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For a lot of people, there are exactly two facts about puppies that seem important: They are adorable, and they make a mess. What else, after all, do you need to know aside from the fact that evolution has made puppies resemble babies so our maternal and paternal instincts are roused, and that they need to be taught the most basic things, like don’t pee in the house and don’t eat the furniture? But puppies are complicated creatures, and there’s a lot you likely don’t know about them. So next time some adorable puppy is crawling on you or playing tug-of-war with your shoelaces, remember some of these facts about puppies:
Puppies are usually born with their eyes closed, and with only one sense functioning – touch. This is why bonding with a puppy often involves handling them frequently; at that stage of life they can feel you but not smell or see you. This is also one reason puppies tend to be tentative and stay near their mother as much as possible, and why puppies removed from their mothers will either adopt a surrogate mom (often of a surprising species) or have socialisation problems their whole lives.
You might think sexism is a human affliction, but boy puppies have been found to let females win when playing together in order to make friends. Studies have demonstrated that male puppies will often put themselves in vulnerable positions in order to encourage female puppies to bite or pin them down, allowing the girls to win fights they normally would not be physically capable of winning.
Puppies are born without any real bladder control. Their mothers have to stimulate them with some gentle grooming in the bathing suit area to inspire the puppy to urinate. Without this stimulation, the puppy won’t actually go to the bathroom and dire health consequences will result. They don’t actually gain full bladder control until they are about 4 months old. Of course, some dog owners will tell you ruefully that some puppies never seem to gain full bladder control.
This one makes a lot of people jealous: Puppies sleep anywhere from 50% to 90% of the time. The first few days of a puppy’s life are exhausting, apparently, as they can sleep 23 out of every 24 hours, waking mainly to eat. After a wee while this drops to about 12 hours a day, but that’s still a lot of sleeping!
While the old saw about every dog year being equal to seven human years isn’t accurate in any way, there are some approximations of age for a dog. Puppies graduate to “adult” status at the age of one year, but physically a one year-old dog is comparable to a fifteen year-old human. Of course, many adolescent humans are quite formidable physically, but your dog won’t actually be fully grown for another six months to a year.
Puppies are endlessly fascinating, especially when you consider how each one has its own personality and tics of behaviour on top of the facts that apply to them all. The more you learn about Man’s Best Friend, the more interesting they become!
So there we have it, some facts you may not have known about puppies. Ready to make the next step and get yourself a puppy? Get in touch with us here at Tora’s for more information about our beautiful Australian Labradoodle puppies.