Transition Period

Evidence shows that the transition period is one of profound reorganization of behavior. The most essential change in function is from the neonatal to the adult form of nutrition. Another fundamental change is from the neonatal to the adult form of locomotion. This period starts with the opening of the eyes and ends with the appearance of the startle reaction to sound.  The whole period takes less than a week, with the eyes usually opening completely at 13 days and the startle reaction usually appearing at 19.5 days (Scott and Fuller 1974). Smell and taste also begin during the transition period.


  • Scott, J.P., and John L. Fuller. 1974. Genetics and the Social Behaviour of the Dog. A Phoenix Book, P570. University of Chicago Press.
  • Ha, J.C., and T.L. Campion. 2018. Dog Behavior: Modern Science and Our Canine Companions. Elsevier Science.

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Tony Bierman, "Transition Period," OBTESA, Accessed July 12, 2024,