The first six months of life are vital to the development
of puppies and require a lot of time, care and energy. Seven weeks is
too young to take home a puppy. Pets
should be purchased or adopted at 10–11 weeks old. When puppies
are 12 weeks old, they have worked through their puppy stages with their
siblings and learned socialization skills from their mothers.
Young puppies need to be fed 3–4 times a day,
kept in a confined area indoors and let out every few hours to eliminate.
Teething lasts the first 6–8 months. Most pets can be considered
teenagers or young adults from 6–16 months old. These pets are still
growing and developing through adolescence, but are beginning to show
the direction that their personalities will take. They are still high-energy
kids at this stage and will test your patience at every turn. Puppies
don't become mature adults until they are two years old.
Puppies are fragile, require extra time and care, and
are prone to play-related scratching and biting. They may not be appropriate
for a household with young children. Adopting a friendly, calm, adult
dog who has a known history of getting along with young children may be
the best choice for your family. If you have a young child and are considering
adopting a puppy, you need to consider that:
• Puppies require a lot of time, patience, training and supervision.
They also require socialization in order to become well-adjusted adult
dogs. This means they need to be taken places and exposed to new things
and new people. If you have a young child who already requires a lot of
care and time, will you have enough time to care for a puppy as well?
• Puppies, because they are babies, are somewhat fragile creatures.
A puppy may become frightened, or even injured, by a well-meaning, curious
child who wants to constantly pick him up or hug him.
• Puppies have sharp teeth and claws with which they may inadvertently
injure a small child. Puppies also tend to jump up on small children and
knock them down.
• If you get a puppy, you don't know if he will become more
protective. He might become destructive.
Raising a puppy is a lot like raising small children—they
get into everything. Some of what they get into can be hazardous to their
health or to your possessions. Get rid of hazardous temptations ahead
Puppies do most of their investigating of the world
with their mouths. Preventing destructive and dangerous chewing is easier
than trying to correct the puppy every second. Put potentially interesting
objects up out of the puppy's reach. Bitter apple spray can be applied
to furniture legs, woodwork and other immovable items. Install a baby
gate or close doors of rooms that your puppy should be restricted from
entering until he's better trained or more reliable. If your yard
is fenced, check the boundaries and gates for openings that could potentially
provide escape routes. If your yard is not fenced, make a resolution that
your puppy will never be allowed to run off-lead without close supervision.