Q: When can I safely handle tiny puppies?

June 27, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2035 days ago

Mary T.

When can I start handling and playing (can you tell I can’t wait) with our tiny puppies?

Chosen Answer

Once puppies’ vision and hearing come into play, you can begin gentle handling. The puppies are ready to get to know you.

Born blind into a confusing world, puppies eyes don’t open their eyes for the first 10 to 18 days (even then, vision continues to develop) and they can’t hear much for 14 days. The dog's mother is likely to be protective, possessive, and properly concerned enough to take care of the pups herself. As soon as vision and hearing improves, puppies begin to explore — farther and farther from Mom — and then you can start gentle handling.

You could start handling earlier (keep it short and watch for Mom’s maternal instincts) for a positive outcome on the puppy’s behavior.

A handful of squirming puppy is a thing of joy.

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