Bernese Mountain Dogs - Breed Information & Education for Puppy Buyers, Owners and Breeders

Litter Life

The First Eight Weeks The Life and Times of Bouncing, Biting, Baby Berners
By Mary-Ann Bowman, Ph.D.

Third Week

Puppies begin the third week with at least partially opened eyes. They are usually good little walkers but are prone to being "milk drunk," so there is a lot of staggering and just falling down and going to sleep. They continue to enjoy interacting with people by mouthing hands and face and are very cuddly and content to be held and loved.

Fig. 6: Interacting with Dam
berner pup with dam

Third-week puppies are interacting more with each other and also start to engage with their mom in a different way (see Fig. 6: Interacting with Dam). Although she is primarily still the Dairy Bar, third-week puppies start licking and biting her and seem to enjoy just being with her.

Fig. 7: Open Eyes
berner puppy 3 weeks old

By the end of the third week the puppies march around their whelping box like they own the place, with very little tipping over. Their eyes are wide open, and they start to resemble little dogs more and more (see Fig. 7: Open Eyes). It is also at this time that they start to hear. At first one notices that the ears are less sealed, and then one day a puppy startles at a noise or tips his head at a sound. I just cannot even imagine the sensory overload to suddenly go from a dark, silent world to one that is bright and loud in less than a week!