By week 9, your puppy is ready to begin his next stage in life, your home! He is away from his mommy and his litter-mates and is now adjusting to the new place. Weeks 9 to 12 are considered as the ‘golden training time’, wherein your puppy is at a fast learning pace and will be easily trainable. Puppies should meet as many people as possible during this stage and you must also expose the puppy to different environments.
Ensure a daily routine
If you are bringing home your puppy at this stage, it is time you maintain a proper routine. Routines are reassuring to puppies and maintaining a daily routine keeps him disciplined. Here are some daily routine techniques that your puppy must follow:
- Food and water at a designated place – Keep the food bowl and the water bowl at a fixed place so that your puppy is familiar with the spot where he can get food and drink water.
- Bed at a safe and cozy place – Keep your puppy’s bed at a spot which is safe and cozy and where he/she has easy access to food and water bowl.
- Keep the toys at a designated place too – Keep those toys at a place where he/she knows and can reach.
- Time to go to bed and time to get up – Your puppy should have a routine when he wakes up and when he goes to the bed.
- Time to eat – Your puppy should have a proper time interval when he/she will be fed. A feeding timetable is great for this and also ensures that you take him/her on walks on time too!
- Time to go out – Typically your puppy should go out once he wakes up, every time he has been fed, after a playtime session and before going off to bed.
- Teach your puppy common commands – Your puppy is at a learning stage and will easily grasp whatever you teach. So start teaching your puppy common commands such as No, Sit, Stay, Down, Drop It, Let’s Go, Heel, Quiet and so on. Always use a proper tone when you are teaching these commands and start with short words that are easy to grasp.
- Household rules – Teach your puppy the type of behaviours that are acceptable and ones that aren’t. Is he/she allowed to sit on the furniture? Is he/she allowed inside the kitchen? Is he/she allowed to sleep in your bed at night? Teach your dog words like good! and no! to make sure that you enforce it at the time of laying down the household rules.
- Obedience Training – All puppies misbehave from time to time and if you respond the wrong way, the bad behaviour will continue. How you respond to the behaviour makes a lot of difference so ensure that you use calm yet assertive tone to lay down the ground rules. This is crucial for proper obedience training and for the puppy to establish you as the pack leader.
- Vaccination at Week 9 – Between week 6-8, your puppy must have been administered his first vaccine combination. At week 9, your puppy will be ready for his second combination vaccine. Your vet will be able to guide you on the vaccines that your puppy needs.
- Choose a proper vet clinic – It is best to choose a proper vet clinic where you can take your puppy from the start and let the vet bond with the pup. This will especially be helpful as your puppy grows older as your vet will know his medical history well and your puppy will also be accustomed to the vet.
- Interactive Toys and loads of exposure to different surroundings – Interactive toys are a great way to enhance brain development. Spend loads of time with your puppy on problem solving games, hidden treats, introduce him to tunnels, steps, stairs, closed spaces such as elevators, different surfaces to walk on, etc. The more exposure that your pooch gets, the better exposure your pup will get.
- Teach him that being alone for short periods of time is Okay – Teach your pup that being alone for a short time away from you is okay. This is a great way to deal with separation anxiety in the future. Use a dog crate or a baby gate to separate your pup from you at least once a day so that your puppy begins to relate it as a positive activity. For example, when you are eating lunch/dinner, keep him away from you in a crate or place a baby gate. Keep things positive and constantly reward your pup upon good behaviour to ensure he/she feels comfortable and not scared.
Your Puppy At Week 10-12
At this stage, your pup’s feeding can be reduced to three meals a day and the second course of vaccination should also happen. Your vet will be able to provide you details on the essential secondary vaccination. Once the second course of vaccination is done, your puppy can be taken outside in public areas and can meet other dogs.
- Exercise routine
Pups at this stage are usually active in the morning time and during evenings. Therefore, you can schedule an exercise regimen at these times since they will be the most attentive. It is best to exercise them before they have their meals. The key is to stick to a routine to ensure that your puppy remains disciplined. It is also essential that the training is provided as per the breed. While breeds such as Whippets and Labradors will need more exercise, dogs such as Bull Dogs, Boxers and Pugs can easily be out of breath because of their short noses and should be given short walks only.
- Development of Senses
Puppies at 12 weeks are able to show pain, fear and excitement. Their vision is fully developed and they can hear well too. They are learning to differentiate between different kinds of smell.
- Poo and Pee
12-week-old puppies are generally able to hold urine for about four hours. So, you need to still take them out atleast 4 times a day to get them housebroken.
Puppies at week 12 still have a baby soft coat and do very little shedding. While they don’t need much grooming yet, you must get your pup used to the idea of brushing and touching his feet and mouth.
Puppies at week 12 no longer need milk and should be put on a high quality puppy food to meet their growing requirements.
Introduce chew toys that will help your puppy in relieving their teething issues and is also a great way to get rid of boredom and anxiety.
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