Dog 101: Dogs Can Change As They Grow. Here is what to expect

If you are reading this, you are considering a canine companion for the first time. Another reason could be that your dog isn’t acting the same as they did in their puppyhood, adolescence or adult stage and you’re looking for answers. You’ve come to the right place to start. Many aspiring dog pawrent’s and owners are often caught off-guard when they witness some behaviours from their canine companion that seems quite different from what you thought was advertised on “Lassie” “A Dog’s Purpose”. Dogs are lovely companions to have your whole life, but just like humans, they too go through different stages of life that can have an impact on their behaviour. From energetic and curious puppies to laid-back senior dogs, a dog’s age can influence their personality, habits and interactions with the world around them. Understanding these changes is essential for providing the best possible care for your furry friend and building a strong, fulfilling relationship. In this article, we’ll explore how a dog’s behaviour changes based on their life cycle and provide insights on navigating each stage. Whether you are a new dog owner or a seasoned pet parent, this guide will help you better understand your furry companion and ensure a happy, full life together. 


Age: 2 months – 6 months

As a regular shelter volunteer, I have noticed that puppies tend to get better odds for adoption than dogs above the age of 6 months. It’s an incredible experience if you know what you signed up for but for many who end up having to return the puppy, may have realised they were in over their heads.

Puppyhood is a crucial stage in a dog’s life, as it sets the foundation for their behavior and socialization. Here are some common puppy behaviors and tips for training your furry friend:

  1. Nipping and biting: Puppies explore the world through their mouths and may nip or bite during play or when feeling anxious. However, it’s important to discourage this behavior early on to prevent it from becoming a habit. You can teach your puppy to redirect their biting onto a toy or chew, and avoid rough play that can encourage biting.

  2. Chewing: Puppies also have a strong urge to chew, which can result in damage to furniture, shoes, and other household items. Provide plenty of appropriate chew toys and supervise your puppy to prevent them from chewing on inappropriate objects.

  3. Housebreaking: Potty training is an essential part of puppyhood, and consistency is key. Take your puppy outside frequently, especially after meals and naps, and reward them for going potty outside.

  4. Barking and Boundary: As lovely as puppies are, if left alone, its normal for them to whine or bark for attention. Puppy care involves a lot of proactive care so do apologise to your neighbours in advance and do your best to not give in but instead seek opportunities to reward your puppy in quiet moments. Here, crate training can be helpful and it’s important to not give your puppy too much freedom around the house especially unsupervised. A house line can help (Do let me know if you’d like me to explain what a house line is in the comments)

  5. Focus on bonding: Feeding your puppy and establishing a fixed daily routine will help create a strong foundation for your puppy.
  6. Basic obedience: Starting basic obedience training early on can help your puppy learn good habits and behaviors. Teach them simple commands like “their name”, “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” and reward them with praise and treats for good behavior. Unless you were thorough in the research of your puppy’s lineage (especially trained parents), do set realistic expectations for your puppy’s progress. 

Having a puppy takes a lot of commitment and is not for the faint hearted. However, if you are well prepared to provide proper bonding and training during puppyhood, you can help your furry friend grow into a happy, well-behaved adult dog. Remember to be patient and consistent, and seek professional help if needed.

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