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Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,701 posts.

Wolf Development.

As Ruins of Wildwood is a strictly realistic site, pups are quite the big deal - and, for something as cute and fuzzy as they are, that's appropriate! True to the way Mother Nature intended it to be, litters of puppies are only born once a year here, in May. Usually only the leading pair breeds, as it takes a pack to raise a litter, but it has happened that subordinates have broken these unspoken laws - not without consequence, of course. It is, however, not advisable to break that taboo, as the survivability of lone wolf pups is very, very low.

In spring, or more specifically March, Relic Lore's females are in the peak of their heat. What this means for us, as players, is that the packs' litters will be announced, with number of pups, colors, genders, names etc. Each pack might handle this differently, as is their right, but generally quite a few pups go up for adoption, giving the entire playerbase a fair shot at getting to roleplay one. As a rule of thumb Relic Lore's puppies make their first appearance at four weeks of age, and that is also the first time the players get to play them!

If you have any questions or thoughts about breeding and puppies, please see the FAQ.

(This post was last modified: Jul 06, 2018, 06:54 PM by Sahalie.)
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,701 posts.

Life as a Puppy.

Puppies are very important members of the pack, without them the pack would have no future. Puppies are usually born to the leading wolf and their mate within a pack after a 59-63 day gestation period. As they are growing up the whole pack collaborates to defend and raise them, though this duty falls mainly to the parents and the pack's pup-sitter. The first 3 weeks of a wolf pup's life are spent in their birthing den until finally they experience the outside world and meet their pack.

Most of a puppy's time is spent learning, which is often unconscious and done in a variety of ways - whether it is through play, another wolf actively "teaching" them, exploring by themselves, or simply learning by watching others. However another important part of their life is the many harmless dominance fights between their siblings, as it puts them in good stead for the future.

Though it is extremely rare for pups to be born to a pair of lone wolves, it does happen. Unfortunately there is a reason it is rare as it is. Without the security a pack can offer and the lower chance of securing big kills, Lone Wolf parent(s) may be unable to meet the requirements of rearing their litter (or a pup); in most cases, this raises the chance of mortality by a significant amount.

(This post was last modified: Apr 24, 2013, 06:33 PM by Mapplethorpe.)
Posted by Spirit of Wildwood who has 4,701 posts.

Development Guide.

The most important, and therefore continuous, stage in a puppy's life is their development, their growth into an adult. As you would presume it involves many steps and stages so to help you know what happens and when a table has been made for your reference below.

Puppy Development
(BIRTH — 12-14 DAYS)Neonatal Period
BirthApproximately 1lb. (0.5 kg.), pups are born blind, deaf, darkly-furred and capable of little, if any, sense of smell. They can whine and yelp, and are limited to a slow crawl; males gain around 3.3 lbs. and females 2.6 lbs. a week. They are nursed 4-5 times a day. Estimated human age: newborn - 1 year old.
(EYE OPENING — 20-24 DAYS)Transition Period
2 weeksThe pups' eyes open and are a shade of blue at 11-15 days but their vision is poor and they are unable to perceive forms until the next few weeks. Milk incisors are present, and they begin to stand, walk, growl, and chew along with attempting to communicate and "sing" with high-pitched howls. Puppies at this age are "babbling" and are highly interactive with their siblings and parents. Estimated human age: 1.5 years old.
(20-24 DAYS — 77-80 DAYS)Socialization Period
3 weeksPups begin appearing outside the den and are usually allowed to play near the entrance. Hearing begins (ears rise at ~27 days) and canines and premolar teeth are present. Weight varies now from 3 - 7 lbs. (1.4 - 3.2 kg.). Puppies are now extremely mobile and begin to understand the basics of the world around them. Parents and adults responsible may find that they are constantly kept on their toes as they try to keep the puppies from venturing too far. As the pups' eyesight improves and starts to focus, they are able to recognize family, siblings, and other objects around them. They are keen to pick up patterns in speech, sounds and words and may mimic them to practice social skills. By the end of this period they have memorized the sound of their mother's or caretaker's voice and now never fail to recognize it.Estimated human age: 2-3 years old.
4 weeksPups now weigh 5-6 lbs.; the growth of adult hair around nose and eyes is now apparent, and their high-pitched howls gain strength and volume. Mothers may now leave den for hours to hunt. Play and dominance fights among siblings begin. At 1 month old, puppies fully enter their "toddler" stage. They are able to recognize and respond to their names and will, from this point onward, continue to expand their vocabulary. Simple commands and instruction can also be comprehended (ie. "Stop that," "No," "Come here.") and may be subject to repetition by echolalia and attempts to fully understand the word or phrase. At the end of this phase they should be able to complete two-word sentences (ie. "I eat" or "I go"). Estimated human age: 3 years old.
5 weeksThe gradual process of weaning begins and they can now follow adults for up to 1 mile from the den. With being allowed to accompany adults, learning continually advances with the aid of social interaction. Vocabulary lists proceed to grow and social or pack norms are picked up on. Estimated human age: 4 years old.
8 weeksPups sport a disproportional large head and feet as their skeleton grows towards its adult form. Puppies weigh about 20-30 lbs. (9-14 kg.) and may start to eat small bits of regurgitated meat. At this milestone, they begin to realize differences in their siblings (brothers vs. sisters) and can differentiate adults from children. Most puppies are highly curious and may persistently ask questions in order to understand what they might not know. Their vocabulary might now consist of roughly 200-300 words, including some made-up ones (ie. "mouses," "birdses," "crovens," "breaked," and "hitted.") and combined phrases (ie. "Whassat?" and "I dunno."). Estimated human age: 5 years old.
8-10 weeksAdults abandon the birthing den and move the pups to a rendezvous site (these are used from mid-May through mid-October and packs may have as many 3 or 4 different locations). Weaning completes, and they can now feed on food that an adult provides. Adult hairs become fully apparent on the head and face. Vocabulary at the end of 9 weeks should have skyrocketed to about a thousand words. Puppies are capable of repeating four-syllable words and parroting what adults say in their midst. Their ability to successfully follow speech rhythm is poor but still understandable ("Uncle Triell" vs. "Ung-kull Treeee-yell"). They are also able to grasp the concept of time (ie. morning, day, evening, night, today, tomorrow). Estimated human age: 5-6 years old.
8-16 weeksEyes begin to gradually change from blue to their adult colours, commonly a yellow-gold. By the time puppies are 3.5 months (14 weeks) old, they are able to grasp more abstract words (ie. hope, dream, guess, pretend, believe), solve simple problems, and are competent enough to understand the concept of talking and listening, and joining a conversation while making relevant points. Estimated human age: 6.5 years old.
(12 WEEKS — 6 MONTHS)Juvenile Period
12 weeksPups begin to accompany adults on hunts for a short time and are capable of returning to the pack den on their own.
3.5 monthsA period of rapid growth begins; pups gain approximately 1.3 lbs per week for the next 3 months.
4-6 monthsMilk teeth are replaced by adult teeth, and winter pelage and adult fur coloring start to become noticeable. If their eyes have not changed from their original "puppy blue" shade, they will remain blue from this time forward. Puppies now fully understand, as well as utilize, non-verbal communication. If introduced to "animism" or "religion," at this stage they may have a mentally firm grasp on it; and, if acquainted with concepts such as the "sand wolf," spirits and ghosts, they may have shed their beliefs in them. Estimated human age: 7 years old.
6 monthsBegin to accompany adults for the full hunt and now are almost indistinguishable from them. At 6 months old, most pups weigh in at 30-80 lbs. (13.6 kg-36.3 kg.). They have also grown into their oversized feet, ears, and head, and are capable of articulate adult speech and vocabulary. This period also marks their first ventures in establishing independence, brandishing rebellious measures, and exploring the desire to establish their own truly unique identity. Estimated human age: 10 years old.
(7 MONTHS — MATURITY)Adolescent Period
7 monthsA period of slow growth begins, males gaining 0.4 lbs and females 0.07 lbs a week. They also begin to travel with the pack. Those who are "late bloomers" may have just recently grown into their disproportionate frames. This is also the period in which members of the opposite sex strike as suddenly appealing; the concepts of a "crush" and "liking" particular members of the opposite gender start to take root. As they approach the peak of their adolescent phrase, they may find themselves feeling particularly "awkward" at times. Estimated human age: 11 years old.
7-8 monthsPups actively begin hunting on their own. By 8 months a growing pup's body begins to internally change and adapt to accomodate sexuality. Their "voices" may even start to sound more mature or, in males, actually lower in tone. They might have established at this point where they stand as an individual; moral codes presented at a younger age may now be adhered and upheld, tweaked, or even cast away altogether. Estimated human age: 11-12 years old.
1 yearPups reach their adult size (make sure the Physique part of their profile now reflects their build: Small, Medium, or Large) and skeletal growth stops. They are now considered "yearlings" at this stage, and their views could have shifted from pack needs to individual needs. As a wolf is driven by nature and instinct to seek out a mate, desires for intimacy (and feelings of closeness to an individual who is not closely related) may become apparent. Close bonds and ties with family are usually a priority and yearlings may use this "coming of age" phase to evaluate what it is they truly want before they are considered as a fully functioning member of their pack. If there are new cubs to look after in the pack, yearlings might share the duty of pup-sitting with older pack members. Estimated human age: ~17+ years old.
22 monthsReach sexual maturity (We hope those parents have given their growing cubs the birds-and-the-bees lecture by now!). Wolves at this age are now considered as Adults and are responsible for deciding what type of role they would like to fulfill as apart of their pack. Acquired skills (hunting, tracking, fishing, guarding, etc.) should be nearly mastered to the best of their abilities at this point in preparation for obtaining official roles within the next two months. They may seek their parents' blessings to do whatever it is that they have wanted to do, find their true calling in life, and maybe even establish a pack and family of their very own. Estimated human age: ~20 years old.
2+ yearsVery little physical changes happen from now on and, this next part of their life is spent perfecting and honing the skills they possess or have yet to learn. Estimated human age: ~21+ years old.
(5 YEARS — ELDER)Senior Period
5 yearsAt 5 years old, your character has reached a mid-point in their life, and may consider a mid-life crisis if circumstance allows! Often wolves at this stage reflect back at their life, what they have accomplished and consider just how much time their have left to live. A crisis may be triggered from the death of parents or other sudden changes - which may cause them to reassess their achievements in terms of their dreams. They may even display some of these behaviors: depression, entering relationships with younger individuals (whether sexual, professional, parental, etc.), placing overimportance (and possibly a psychologically damaging amount) on their children to excel, wanting to spend more time alone or with certain peers, expressing the desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness, and having remorse for one's wrongs. Estimated human age: ~33 years old.
7 yearsAdvancing in age, wolves at this stage have usually seen it all. Their wisdom and views might take on a worldly aspect, and in some packs may be considered a candidate for Advisor, Teacher, and other advanced roles. Depending on stress and genetics, gray and silver hairs may start to grow around the facial area and/or once distinct markings might have started to fade with age. Estimated human age: ~41 years old.
10 yearsWhile wolves on RoW have yet to reach or mature beyond this significant and distinguished age, it still is plausible given that your wolf has been well taken care of through the years. Their "senior citizen" status still comes with all sorts of interesting development if it hasn't happened already - confusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, activity changes, increased sensitivity, impaired ability to carry out tasks, sleeping during the day, grooming and eating less, loss of hearing, increased anxiety levels, development of arthritis (especially in larger species), and being unable to navigate around or over obstacles. Younger pack members might take it upon themselves to help look after and care for them (just as they probably had for them when they were growing up!). Estimated human age: ~53+ years old.
(This post was last modified: Jun 29, 2015, 04:29 PM by Valeria.)