Puppy under 16 weeks

Guest Blog: Aggy from Take a Lead talks to us about what to do with your puppy under 16 weeks. 

Lots of people talk about what you should be doing with your puppy well here is one suggesting what NOT to do (avoid) under 16 weeks of age.

In short what to avoid with your puppy under the age of 16 weeks.

*Off leash dog parks *Boarding *Daycare *Dog walker taking your dogs on walks with other dogs

The period in your puppy’s life between weeks 8-16* are crucial building blocks for a dogs life. All experiences need to be as positive as they can be.

That being said, there are many places that have the potential to ruin your dog for life… Even if the utmost care is taken to keep your puppy safe. Avoid areas where you cannot control the environment like the dog park or doggy day-care or a boarding facility.

Fear periods… Your puppy’s first fear period is roughly between 14-16 weeks, (depending on breed type) As rough guidance 14-16 weeks this is when you have to be extra careful with your puppy as even a small scare at this time could be remembered in to adulthood. Extreme care should be taken in that time.

How to identify a fear period? Fear periods are when your young dog all of a sudden is afraid of people, dogs or objects/ places he used to be comfortable with. Some dogs will show that they are in a fear through shyness and some through growling or lunging.

Off Leash Dog Parks: everyone is telling you, you need to socialise your puppy… Most people think the dog park would be the best place to do so…WRONG!! You are entering an off leash area, where you cannot control any of the dogs around you. A lot of older dogs don’t like puppies as they are wiggly and don’t have social manners developed yet.

This leaves your puppy to fend for himself. There have been many, very very sad stories coming out of dog parks of late. Please rethink taking your baby to an off leash dog park. Instead organise puppy play dates with your friends from puppy school or via Dogshare!

Day Care is a big one: doggy daycare is full of confident and bouncy adult and adolescent dogs. They may not mean to scare a little puppy but one accidental move or bump an really scare a small or large puppy. Or find a dedicated Doggy Daycare that has a supervised puppy play area. Make sure staff is knowledgeable. 

Dog Walking A professional dog walker should not agree to take your puppy out before they are 16 weeks, firstly having your puppy out with unknown dogs is not ideal, if you have to get help with your puppy when you’re at work ask if your walker could come past, take your puppy around the block, play with him for a while and tidy up any mess. Simply do a puppy visit to break up the long 8 hour while you are at work. 

Boarding: Leaving a puppy at a boarding facility at such a young age with lots of other dogs, that bark, and are possibly scared of things is not the best place for such a young puppy.. But as socialization to your individual life style is so important between 8-16 weeks, you are missing out on exposing your puppy to YOUR life. It could potentially become much harder to socialize your puppy after 16 weeks to items/ animals etc that your puppy has never seen or heard before. Your puppy could respond with barking/cowering etc when exposed to new things. You will have to just work much harder to get your puppy socialized to your life. Lots of treats, jolly voice….always ask for professional help.

Plan when you are getting your puppy to ensure you are home until 16 weeks of age. It is so important as you are going to have your puppy in your life for 15-16 years.

Give your puppy the best start in life.

Happy Puppy Training.


*There are other fear periods in a dogs life and all depend on the individual puppy/dog when they are. We give the guidelines 8-16 weeks but some dogs start there fear period much earlier than 8 weeks, this is just the time owners get their puppy from the breeder.

Aggy is an accredited NDTF (National Dog Trainers Federation) trained and an accredited Puppy School Instructor by Vicki Austin and is currently doing her CCPDT certification (certification council for professional dog trainers).

Sydney, NSW

Call: 0424 209 242

Email: aggy@takealead.com.au

Or visit the website at: www.takealead.com.au