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Puppies are a joy to be around. They melt your heart with those big, round, expressive eyes, wagging tails and cute, fluffy bodies. That is until you bring them home and after a few weeks they start wreaking havoc in your life.
Yes, puppies are cute, but they are so much work. No one tells you just how much work raising a dog is. Just like raising a child, they require your constant attention, and boy do they crave your constant attention.
When it comes to raising a puppy, there’s lots to consider. Of course, you have to potty train the puppy, house train it, teach it commands such as sit, stay, or come, and you need to ensure that it walks safely and nicely on a lead. But there’s so much more than that!
Puppies are so inquisitive, and they want to be involved in everything you’re doing. They’re also full of energy, and some may even have anxiety when you leave the room, house or try to go upstairs.
You may even feel that all you ever do is shout ‘No!’ or all your neighbors ever hear is you calling your dog’s name. So, when does this mania start to ease up, when will your puppy calm down, and when does raising a puppy get easier? Read on to find out!
When Does Raising A Puppy Get Easier?
Even if you do all of the research beforehand, prepare yourself, your home and have all of the resources possible, it can still be a challenge to raise a puppy. It’s exhausting, but it is also very rewarding. The initial stages of having a puppy are crucial in how your dog turns out.
The first few months of having a puppy are a sort of honeymoon period. When you first have a puppy, at around 8 or 12 weeks old, they may be very curious and inquisitive, and of course you have the joys of your puppy pooping and peeing everywhere they go.
However, this is only temporary. At around 4-5 months, a puppy will start to bite less, or destroy things less, and will begin to pick up on your commands and its training. They will seem to listen and will adapt to your routine and rules.
Then come the hormones and the rebellious teenager phase. At around 5-6 months, the adult teeth start to come in, and your dog will begin to become sexually mature. With an influx of hormones and aching teeth, comes bad behaviors, naughtiness and they may start to assert themselves in your home.
This is the most challenging phase of having a puppy, as some will need to burn off energy, whereas others may need support and calmness to ease any teething pains and anxiety that they have. Your puppy may act like it has forgotten everything you’ve trained them to do, and may act out or rebel against you.
From about 7-12 months old, your puppy can still be rebellious, but they should also mellow out and become calmer as time goes on. So, when does it get better? Whilst it does get easier after about 4-5 months of age, as it becomes simpler to potty train the puppy, and they become more focused, so you can start training them more, there is a phase where it gets worse, but then it gets better.
We would argue that raising your puppy is complete as soon as they reach about 1 year old. By that point, they should no longer be teething, testing you, and should be obedient and trained well enough for you to have very few issues.
What Age Are Puppies The Most Difficult?
Unfortunately, puppies also go through a ‘teenage’ stage, where they may start to rebel and act out. Who knew they were so much like having kids? After the age of about five months old, puppies will start to challenge you and test you to see how much they can get away with and who the boss is.
This is when you need a lot of patience and perseverance as this can go on for months or even years. Most dog experts claim that the most difficult and challenging phase is when the puppy is between 8 months old and 18 months old.
At What Age Does A Puppy Calm Down?
The puppy stages can be hard work, you’re constantly trying to occupy them, give them toys and chews to help with teething pains, walking them and trying to burn off that excess puppy energy.
The good news is that puppies do eventually start to calm down and become more relaxed and more reserved, especially as they grow more accustomed to their new home. Most puppies will begin to calm down around the age of about nine months old, and even more so as they reach full maturity between one to two years of age, depending on the breed.
Once your puppy is fully grown they should start to lose that busy puppy mentality, and all of that energy should start to fizzle away.
How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Get Comfortable In A Home?
When bringing home a puppy from a breeder or shelter, most experts say that it takes around three days for them to get acclimated to the new environment. However, it takes around three weeks for a puppy to start feeling at home.
So, you may bring home your bundle of fur and find them quiet and reserved, but trust us, it won’t stay that way. As your dog grows more accustomed and comfortable in your home, it will start to become more confident and will begin to show their true colors.
After about three weeks, your puppy will come out of their shell, which is when training is essential. After three months, they will begin to trust their new home and understand routines, habits and will build a very strong bond with you.
Is It Normal To Regret Having A Puppy?
Raising a puppy can be really stressful, especially if you have a high energy dog that never seems to calm down, it can really wear you out. You may also be feeling like you’re out of your depth, or you’re struggling to keep your head up.
Some people even feel regretful that they got a puppy as it is so much work. Most of the time, this is simply due to the lack of sleep, loss of freedom and stress of puppy training. Try to remember that when they are young, they test and challenge you a lot, and they may be naughty and rebellious, even when they know what they’re doing is wrong or not rewarded.
A puppy can change your whole life, and mess up your routine or usual regime that you are used to. It’s all about finding a balance between your day to day life, and your new best friend.
Just remember that life is full of surprises and bumps, and nothing ever goes smoothly, but this naughty puppy phase is just that. It’s a phase, and you’re training and setting up this dog to be a lifelong, lovable companion that you would never want to be without.
To conclude, raising a puppy can be very challenging, and it will be difficult for a few months. Some puppies will be in that busy, testing, naughty stage from about 7 or 8 months old up until they are a year old or more! It’s important to remember that this is not forever, and they will calm down eventually, and become that perfect companion for life that you’ve always wanted.