What to Expect During Your Puppy’s First Months

Jocelyn Bishop
November 18, 2013

Pet Parenting

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Congratulations! You are a brand new parent to a lovable, adorable puppy. You’ve opened your home to a world that will be filled with lots of cuddling, petting and walking. While you may have stocked up on everything your puppy will need to turn into a well-rounded pooch, including food, bowls, and those much-needed toys, you’re probably wondering where to start when it comes to taking care of your new best friend. If this feeling sounds all too familiar, then you’re in luck! Read on to see what you can expect during your puppy’s first year.

An Overview of Early Life Milestones for Your Puppy

Weeks 3-7

Your pup will have developed his senses during the first few weeks of his life. So, it’s essential to socialize him in any way during this time. This means exposing him to new people, places, environments, sounds, and other animals (including other dogs). This is the perfect time to get your pup acquainted with new things, as they are fearlessly curious during their first few weeks.

Weeks 7-9

Unlike the first few weeks, the seventh week may seem like your puppy has a terrible case of the Terrible Two’s. He will now be fearful and cautious about his surroundings, and he may even be a bit fussy at times. Steer clear of traumatic events during these weeks such as grooming, surgery, and loud noises and instead provide a gentler environment for your pup. Since this is now the age where they can start learning, use this time to get a head start on potty-training and learning commands. Remember to remain calm and nurturing even when you feel like your pooch is just too much to handle. After all, they rely on you for comfort!

Weeks 9-12

What was then curiosity turned fearful is now inquisitiveness again at its best. Your pup is back to being aware about his surroundings and even knows which behavior is appropriate for which times. Looking to turn your pooch into a striking show dog? Now would be the time to teach him wow-worthy tricks. With a little patience and encouragement, your pup is also now ready to join puppy kindergarten classes and socialize with other dogs.

Weeks 13-17

Fido has now turned into somewhat of a rebellious pup, chewing on everything in sight, including those beloved pair of socks, and needing independence. Never leave your dog alone during this stage, as they can run away from you and fail to obey your commands. He is not as concerned with pleasing you as he once was; instead, he’s more into finding out what the big world has in store for him.

Beyond 17 Weeks

With his growing curiosity getting the best of him, your pup’s sexual behavior will now make its appearance. It’s best to get your pup spayed or neutered during this time, as delaying it can cause undesired sexual behavior to carry on into adulthood. And while your pup is testing out his new teeth on your socks, he needs positive reinforcement and words of encouragement to help him grow into a healthy, happy dog.

Now that you know what to expect during your puppy’s first year, sit back, relax, and enjoy watching your pooch grow into the best friend you’ve always wanted.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the organization. Redbarn.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please note that each situation is different, and you should always consult your veterinarian should you have any questions about your pet’s health.

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