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Lindstrand, Marie and Pilfalk, Johanna, 2007. Valpens utveckling : ur ett fysiologiskt och etologiskt perspektiv. SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231), Skara. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



The first two weeks in a pup's life is called the neonatal period. This period is dominated by growth and development of organs and senses. The puppy is born blind and deaf and the physiological disability makes it unable to move properly. The neonatal period is characterized by a lot of sleeping. The pup receives the important milk and warmth from the bitch. She also stimulates the elimination-habits by her licking and massaging which in this age is of high importance. During these first weeks there is a huge progress in the pup's development. It stands and walks after approximately 14 days.

The third week in the pup's life involves opening of the eyes and the start of hearing. This is a huge changeover and the pup is now able to react at stimuli in the vicinity. These stimuli are supposed to be dominating by the bitch and the siblings. As a breeder you ought to leave the bitch and the puppies alone as much as possible to avoid stress and negative influence on the neuro- hormonell system. Daily supervision to discover diseases or problems are still necessary. Diseases often seen in puppies are diarrhoea, inflammation in the eyes or the belly button, belly button-hernia or diseases collected under the name "Fading Puppies".

The socialization period occurs during the pup's third week in life and its ability to form associations is growing fast. The pup learns to recognize and co-operate with its species and other social companions. It starts to communicate and develops a social language. The pup gradually passes to semi-fluid food and the spontaneous exudate begins. The diurnal rhythm is getting more equal to the adult dog.

The myelination is completed during this period and the ability to coordinate is getting comparable to grown-ups. The weaning take place at around seven weeks of age and can give rise to a conflict between the bitch and her puppy. Social interaction between mothers and offspring during weaning has significant effects upon subsequent pup behaviour.

When the pup is able to move more easily it investigates everything in its surroundings. The response the pup is receiving from its body language and signs are going to be significant to how frightened, aggressive and social curious it's going to be in the future. If the early experiences are rich and various it affects positive on the future learning abilities. Between six and eight weeks a pup's social motivation to approach and make contact with a stranger outweighs its natural wariness, hence the view that this period represents the optimum time for socialization and introduction to its former life. The contact with people should increase gradually and it's important that the breeder spend time with each pup alone. A study that was conducted in 1994 investigated the eventual connection between early experiences and behaviour related problems. The results show the importance of a necessary socialization and how traumatic experiences in an early age can affect the pup later on. Studies also show that there is a genetic background to different fears, aggressions and the ability to socialize. This has to be considered when selecting a breeding stock.

In order to obtain more knowledge of how the puppy is developing, it is possible to do a "Mental description" when the puppy is eight weeks old. This is a test, which is performed to give an indication on the level of activity, anxiety, self-confidence and social competition, were the puppies' reactions are judged in a scale of five. The result can help the breeder to deliver the pup to a home that suits this individual and he/she is more able to give relevant advices to the new owners, about the puppies' continuing progress.


De första två veckorna i valpens liv benämns neonatalperioden och präglas av utveckling och tillväxt av organ och sinnen. Veckorna innefattar huvudsakligen aktiva långa sömnperioder. Valpen föds med mycket begränsad motorisk förmåga. Tiken står för den livsviktiga mjölken samt värme och omvårdnad.
Den tredje levnadsveckan innebär stora förändringar för valpen. Sinnenas utveckling gör att valpen nu är kapabel att se och höra samt att stå och så småningom gå. Valpens sovperioder kortas ned och den börjar reagera på stimuli från dess omgivning.
I takt med valpens fysiologiska utveckling, utvecklas också dess förmåga att kommunicera och samverka med människor och djur. Valpens erfarenheter och upplevelser under sin tid hos uppfödaren kommer att ha stor betydelse för hur den kommer att uppträda i olika situationer som vuxen. Valpens sociala motivation att ta kontakt med en främling är under socialiseringsfasen större än dess rädsla, därför anses dessa få veckor vara de mest optimala för socialisering och introducering för det liv valpen ska leva som vuxen.
I arbetet har vi bland annat tagit del av studier som gjorts för att undersöka sambandet av tidiga erfarenheter och beteendeproblem som aggression mot främmande, social rädsla och separationsångest.

Main title:Valpens utveckling
Subtitle:ur ett fysiologiskt och etologiskt perspektiv
Authors:Lindstrand, Marie and Pilfalk, Johanna
Supervisor:Gustafson, Lise-Lotte
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:111
Year of Publication:2007
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:YDJUR Veterinary Nursing Programme (admitted before July 1, 2007) 120 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:valp, uppfödare, fysisk utveckling, mental utveckling, valpköpare, neonatalperiod, socialiseringsperiod, myelinisering, skelettets utveckling, motoriktemperaturreglering, valpens sinnen, ätbeteende, inälvsparasiter, inlärningsförmåga, gomspalt, upplägg
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:?? 7032 ??
Animal ecology
Animal physiology - Growth and development
Deposited On:11 Sep 2017 14:48
Metadata Last Modified:15 Sep 2017 09:56

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