Gamechaser Labradors

Puppy Checklist for New Owners

Here is some helpful information about your puppy's development from birth until he/she reaches your family at 8 weeks of age, and upwards. I've also included a checklist for preparing your home and yourself for a new puppy.

Birth-WEEK 1:

The puppies are completely vulnerable to extreme heat and cold. They are blind and deaf and rely soley on their noses to sniff for mum's scent and her mammary glands. They can only crawl small distances and need warmth to be able to digest milk. They feed every 1-2 hours. I handle them gently but briefly so that mum doesn't stress. When I enter the room, they will smell my scent and become very familiar with me checking on them. Their sense of smell is incredible.


Puppy eyes and ears begin to open, though their sight isn't the best, only seeing shadows and they're very sensitive to light. They can move around more and are starting to find their legs. They feed 2 hourly and are still affected by heat and cold. They are 1st wormed at this age.


Puppies can move around well- they can stand upright and their legs will be getting stronger. They can see mum and people now and will be interacting with each other through play. They feed around every 3-4 hours and start to find their little voices through growling and barking.


Some mums will start to try and wean their pups, only feeding them a few times a day and giving them more time to themselves. Their little teeth start to break through their gums and they really like a good wrestle with their litter mates. They can start running around now. I start giving them a meal of sloppy solids (I call it M&M'S- minced chicken/beef and milk formula) which they love. They need a feed every 4 hours. They get wormed again for roundworm and hookworm.


I move the puppies outside into their puppy yards with their mum for support so they can experience grass and sunlight, light rain and the outdoor noises.They begin to get used to different noises and experiences in a safe environment. They also meet the other dogs that live here for socilaising. They're on solid meals 3 times a day with their mum feeding them during the night and a few times during the day.


Regular play/sleep sessions with each other happens multiple times a day. They start to establish dominance and submission over each other and how to interact with other dogs, as my older dogs are around them 2-3 times a day. They get fed 4 times a day with solid food (mince, soaked dry puppy biscuits, chopped chicken necks, milk formular drinks). Their mums will naturally want to spend very little time with them as they naturally wean them by this age. Pups will readily interact with people and other animals and are taking in all positive and negative experiences. I repeat worming.


Much of the same as in week 6, except there is plenty of human and dog interaction with them for critical socialising. I handle them regularly, picking them up and making sure they're confident and happy and I expose them to lots of different stimuli positively. 


Pups are ready to go to their new families. They're wanting to play and spend lots of time with humans as well as other animals. They get fed 3-4 times a day and their sleep, feed, play routine is very predictable at this age. Proper positive socialisation is critical at this age, as are your reactions to perceived negative experiences for your pup, (say, a loud crack of thunder. I would play with puppy with a toy or walk around the yard for a couple of minutes so that the 'frightening' experience is dulled down and puppy's attention was diverted in a positive way).


You will unfortunately lose some sleep the first 2-3 nights as puppy will cry. This is normal as pup has known the vital comforting scents of mum, siblings, our other dogs and us humans from the first breath. Now he/she is in a foreign place with strange unknown smells and sights. You can sleep with puppy if it suits you until he/she settles in an if you need your sleep. I do- but I get away with a lot lol and I love my sleep. You'll still likley get woken once in the night for a toilet trip. Don't despair though, your pup will bond closely with you and settle in before you know it.

Check all fencing for holes and weakness.If a head can fit, the body can fit.

Have a baby gate or two to fence off areas in the house where you can safely supervise your pup.(Stairs, hallways). We use puppy pens (hexagonal) in the dining or lounge areas (or where there's lots of stuff happening) so puppy is safe but feels included. You an eat, clean, shower,or sleep knowing that puppy is in a safe area unsupervised. We put a good thick blanket in and a water bowl as well as toys. Our dogs willingly go into their pens once they're tired and want to sleep.

Cover electrical wires or put them up out of reach.

Ensure puppy can't get into the pool area. Puppies can tragically drown as they exhaust themselves easily in the water.

Temporarily fence off garden beds where bulbs are planted (many plants are toxic and can cause seizures and possibly death).

Put bins in cupboards out of reach. Same with medications.

Throw out rat and snail bait. Keep car coolant out of reach.

Don't buy an expensive dog bed just yet. Wait until pup starts respecting his/her bed instead of destroying it.

Puppy will dig and chew, please ensure you have a sand pit or clam shell (cheap from KMart or Bunnings) filled with dirt or sand so that pup can dig there. Provide safe chew toys and rotate them daily to maintain interest.

Stock up on food- Raw chicken wings, frames, beef brisket,semi lean mince, good quality dry food (Hills, Eukanuba, Royal Canin, Proplan, Black Hawk,Supercoat etc).







Contact Details

Mid North Coast/ Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Email : [email protected]