As puppies age, they grow more independent, and by 6-12 months you may notice your once obedient pup is developing some unwanted behaviors. Don't worry, some simple training tips will help you both get through these growing pains.
Stage 5: Adolescence (6 – 18 months) This can be the most difficult time during a puppy's development – adolescence. Your cute little puppy is becoming a teenager and will start producing hormones which may result in changes in behaviour.
Undesirable behaviours such as barking, chewing, counter surfing, house-soiling and jumping up commonly begin to occur at around 3-6 months of age.
Most puppies start to calm down as they approach their maturity age, which is usually around 12 months, but for larger breeds it can be more likely to occur between 18 months and 2 years.
Depending on the pup, sometimes around 6 or 7 months old a previously well-mannered puppy can turn into a terror. House-training accidents, chewing, barking, the bossing around of other pets, and generally unruly behaviors might start to surface.
It is okay to have feelings of regret about getting a puppy. It doesn't make you a bad person and it doesn't mean you shouldn't have your puppy. Feeling inadequate as a pup parent is quite common, but luckily there are things you can do to help with those feelings!
Like humans, dogs go through a rebellious “teenager” phase (around 5 months to 18 months). During this time, they'll often test their owners, seeing what they can get away with. Being firm and consistent with your training will help establish boundaries.
That being said, dogs may just become more affectionate due to old age, a lack of excess energy that they may have once had. They may have grown closer to you because they have more time that they just want to relax and they are accustomed to relaxing with you.
From Birth to 10 Weeks
They have boundless energy and curiosity. They spend most of their day playing and learning the foundations of being a dog: chasing, running, pawing, biting and fighting.
In conclusion, one can learn things about a puppy's temperament as early as 4-5 weeks, although the older they get the more you can learn and the more reliable a temperament test. By 6-8 weeks, a breeder should be able to tell you many details about your pup's personality.
So when will it get easier? The first two months are the most difficult and the following months also bring their challenges. So the answer is, it will get easier and easier, depending on how much effort you put into educating your dog. You should therefore remain hopeful in the process during the first year.
It's OK to feel scared – everyone does. New owners worry about whether their puppy is healthy and happy, whether they are doing things right, and ultimately if they are going to be any good at being a dog owner. You are out of your comfort zone and everything is new so these feelings are totally natural. Ask for help.
It's not unusual to feel annoyance, frustration, even regret after getting a new puppy. It's okay to think about whether your puppy is a good fit for your household, or if you may actually need to return or rehome them.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that puppy blues are generally most intense in the three weeks following their onset. After that, symptoms may remain but feel more manageable, often resolving entirely within three months.
Somewhere around one to one and a half years of age, your dog will reach emotional maturity. Small dogs get there sooner; it can take a bit longer for bigger dogs. At this point, your pup has the emotional capacity of a two to three year old human child. That means they're capable of feeling joy, fear, anger, and love.
Signs of a Strong Bond
There's no mistaking a dog who feels a real emotional connection with you. There's a real light in their eyes; they smile, wag, rub into you, and makes great eye contact. When you come home, they brighten up, becomes animated, and may even vocalize their joy.
There is nothing wrong with cuddling and playing with your new puppy, but try to limit picking them up. Continually holding your dog can make them begin to feel as though they are human and can encourage behavior that causes dominance struggles within your home.
Will your dog remember you after months apart? Luckily, the answer is yes! In fact, studies have shown that the longer a dog is separated from their owner, the happier the dog will be when they return! So, it's actually true, even for your pups, that time really does make the heart grow fonder!
Most puppies will go through a very trying stage when they turn about 5 months of age. Dogs often don't out grow that teenager phase for 2-3 years depending upon the breed. Many experts agree that the most challenging time is between the ages of 8 months to about 18 months.
Many excitable and rowdy behaviors that we see in puppies will diminish with time and proper early training (see Principles of Teaching and Training Dogs). The unruly dog is one that continues to be difficult for the owner to manage past puppyhood, or 6 to 9 months.