Do you love puppies? I certainly do. But how long does puppyhood last? Well, the experts say that puppyhood is the first three to five months of a puppy's life. This is the most important period in a dog's life. These are the formative months where what the dog experiences will shape its life later on. If you haven't got a puppy right now you can live the experience of joy by viewing the puppy pics at the end of this article.
Puppies go through various stages during the first few months of life and these are normal for most puppies. Here are some things that you can expect your puppy to go through:
- Learning to get along with other dogs - During this short period, your puppy will require lots of positive interactions with other dogs. This is an important step in the socialization process. Puppies who do not get this kind of interaction often become fearful and aggressive around other dogs as an adult.
- Learning to be gentle and friendly around people - This is another aspect of the puppy's socialization process but involves humans rather than dogs. All dogs need to be taught how to behave around humans. At this time they will also learn not to be afraid of people and enjoy their company.
- Learning to tolerate their environment - People are busy-bodies and are constantly doing things. This includes using things such as dishwashers, vacuums, and other noisy equipment in their daily routines. Puppies that are exposed to such environments tend to grow up without any fears that involve machines and are more relaxed in a busy environment.
- Periods of extreme excitement - Have you ever seen a puppy have a sudden burst of running, barking, jumping, or spinning? These are known as "puppy rushes" and are basically short burst of puppy excitement. Many puppies have these episodes a few times a day which lasts for a couple of minutes before the puppy calms down again. These episodes are perfectly normal and are not harmful to the puppy.
- Acquire their adult teeth - Between the ages of three and six months puppies lose their baby teeth and begin to get their adult teeth. This is also the period when puppies begin to chew things around the house. Providing the puppy with good chew toys to provide pain relief is wise during this period of time.
- Probably eat their own poop - Many puppies tend to acquire a taste for their own poop. The puppy needs to be trained against this behavior. If not, puppies tend to continue this habit into their adult lives. There are food additives that you can give your puppy that will make their poop taste really bad. If the puppy continues this behavior you should consult with a veterinarian to determine if there is something lacking in the puppy's diet or there is a medical condition causing this behavior.
How Long Does Puppyhood Last?
All dogs, just like humans, grow up at different rates. Two puppies from the same litter may attain adulthood several months apart. But usually, dogs from small breeds will mature much more quickly than larger dog breeds. Generally, however, dogs six months and under are considered to be in their puppyhood stage. After this the puppy becomes an adolescent for about 18 months. Dogs that are two years and older are considered to be full adults.
Living With Puppies
Having puppies around can provide a great sense of satisfaction and also provide you with a great form of entertainment. But there are some things that you need to keep in mind when living with a puppy.
Before bringing a new puppy into the house you should puppy proof your house. This will protect your belongings and keep the puppy safe.
Do not take the puppy away from its mother before it is eight weeks of age. The puppy needs the interactions with its mother and litter mates as this teaches it how to get along with other dogs.
Dogs are not meant to be left outdoors and isolated. They are social animals and require the company of humans to fulfill their lives. So keep the puppy in the house and around the family. This will help him to acquire the people skills that he will need throughout his life.
Have your puppy vaccinated regularly. Dogs do not have the same high level of immunity that we have. This is especially true of puppies. In order to protect the puppy from serious diseases, they need to start their vaccinations around six to eight weeks of age.
Because puppies have a very weak immune system they should not be taken to public places until they are about six months of age. All adult dogs have parasites which don't affect them. But to a puppy these parasites are killers. Fleas and mites are extremely bad for a puppy as they can kill the pup within a few days. Other internal parasites can kill within a few hours and the puppy can pick this up from the grass where an adult dog has been running around.
While puppies are growing up they should be gradually introduced to new situations. It is important to build positive associations within these new situations. If the puppy lacks these experiences he may grow up fearful and untrusting.
No matter how fun it might seem do not intentionally scare your puppy. The first two months of a puppy's life are considered to be the fear imprint period. Scaring your puppy during this period can result in the dog have lifelong phobias.
Puppies should be spayed and neutered between the ages of three months to six months of age. Besides curbing your dog's instinct to roam the neighborhood it will also prevent, or reduce the risk certain diseases that dogs may acquire.
Training your puppy can begin right away. This is your chance to teach the puppy how to behave in the world. It is also a good idea to enroll the puppy in a puppy kindergarten class. Here he will not only learn to be obedient but he will also get the necessary socialization training around other dogs his age.
One thing that you will realize quite early with your puppy is that they like to get themselves into trouble. And as a result, you may tend to get angry with your puppy. Just remember that you should not punish your dog. The key is to be consistent about the rules of the house and to give the puppy gentle reminders that certain behavior is not tolerated.
Puppies also have a wide range of behaviors which at times may seem cute while they are puppies but not when they are adults. If you don't want the dog to behave badly as an adult you need to prevent that behavior while the dog is a puppy. In other words, don't let your dog do anything as a puppy that you do not want him to do as an adult. As a dog gets older any bad habits they have become very hard to break.
In the beginning there was a puddle on the floor. Something that we've all gone through with dogs. To minimize the presence of these puddles you should begin the housetraining process as soon as you bring your new puppy home. The longer you wait to begin this training the harder it will be to housebreak the dog. You should also begin teaching the dog what to chew and what not to chew. Starting this type of training early will prevent bad habits from forming.
When it comes to feeding your puppy you need to keep in mind that they need more nutrient-dense foods than do adult dogs. Puppies grow quickly and expend a lot of energy in the process of growing up. Low quality foods may cause your dog to become stunted or develop weak bones which may require medical attention throughout its life. Also, dogs that grow up on a poor diet also tend to live a shorter life than a well-fed puppy.
During the growing period you should not let your puppy run or jump on hard surfaces. This type of activity can actually injure the puppy's joints and bones. If you are looking for a running companion wait until the dog is about 18 months old before the two of you go jogging.
Is there a drawback to having a puppy? Yes. Puppies have a great personality when they are young. However, this quite often doesn't continue into adulthood. A fun and happy-go-lucky puppy may become aloof as an adult. A puppy who loved to play with other dogs may begin to give other dogs attitude as he gets older. Just be prepared for this personality change as there is nothing you can do to change it.
Getting a puppy and raising it is a huge commitment. It is your responsibility as a pet parent to properly train the dog so that it grows up to be well-rounded. You also need to give the puppy lots of attention and love which will go a long way in preventing any phobias and behavioral problems when they are adults. In short, puppies are here for us. They give us love, loyalty, and companionship. Treat them right and train them properly and you will have a BFF forever.
The Cutest, Most Adorable Puppies
The Cutest, Most Adorable Puppies