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Puppers: What is a Pupper? (Plus how to get one!)

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

What is a pupper, you ask?

A pupper is a puppy. A puppy is a pupper.

Puppy and pupper are one-and-the-same.

Scrambling for words to capture the cuteness, dog lovers are drooling over their favorite doggos and shibbers and yappers and puppers.

Puppers who bork, yappers who boof, doggos who sploot and shibbers who blop.


Feed them too much and they’ll be your fat boi.

They’ll charm you with mlems and be your dream woofer.


Not tracking? It’s how folks on the web are describing their charming canines. Because we all know it’s far more exhilarating to brag on smol puppers instead of little dogs.


It’s called Doggo-speak, a vernacular of cutesy words to describe even cuter pups.

Ushered in on twitter by WeRateDogs, crumbling sentences and misspellings are all the rage in attempts to capture the charm of a pup.

Boddy describes it as a canine lexicon of “cutesy suffixes and onomatopoeias.” Internet linguist McCulloch expounds, “A new cutesy word for a thing you’re already used to using cutesy words for? That’s such an easy entry to vocabulary.”


This brings us to the meaning of pupper.

Resonating in doggo-speak territory, puppers are small doggos. Or puppies. It’s the word accompanying those oh-so-adorable puppy photos across social media feeds and it’s the bundle of fur that’ll great you at day’s end.

Pupper means puppy and puppers mean puppies.

They’re loveable. They’re charming. They’re absolutely adorbs. They’re puppers and puppies and smol lil doggos.

And that’s what we’re talking about today: puppers.


Exactly what are they, and how can you get one today?

Here’s what you need to know.


What is a Pupper?

As already mentioned, a pupper is internet slang for puppy.

Thanks to its growing popularity, occasionally pupper will be used synonymously with dog.

Or if a grown dog begins acting like a puppy, he may get dubbed pupper too.

Mostly, however, pupper refers to when a dog is only just a puppy.

Which begs the question: what defines a puppy from a dog?


Depending on the breed size, puppies vary in weight anywhere from one to 23 pounds.

Thanks to lots of bonding time with their mom and littermates, a puppy is typically mature enough to find its furever-home as early as eight weeks old.

However, that same puppy is still far from entering adulthood.


Most puppies don’t reach adulthood until closer to one or two years old.

Specific breed, size, and socialization are all contributing factors to how young a puppy will mature.

For example, large dog breeds often don’t mature until closer to fifteen months of age.

On the other hand, smaller dog breeds may mature into adults as young as nine months old.

Of course, there are always the puppies who reach physical maturity (as in, their full adult size) while still acting very much like a pupper.


How a Pupper Matures

Speaking of maturity, let’s look at how puppers are expected to develop through their puppyhood.

At just three weeks old, a puppy can be expected to touch, taste, hear, smell, and see.

Provided she’s a healthy little pupper, she’ll also be able to stand, walk, wag her tail, and even make her voice be heard.


Socialization Stage: 3 – 12 weeks

Don’t wait until your pupper is big and grown to teach him the ropes of life.

Instead, start when he’s still just a lil’ pupper pal.

From three to twelve weeks is a critical stage for proper socialization in your puppy.

Be intentional to introduce your pupper to friendly pets and kind faces during these weeks.

Once properly vaccinated, take your pupper along shopping, take him to dog-friendly restaurants, and become a regular at your local dog park.


Go on playdates with pupper-loving-friends.

Get started with housetraining.

And always, stay positive.

As you engage your pup in daily activities, that same little upper is able to develop social skills, improve coordination, and begin successfully venturing through life.


Once a pupper reaches eight weeks old, he is mature enough to leave his mom and littermates while still being young enough to bond with his fur-ever family.

Also at eight weeks, a pupper is ready to start training.

Don’t miss this read on how to train your new pupper for success!


Ranking Stage: 3 – 6 months

Up next is the ranking stage.

It’s during these months your pupper learns who is boss.

She’ll likely push her limits and test you more often than what feels comfortable.

Simply stay calm, be kind, and always choose consistency.

No yesterday means no today and tomorrow and the day after that too.


You’re pupper needs you to establish who is the pack leader.

Where does your pupper fall in the pack?

Is she the leader?

Are you the leader?

Who’s in charge?


Also up during this stage is teething.

As your pupper gets her new teeth, she’ll be extra fond of chewing.

So keep those shoes in the closet, always put your socks away, and give your puppy lots of favorite chew toys instead.


Adolescent Stage: 6 – 18 months

Congrats! You’re pupper has just reached his adolescent stage.

He may begin challenging you more as he explores his pack position.

Again, know this is totally normal and nothing to be alarmed by.

However, it is critical to offer lots of good training mixed with frequent doses of positive reinforcement.


Thanks to growing up, your puppy will want to explore and check out new places and things.

Your local park, an outdoor shopping experience, and hiking are all excellent avenues to keep your little adventure pal happy.


If your pupper is not spayed or neutered, he/she will begin sexual behaviors during these months.


Your Puppy Won’t Stay Little



“Enjoy this stage. They grow so fast.”

It’s the line every new parent here’s over and over again.

And just like an infant child, puppers don’t stay young forever.

Sure, there will probably be some long days.

Your puppy will push your limits and test your patience.

Still, embrace this stage and enjoy your pup while she’s just that: a sweet little pupper.


Her size will change.

One day she’ll (hopefully) be strong and mature.

Her shape may change a bit and her adult teeth will come in.

Her coat will transform from a soft, fluffy coat to a more dense, adult coat.

All the while, her immune system will continue developing as she lives her best life.


Yes, there will be highs and lows.

Yet always, look for the wins even if they are small.

Know that every puppy is unique.

With proper training, good socialization, and lots of patience, your pupper will mature into a stunning adult dog.


How Do I Get A Pupper?


Keep your eyes open and know what you are looking for.

Not every puppy is a match made in heaven.

And unfortunately, not every breeder or pet store is a safe and ethical seller.

Here are the steps you’ll want to take to fetch yourself a brand-new pupper pal.


1. Avoid Puppy Scams

The very first thing to do in your search for a new pupper is to learn how to avoid puppy scams.

Yes, sadly puppy scams are still a thing.

They can and do still happen.

So don’t fall prey.

Here are eleven things to look for before buying.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to bringing home a happy and healthy little pupper dog.


2. Choose Your Breed

Yes, there are puppers who bork and doggos who yap.

There are also pups who enjoy snorting and wheezing over the traditional bark.

Verbal pups? They are a thing.

And silent puppers? They’re a thing, too.


Moving beyond noise level, you’ll find puppers who frequently shed and others who are considered hairless.

Standing next to doggos with luscious hair and lots of drool are puppers who shed very little and are considered perfect for pupper loves suffering from dog allergies.


Of course, there’s always the energy level to consider as well.

Are you looking for a pal to binge-watch Netflix with?

Or do you prefer an adventure pal ready to conquer your next mountain?


Every breed is different and every puppy is unique.

As such, take time to research the breed you are looking to purchase.

Do the needs and wants of your potential pupper match a lifestyle that you can sustain?


3. Find Your Pupper

Unfortunately, not every puppy provider is to be trusted.

As a general rule, avoid bringing a new pupper home from a pet store.

Too often, pet stores are connected to puppy mills and source their dogs via unethical means.

Don’t support their tactics.


Instead, purchase from high-quality dog breeders who you can meet and talk to in person (or via zoom if the breeder isn’t local).

When you purchase from a trusted dog breeder, there’s no middle man.

There is no wondering where your pupper came from, or what the parent dogs are like.

Rather, you can ask questions and speak directly to the expert who’s been with your pupper since birth.

You can ask questions about the parent dogs and what their temperaments are like.

Or you can ask about your pupper’s medical history, or how she interacts with her littermates.

Whatever the case, there’s no haze wondering where and how your new little pal was raised.


But how do I meet these high-quality breeders, you ask?

Right here at VIP Puppies.

The puppers you find here are coming straight from ethical breeders all across the United States.


Looking for a purebred?

We have your match.

Prefer a designer breed?

You’ll find those too right here at VIP Puppies.


So once you know your breed of choice, go ahead and browse these newest puppers for sale.

Via each puppy’s profile, you can contact the breeder directly and ask as many questions as you like!


4. Meet Your Pupper

Thanks to being in the twenty-first century, you are no longer limited to finding a puppy in your hometown.

Instead, via the internet, you can browse puppies from all across the United States.

Perhaps you’re from New York city and your new little pup is coming from Los Angeles. Congrats!

Or maybe you call Colorado home and you just found your new puppy from a breeder in Texas. Well done!


Amidst the online browsing and choosing, plan time to actually meet your puppy.

And no, this doesn’t need to be in person.

This could be as simple as doing a zoom call in which you talk to the breeder and have him/her show you your new pup over zoom.

If your pupper has littermates, ask to watch your pup interact with his siblings and momma.


During your call, be alert for any hair loss, sores, or redness on your little pupper.

Be sure your pup has a nice, shiny coat and is looking healthy.

Here’s exactly what to look for when meeting a new litter of puppies.


5. Bring Your Puppy Home and Enjoy Ongoing Support

Yes, pupper parenting is deeply rewarding and often so much fun.

Yet, if you’re like the rest of us, there will be some tough days in the mix as well.

Behavior problems may spike one day, or housetraining may feel like a flop another day.

When this happens, take heart.

You are not alone! 

Long after your pupper is home, we offer ongoing puppy parenting support right here.

So when you hit that low day in new pup parenting, know that we are here for you!


Puppers FAQ

Q. Can I take my eight-week-old puppy outside?
A. Yes! Fresh air is wonderful for puppies. However, restrict your puppy’s interaction with other small animals and dogs until he/she has his final round of vaccinations (typically 14-16 weeks).

Q. What should I do the first week with a new puppy?
A. Always be kind, gentle, and consistent. Build a routine so your puppy knows what to expect, start training the first day your puppy is home, and praise your puppy often.

Q. How long can a puppy be left alone during the day?
A.  A puppy’s age in months directly correlates with how long they can be left alone (maxing out at six hours). For example, a three-month-old puppy can be left alone for three hours, etc.

Q. Where should puppers sleep at night?
A. A puppy’s age in months directly correlates with how long they can be left alone (maxing out at six hours). For example, a three-month-old puppy can be left alone for three hours, etc.

Q. What is Doggolingo?
A. A lexicon of dog lingo. Here are the most common words:

Pupper / pupperino (noun): puppy
Doggo (noun): dog
Yapper (noun): small breed puppy
Boof (noun): Chow Chow
Fat boi (noun): fat boy dog
Woofer / boofer (noun): big dog
Hooman (noun): human

Bork (verb): bark
Sploot (verb): split = a dog sitting with his/her hind legs outward as if doing a split.
Blep (verb): dog sticking out tongue just a little
Blop (verb): dog sticking out approximately half of its tongue
Mlem (verb): dog sticking out its whole tongue

Smol (adjective): small
Floofy (adjective): fluffy
Goob (adjective): good
Chonky (adjective): chunky / big


Don’t forget: a pupper is a puppy and a puppy is a pupper.

And in the words of Charles Schulz, “Happiness is a warm puppy”.


P.S. Again, don’t forget to meet the newest puppers for sale right here!



Geier, E. (n.d.). When is a puppy considered an adult dog? Retrieved from

Is My Puppy (n.d.). Pedigree. Retrieved from

Stages of Puppy Development (n.d.). Dogtime. Retrieved from

Stregowski, J. (2020). 7 things to know before getting your first puppy. Retrieved from


Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dogSara Ochoa, DVM is an expert veterinarian ready to help you give your dog an amazing life. Stationed in East Texas, Dr. Ochoa specializes in small and/or exotic animals. She’s currently loving life alongside her husband Greg and their three fur babies: Ruby the Schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise, and Oliver James (affectionately dubbed “OJ”) the cat.


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