New ITV show follows puppies from birth to 8 weeks
A new show based on the lives of four litters of puppies is set to be released this week.
'Puppy Secrets: The First Six Months' isn't scheduled to hit television screens until Wednesday (19.10.16) but it's already expected to be a huge hit as four breeders let the cameras in to their lives to capture the four-legged creatures' journey from birth.
The two-part documentary will also see vet Mark Evans dish out some secrets on the puppy brain and how important the first eight weeks of their lives really are as they're born incomplete and functionally blind and deaf.
He explained: "There's no pre-wiring in a puppy's brain to allow them to understand the world we live in. They need the help from us to be able to do it. What they have to learn is the strength and power of their bite. What they'll learn, and it's a really important lesson, is a thing called bite inhibition, which is how hard can you bite before it hurts."
The show starts off in Devon as three baby Chihuahuas - two boys Snuggles and Smiley and one girl Cheeky - are born into the world and rely on their smell and sense of heat to guild them to their mother's milk, which is packed with energy and anti-bodies to protect the vulnerable new-borns, which weigh around 100 grams, from killer diseases.
Breeder Dan said: "When you first hold that little puppy, it's just incredible...I think I'm quite hard faced about certain things, but it gets me welling up every single time."
The cameras then travel to the Cotwolds to film the second litter - Labradors, Britain's most popular breed, crossed with Golden Retrievers - who are not for sale.
The two boys and four girls - Freddie, Barney, Evie, Lucy, Molly and Betty - have a special destiny ahead of them: as assistance dogs for the charity, Dogs for Good.
If they make the cut, the six pups will be trained to help people with disabilities.
In Gloucestershire, eight gorgeous Border Collies - five girls and three boys - were born into the big wide world and have a lot to live up to as their mother is training to be a competitive sheepdog and their father is the current English champion.
Collie breeder Angie said: "For me, it's about trying to raise puppies that are going to work, trying to keep the Border Collie strain as a good working strain.
"All the time I'm trying to improve my breed so I get the ultimate thing that I'm looking for, which is a champion."
The fourth litter is born in Essex but all five pups are in desperate need of a home as their mother entered the Dogs Trust - the UK's largest dog welfare charity - as a stray and turned out to be pregnant but, unlike the others, their breed is not known.
The cameras manage to capture the pups' milestones as they begin to open their eyes, wag their tails for the first time and have their first baths.
But it isn't until they reach the homing process that the reality of how far they've come in just eight weeks really kicks in.
The show, which will air on ITV, is expected to return at a later date to show the puppies in their forever homes with their new families.