when should you start training your puppy? The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) states: “In general, puppies should start socialization classes as early as 7-8 weeks of age.
In other words, don’t wait until your new pup develops behavioural issues to start training.
3. Your puppy matures pretty quickly
At one year old, your puppy is no longer considered a puppy. Your little one has become an adult. On average, by the time it reaches 1 year of age, it’s matured as much as a 15-year-old human.
Many dogs will continue to mature after 1 year, but it’s more mentally than physically.
2. Your puppy can have her own puppies
Most pups can be spayed or neutered between 6 and 9 months.
Researchers found that 43 percent of puppy litters in were unplanned—about 2.6 million compared to 3.38 million planned litters.
Each day in the US, 15 dogs are born to each human born. As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all these unfortunate pups. Please spay or neuter your pup…
1. Why are puppies so cute?
All those facts are fine you say, but what is it about these young animals that make our hearts melt? There are certain features that many baby mammals have in common and these are the triggers that make them appear cute.
Known as ‘baby schema’, these include big eyes, large heads, chubby bodies and soft textures. Babies have these traits, as do puppies.
When we look at a puppy, our brains recognize the features that make us relate to our own young, as outlined in baby schema, and this causes a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine, the chemical is involved when we fall in love, and it is an enjoyable feeling.
The release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and oxytocin are also associated with the ‘reward’ pathway in our brains.
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