Week 8 – 10
This is the honeymoon period. During this time, your biggest challenge is probably potty training your dog but it’s not so much of a burden because you’re in love with your new furr baby and nothing can take that away from you!
You snuggle on the couch, you play together and you’re having a great time. You’re training your puppy and she’s learning a lot and very fast. You may just have the smartest dog in the country living in your home.
Week 11 – 20
For the love of dog! *BREATHE* and remember that patience is a virtue…
Your sweet little puppy has turned from an eager to please, well mannered fuzzy butt into a rebellious teenager from hell.
I feel your pain. I train these puppies regularly and it’s almost always the case that dogs go through this period. You’ve taught them to sit, lay down, stay, and come when called. Yet, during this phase of growth, it appears that you’re raising a little monster. If a stranger were to see your dog in public, they would give you the same judgy stare that shoppers give parents of unruly toddlers at Wal Mart. This is the animal kingdoms way of paying you back for your teenage years.
While your puppy may know his commands and exactly what you want from him, he may also be a rebellious little turd at this time and have selective hearing and only mind when he feels like it.
Fear not – this too shall pass.
Just like your teenage years, puppies experience changing hormones. A male puppy’s testosterone from age 4 to 10 months can be up to FIVE times higher than an adult male. Why so early, before he’s of breeding age? It’s for his benefit really and part of becoming a man – er – dog. This rise in testosterone signals to other grown up dogs that he’s a juvenile and needs patience and dog education from his fellow kind. This high testosterone signal tells older dogs that he’s learning his boundaries and the ways of the dog and not to be too “ruff” with him during this time.
But your puppy has been spayed or neutered? Sorry but it doesn’t matter! Despite everything you’ve done right in training and socialization, this is just the normal phase of puppy development. Remember to breathe!
This is the time of teething which can also be a source of your puppy’s bad behavior. Puppies begin to teeth around 3 months old and discomfort can cause them to chew on any and everything in sight. You can reduce the chances of that anything being your most expensive pair of shoes by keeping anything non-edible out of his reach and by providing him with plenty of chew toys during this time.
Your puppy may view you as a great teething tool and again – it’s important that you don’t allow this to continue. Immediately provide your puppy with an appropriate toy to chew on rather than your fingers or toes.
In the case of my breed of choice, a Great Dane, this is one of many months of rapid growth. During the 8 – 20 week mark, your Great Dane may grow from 15 lbs to 60 lbs and from 13 inches tall to 60 inches tall.