The Stages Of Development For A Labradoodle Puppy

Golden-colored Labradoodle wearing a green bow tie.

Labradoodle puppies are probably the most adorable puppies you’ll ever see, or at least they are if you’re a Labradoodle lover.

Their curly, wavy hair; cute little faces; and puppy breath make you want to hold them all day long.

If only they could stay that little! Unfortunately, puppies grow up all too soon, and as they do, they go through various stages of development. 

What are the stages of development for a Labradoodle puppy? Labradoodle puppies go through 12 stages of life as they grow and develop into mature, adult dogs. Each dog might experience these stages of life a little differently, and some might take longer than others to get through certain phases.

  • Birth
  • Opening Eyes
  • Hearing 
  • First Teeth
  • Weaning
  • Veterinarian Visits
  • Biting 
  • Housebreaking
  • Socialization
  • Training
  • Losing Puppy Coat
  • Losing Puppy Teeth

You may love some stages while others may have you wanting to pull out your hair.

Despite the constant changes your Labradoodle will go through, each stage of development is normal and necessary for your puppy to grow up to be a happy, adult dog.

Continue reading to learn valuable information on the various stages of development for a Labradoodle puppy.

Labradoodle Puppy Developmental Stages

Two of the best ways to help your Labradoodle puppy are to understand the various stages of development and to recognize that the puppy’s behavior and temperament may change.

These stages and changes are perfectly normal.

Like a human baby, your Labradoodle puppy will try to gain some independence and attempt new things. Being prepared for each development stage can be very important. 

Birth

When puppies are born, they’re totally dependent on their mother for all their needs.

While you may want to hold a newborn puppy, you should resist the temptation for the first few hours. This is the time when the mother is becoming accustomed to her new family, and they should all be left alone for a while.

This is also the time that the newborns are learning how to nurse from their mother.

They’ll need to be monitored over the first few hours to ensure they’re warm enough and all doing fine but should not be handled too much the first day. 

Opening Eyes

Puppies’ eyes are sealed shut at birth and don’t begin opening until they’re about 10 to 14 days old. Even though the eyes are opening, they still won’t be able to see things clearly at first.

Each day thereafter, they’ll open up a little more. As they’re opening more, you’ll notice a bluish-gray haze over the eyes. This is perfectly normal. 

If you’ve approached a little puppy and noticed that he seemed to jump or move suddenly, it’s probably because he couldn’t see you clearly yet.

The puppy’s eyesight will continue to improve day by day. They should be seeing clearly by the time they’re 8 weeks old. 

Hearing

Newborn Labradoodle puppies are deaf at birth due to the ear canals still being closed. Their ears will start to open shortly after their eyes open.

As with their eyesight, their sense of hearing develops a little more each day, and they can usually hear well by the time they’re 8 weeks old.

Once the puppies have fully developed their hearing, you’ll notice they respond to stimuli around them whether it’s their siblings or humans. 

First Teeth

Like most puppies, your Labradoodle puppy will be born without teeth. Eventually, they’ll have a total of 28 puppy teeth or “milk teeth.” Puppies begin to get milk teeth between 2 and 4 weeks of age.

The first teeth to pop through are the incisors. They’ll get six on the top and six on the bottom. The canines come in next with two on the top and two on the bottom.

At around 6 weeks of age, they’ll get the final baby teeth, which are premolars. They’ll come in three on the top and three on the bottom on each side. 

Weaning

Labradoodle puppies get all the nutrition their little bodies need from their mother for the first three weeks of their lives. Once their teeth start to come through, they’ll be ready to begin the weaning process.

The mother may also begin to feel her pups biting her teats and may encourage them to eat on their own a little.

You can begin the weaning by starting them off with canned puppy food or dry puppy kibble moistened with warm water. 

You may have to start by putting a little on your fingers and allowing them to lick it off until they get the hang of eating on their own.

Most puppies quickly discover that eating solid food fills them up faster and keeps them full longer.

Make sure you buy dog food that is designed for puppies of your breed’s size. The puppies are usually weaned by the time they’re 6 to 8 weeks old.

Breeders will not sell a Labradoodle puppy until the dog is completely weaned and can eat very well on its own. 

Veterinarian Visits

Going to the vet is not something any dog owner wants to do. It usually signifies a vet bill and possibly reveals a health issue.

However, preventative vet checks can spot a potential health issue and decrease the chances of a large vet bill later.

Checkups

Your puppy should be taken to the vet for the first time when he’s about 6 weeks old for his first checkup and initial immunizations.

Your vet will give your puppy a thorough checkup to ensure that he is developing normally, gaining weight properly, and is in good overall health.

Puppy shots will usually be administered at this first vet visit. Once your puppy becomes an adult, you should take your Labradoodle to the vet at least once a year for a thorough checkup. 

The annual checkup usually consists of weighing the dog; checking the heart rate; looking in the ears, eyes, and nose; feeling the dog’s stomach, and taking his temperature.

What may seem like a minor and unnecessary vet visit can ensure your dog is as healthy as possible. 

Early Shots

As much as the idea of giving your puppy shots may bother you, they’re a necessity.

The puppy’s immune system is not fully developed until he’s about 16 weeks of age, so it’s important to have the puppy immunized to protect them from developing a disease. 

The vet will generally advise getting your Labradoodle puppy these shots at the following ages: 

  • 6 to 8 weeks old – Distemper, parainfluenza, measles.
  • 10 to 12 weeks old – DHPP {distemper, hepatitis (adenovirus), parainfluenza and parvovirus}.
  • 12 to 24 weeks old – Rabies.
  • 14 to 16 weeks old – DHPP booster.
  • 12 to 16 months old – Rabies booster and DHPP booster.
  • Every 1 to 2 years – DHPP.
  • Every 1 to 3 years – Rabies. 

Although it’s not a vaccination, you may want to get your puppy on a heartworm preventative. Heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquitoes, can be fatal to a dog.

Your veterinarian can start your puppy on a heartworm preventative between 12 and 16 weeks of age. The medication is typically a chewable tablet the dog takes once a month. 

Deworming

Deworming is an important part of a puppy’s health regimen. As much as we would all like to think our dogs don’t have worms, most puppies are born with worms.

Various types of worms can affect your Labradoodle puppy, but roundworms are the most common when they’re young.

Your vet will recommend what type of worm medication your puppy should receive.

The most common worms that can affect your dog include:

  • Roundworm.
  • Hookworm.
  • Tapeworm.
  • Whipworm.
  • Ringworm.
  • Heartworm.

Most vets recommend treating your puppy for worms at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age. After that, they should receive treatment every three months for all of their life.

Based on where you live, your vet will advise you of what type of treatment your dog should have.

Worming medication is relatively easy to administer yourself, so you may choose to go that route, or you can have your vet do the treatment.

Here are some signs your puppy may be infected with worms:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Weight loss despite eating well.
  • Weakness and listlessness.
  • Abnormally swollen stomach. 

Biting Phase

All puppies bite! It’s a fact and not something you can change. When the puppy starts teething, he is going to chew and bite.

Biting gives the dog relief from the pain of teething. It also helps with boredom.

It’s very common for a puppy to attempt to chew on its owner’s hands. The puppy is not biting to be mean, but it’s still a habit you should try to change as soon as possible.

When the puppy starts biting, take your hand away and give him an acceptable substitute like a chew toy.

Each time he bites, repeat this process and praise him when he chews on the toy instead of your fingers.

When my dog, Oliver, was going through this phase, I found that a frozen puppy Kong really helped.

Eventually, he’ll learn. Just be patient. The most important thing to remember is that this is just a phase that will soon be outgrown.

Housebreaking

Most Labradoodles are house dogs, and if you plan to keep yours in the house, you’ll want him to be housebroken as soon as possible.

Housebreaking is a huge responsibility that can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months depending on the puppy.

Young puppies have very small, immature bladders and cannot “hold it” for very long. 

For a general guideline, most puppies will be able to “hold it” for one hour for every month of age.

For example, a 5-month-old puppy may be able to go for five hours in between potty breaks, but a 3-month-old puppy can only wait up to three hours before needing relief.

 For the best success at housebreaking, you need to be consistent and take the puppy outside at the following times. 

  • First thing in the morning.
  • Right after eating.
  • Right after waking from a nap.
  • Just before bedtime.
  • Any time you see the pup sniffing the floor.

Carry the puppy outside to where you want him to go and put him down. As soon as he goes, praise him and bring him back inside. Do not allow him to play.

He needs to learn that he’s outside for one thing and one thing only.

With persistence and consistency, you should have your Labradoodle puppy housebroken in no time at all. 

Socialization

Socialization is an extremely important part of your puppy’s life and should begin as early as 1 to 2 weeks of age.

Obviously, your puppy won’t be able to play when he’s only one or two weeks old, but by holding and talking to him, you can socialize him to humans and their touch.

You should socialize your puppy every day even if it’s only for a short amount of time. 

Take the puppy around other dogs and animals once your vet gives the go-ahead.

You may also want to encourage young children to gently pet the dog (with supervision of course) to get him used to other people.

When socializing your puppy, be aware that puppies undergo two distinct fear periods as they mature.

The first occurs between 8 and 12 weeks, and the second can happen anytime between the ages of 4 and 14 months.

Any negative experiences that occur during a puppy’s fear period can have lasting impacts, so it is critical that all socialization taking place during this time is positive and not frightening in any way.

The more you socialize your puppy, the more well adjusted and happy he’ll be as an adult dog. If your puppy grows up feeling he should avoid children or be afraid of other animals, it can become a problem later. 

Visit our socialization article for more ideas and tips.

Training 

Training your Labradoodle puppy should begin almost as soon as you bring him home. Give him a day or two to get used to you and his new surroundings and then begin working with him.

At this young age, you won’t be teaching him tricks, but you can begin simple commands like “sit.”

Bending down in front of your puppy, push on his behind until he’s sitting while saying, “Sit.” Each time he sits, praise him and give him a treat. Before long, he’ll sit just by hearing the command. 

You can teach him other commands like “lie down,” “stay,” or “come” around the same time. However, don’t try to teach your pup a new command until he fully understands the current command.

By the time your puppy is about 4 months old, you can begin teaching him tricks. Labradoodles are playful and intelligent dogs that love learning new things. 

Losing Puppy Coat

The appearance your Labradoodle had as a puppy may be entirely different from what he looks like as an adult once he’s lost his puppy coat. Even the color might be slightly different.

Depending on the type of Labradoodle you have, your pup will have either a fleece, hair, or wool coat.

(We explain more about Labradoodle puppy coats here.)

Because Labradoodles are low-shedding dogs, they don’t really shed out their baby coat. It will have to be groomed or brushed out as the new coat begins to come in. 

Failure to brush out the old dead coat can result in severe matting of the new coat, which can be a mess to deal with.

Your Labradoodle will begin losing its puppy coat between 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age. The entire process of puppy coat to adult coat usually takes anywhere from one to several weeks. 

Losing Puppy Teeth

It seems that just when you get used to your puppy’s razor-sharp puppy teeth, the teeth are falling out to make room for the adult teeth.

Although it varies from dog to dog, the baby teeth begin falling out between 14 and 30 weeks of age as adult teeth begin pushing their way through the gums. They may even begin falling out as early as 10 weeks old. 

The incisors are the first to fall out followed by the canine, and the premolars are the last to fall out.

By the time the puppy is 8 months old, he or she should have a full set (42) of adult teeth. The dog will have 16 premolars, 12 incisors, 10 molars, and four canines. 

Related Questions

What is the average size for a Labradoodle litter?

Although this can vary from dog to dog, the average size for a Labradoodle litter is 8. Litter sizes of 5 to 9 are very common.

Usually, the larger the breed is, the more puppies per litter can be expected, though first-time moms sometimes have smaller litters.

Can Labradoodle puppies bark from the time they’re born?

Labradoodle puppies don’t make many sounds the first two weeks of life other than grunting and whining. They usually start yipping and barking around four to six weeks old, although it may not sound like barking at first.

All dogs are not the same. Some may not start barking until they’re almost 16 weeks old. Each one is different.

Conclusion

After obtaining all this information on the various stages of development your Labradoodle puppy will experience, you may still have some concerns. All puppy parents do! Worry just goes with the territory.

Focus on enjoying and treasuring each growth stage because before you know it, that cute little puppy will be all grown up and puppyhood will be a thing of the past.

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