When I decided to put a blog post together about dog and puppy development it sounded like a fairly straightforward task. Research things like canine gestation periods, find out how a puppy learns to interact with the world, and finish off with some fascinating facts and figures. Easy to say, but far more difficult to achieve but (hopefully) I think the result gives some great insight into the development of man’s best friend.
The first section of our graphic shows the embryonic development process of a dog. Using some fantastic information and photo’s sourced from National Geographic’s ‘in the womb’ series we’re able to show just how quickly an embryo develops. From just a few cells at the start of week two an embryo grows to 2cm in size within the next couple of weeks and, by 40 days, is officially a fetus.
For me, the most interesting part of a dog’s development comes while it’s a puppy. Being born blind and deaf, unable to regulate its own body temperature a puppy is entirely reliant on its mother. There is then just a few short hops to being able to walk, interact, learn social boundaries and become, for the most part, independent. This takes us as humans over a decade but puppies do it in just a few months.
Researching this section uncovered a whole wealth of information, much of which had contrasting views. Hopefully, however, we’ve managed to capture the essence of a puppy’s growth process and illustrate the most important stages. For more information and a detailed write-up it’s worth taking a look at Cesar Milan’s site.
Finally, adult dogs differ wildly depending on their breed and size. As a general rule smaller dogs live longer and, as the graph shows, there’s a link between dog and human years (although the ‘multiply the age of your dog by 7′ rule isn’t quite true). During their early years dogs mature much faster than humans, with a 1 year old dog being the equivalent of a 10-15 year old human. This then slows slightly as the years progress.
I hope you enjoyed the graphic and would love to hear what you think and answer any questions – feel free to comment below. Also, don’t forget to take a look at my personal site which covers everything from Travel to Dogs, and Milton Keynes based SEO / Web Design.
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