Four weeks - the puppies should be weaned on to a solid diet.
Six weeks - legally puppies should not be sold at less than this age.
Eight weeks - Ideally a puppy should be at least this age when they go to a new home as this allows for the mother to have completed her disciplinary training of the pups, such as teaching bite inhibition.
This time is very important for the pups as they learn how to interact and communicate with other dogs properly. However, not every mother is good at discipline and in large litters not every mother can interact with them all, so if they are left with their siblings too long some may become bullies.
For a photographic catalogue of puppies development from birth to leaving home, see the Puppies section of our Gallery.
The breeder should supply all the necessary paperwork and a diet sheet detailing exactly what, how much, and when the pup is fed. It is very important not to change the diet immediately as this can cause stomach upset.
Remember it will be stressful for the pup to leave its family and to go into a new home with virtual strangers. Allow the pup time to adjust to its new environment and people.
Try and keep everything calm and gentle in order that every new experience for your new pup is a nice one. It is important for the puppy’s happy adjustment that the puppy’s new life is not overwhelming.
Twelve weeks - at about this stage your puppy should have his first trim, a video and other guidelines can be found on the grooming and puppy
Dentition and Puppy Teeth:
Most puppies will begin losing their baby teeth and replacing them with adult teeth at around 12 weeks. There are no hard and fast rules about how these changes take place and many owners may be blissfully unaware that it is happening, apart from possibly finding baby teeth on the floor or in toys.
Frequently during these changes, the baby canine teeth may appear alongside the new adult canine teeth and may appear misaligned but this should generally give no cause for concern!
Very rarely is it necessary to intervene with this natural process. The majority of puppies will quite naturally go on to develop a correct 'scissor bite' where the adult top teeth closely overlap the bottom teeth at the front of the mouth.
Monitoring the mouth to check that the bottom adult canine goes on to rest outside the upper gum is all that needs to be done and lots of opportunities to exercise the jaws, such as chewing on safe toys or raw food for those who prefer to feed their puppies that way will help the vast majority of puppies to develop their 'bites' normally.
If, in rare cases, the baby upper or bottom canine tooth is retained and as a result the adult canine begins to puncture the roof of the mouth, then it would be necessary to seek advice from a veterinary dental specialist.
Puppies should be fed four times a day until they are twelve weeks, three times a day until they are six months and then twice a day for the rest of their lives.
For a puppy's first few months in its new home the breeders should give advice about the type and quantity of food needed.
For the adult dog there is a confusing amount of dog food on the market.
Just how much exercise is enough for your young puppy?
Your puppy is allowed to go out after his vaccinations, but it is a big mistake to go for a long hike in the hope of tiring him out. His young bones and joints are just not developed enough to withstand this, he will become over-tired and grumpy, you may hurt the pads on his feet and he may well end up with an aversion to going on the lead.
Two ten minute walks each day are adequate for a young pup – couple this with the mental stimulation of training and play and you will have a happy, tired puppy.
Work up to taking your pup on two twenty minute walks when he is six months old, but see also the page on Luxating Patella.
An adult Wheaten should be given at least 20 minutes walk twice each day.
How do I know when my puppy has stopped growing?
Puppies grow at different rates - this video explains what to look for:
Here is an interesting web site which helps to estimate a pup's adult weight,
based on birth weight.
Simply select the breed and fill in the details. Tap/Click here (opens in a new window)