The First Months of Puppyhood
Written by: Kassie Dickson, CDBC, CPDT-KA
Puppies, puppies, puppies!
When you’re bringing home a new pup, it can be a lot to handle. We’ve got you covered with some expert answers to your frequently asked questions!
What Should I Expect From My 2 Month Old Puppy?
When you pick up a new pup, it’s typically between 8-10 weeks old. This is scientifically considered a critical socialization period which means our pups are using all of their senses to discover the world around them, so creating positive associations is important! We want to make sure they’re interpreting the things we introduce to them as fun and positive.
You want to try and introduce your pup to things that they may see or encounter both regularly or infrequently throughout their life. As long as you continue socialization, we can lengthen the socialization period thus giving them more opportunity for growth by creating positive associations. This makes our pups happy campers by continuing their lifelong journey to being a confident happy dog.
What Should My Puppy Routine Be?
You want to create a routine that’s most conducive to your lifestyle.
Try ensuring you can take your pup to an appropriate elimination area at least 3-5 times a day and have it available at the ready, so that if your pup needs to go you can get them to an appropriate area quickly enough. Depending on what you and your vet decide on for diet, your pup will usually be on a 3 times a day feed to start.
Try to keep the feeding evenly distributed throughout the day. Give your pup ample rest time, for the average puppy this is anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day, and rest is extremely important to your pup’s mental health. Our dogs don’t understand how to self regulate, so it’s important we help them!
How long do I train my puppy for? It’s important to remember our dogs learn through many ways, association being one of them, so they are ALWAYS learning. If you keep training sessions short and successful, you can spread them throughout the day and make training less of a “task” and more fun, for both you and your pup!
When Do I Start Socializing My Puppy?
NOW! The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour believes that puppies should be receiving socialization as early as 7-8 weeks of age. The rewards of early and proper socialization are hugely important! Check out the AVSAB statement here.
How Long Should You Play With a Puppy?
Puppies are like kids and have their own threshold. They need proper sleep, a good diet, and appropriate enrichment to thrive so find the balance that works best for you. If your pup often gets crazy at night, what they likely need is more sleep, not more exercise. If they become very antsy and begin to mount or chew excessively, then sleep and enrichment, you get the point. Practice balance and you’ll be set! Find a reputable, certified trainer to help you through!
Ensure everyone is enjoying play, including you! If your puppy gets too over aroused, begins to be mouthy, or has a hard time stopping play, keep your sessions shorter and introduce games that will help to teach impulse control and better acquired bite inhibition. Look for appropriate games that will help teach your puppy proper coping mechanisms and most of all, make play something you both enjoy!
To help you through the beginning stages of puppyhood, get your paws on a Canadian dog box, catered every month to support your growing pup.