What to Expect from A 6-Month-Old Puppy
6 months, yapping, growling, with sudden bursts of energy? You have an adolescent puppy.
Here's what you can expect over the next few weeks:
Appearance & Hair Coat
By 6 months of age, most puppies are approximately 70% of their adult body weight and will display a noticeable drop in growth rate. Smaller breeds will have reached their adult size, but medium to large breeds will keep growing for a few more weeks.
Depending on the breed, your puppy may begin to look a bit dishevelled as her baby coat falls away and is replaced by an adult coat. The process is noticeable in double-coated breeds, whereas smooth-coated breeds show minimal change.
Your puppy's baby teeth will start falling out to make way for adult teeth. Don't worry if you occasionally find a tooth on the carpet, lodged in a chew toy, or none at all. Though aggressive chewing usually slows down by this time, you need to offer appropriate chew toys to help ease teething.
Your vet will monitor your pet's mouth until all her baby teeth are replaced by adult ones. Any baby tooth that refuses to fall out will be pulled out to prevent infection and make way for the adult tooth.
As your puppy grows his energy level climbs the roof –literally. Expect to witness the "Puppy Craze." What's that?
One moment your puppy could be lying on the floor playing calmly with a toy, and suddenly as if insane bounce up and down on furniture, run around in circles, and act like he just got an adrenaline shot.
Yes, your puppy is a lil' bit crazy, but that's normal. This little burst of excitement provides a quick energy release for all the pent-up puppy energy and it is important to provide daily exercise and stimulation to burn the energy.
If you do not have the time for long walks or the dog park, consider getting a dog walker to exercise your dog while you're away.
At 6 months old most puppies have entered the puberty stage and will start testing their humping skills. Getting your dog spayed or neutered by this age will reduce some and eliminate most unwanted behaviours like: Male dogs will begin lifting their legs to urinate, show interest in female dogs on heat, and leave the house often to find a mate; Female dogs will go into heat, escape more often to find a mate, and can easily become pregnant.
Before 6 months most dogs already possess a very keen sense of smell, hearing, vision, and taste. At this age, your puppy is learning to differentiate one smell from another.
So expect your puppy to sniff you more and more every time you return home, it's their way of exploring and trying to figure out where you've been –or if you touch a cat.
Your puppy may display more energy and playfulness while awake, but most 6 months old puppy will still sleep approximately 14 to 18 hours daily.
Your puppy can hold urine for about 5 hours or more and will have a better understanding of his home training lessons now that he is older –who would have thought? Expect some accidents especially when there's a slight change to his routine
Even though your puppy has passed the optimum socialisation window, he is still exploring his environment and learning new things. Continue to introduce new experiences, people, places, things, and sounds.
Remember your dog's growth has slowed. This is the critical point where dogs start to add weight in the belly region.
Consider moving your puppy down from 3 meals a day to 2. Make sure the change is gradual so that your puppy gets used to having less.
Now, instead of say, 20g per 1kg of body weight, you can reduce the amount to 15g per 1kg of weight. That means, if your puppy weighs 7kg, he will require 105g of total food per day.
Oh, look away if your dog complains by showing you the "dog eyes."
Dog training has a start, but not an end. So you will never be done training your puppy. Even when your dog becomes an adult, you will still need to train him regularly to keep him sharp.
Of course, your puppy will have learned and understood most the house training rule, now is a good time to work on obedience training. Teach your dog basic commands like: "come", "fetch", "stay", "sit", and "down".
If you had enrolled your puppy in a kindergarten, his teacher will help you with advance commands like "roll over", "with me" – and no, there's nothing like "walk on your hind legs."
You will notice new behaviour problems in your growing puppy: dominance, testing boundaries, digging, and mischief.
Do not write off the behaviour as something he will grow out of. Handle any behaviour as soon as you notice them and if it's something need help with, do not delay to get assistance from a dog trainer