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Puppy | What to Expect at 16 to 24 Weeks

Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

At 16-24 weeks, your puppy has come a long way since the newborn phase. There are lots of changes going on as he or she develops into a fully-grown pooch. Your pup will be growing in height and weight and every day will bring new exciting things to see, hear, paw and smell.

Your puppy will also be approaching an exciting period of socialisation where they have had all the vaccinations they need and are ready to go out and make friends. This is a crucial phase in their development, so it’s worth bearing in mind the following.

Tricks, Tricks, Tricks

In the same way that small children can soak up knowledge like a sponge, puppies are very quick to learn at this age. Now is the ideal time to take he or she to obedience classes and teach them basic training.

Nipping problems in the bud

Puppies are notorious for nipping. Whether it’s chewing a sock, the fluff from a pillow or unopened letters, your little scamp uses its mouth to explore and play. This is rarely intended in an aggressive way, but quickly becomes a nuisance when he or she starts nipping Aunt Hilda’s toes.

Try the following tips to nip the problem in the bud…

#1 Say “Ouch” when the puppy nips you, and pull your hand away, this replicates how his littermates would react and teaches puppy that it hurts.

#2 Make sure all members of the family are familiar and consistent with the same method to teach puppy that teeth should not be touching skin.

#3 Redirect any mouthing to a hard toy or puppy chew as teething may be the reason for nipping.

#4 If the problem is teething, offer an ice cube or frozen carrot strips to help soothe his gums.

#5 Always provide your pup with some safe, long lasting chews and make sure they get lots of mental stimulation as some dogs go looking for things to chew when they’re bored!


Growth and grooming

Puppies go through waves of growth as they transition from whippersnappers to fully-fledged adults, so if they are looking on the lean fear not. As their growth slows down, the puppy will fill out.

By now, your puppies coat will be changing to an adult. Be sure to give them a brush regularly and keep the routine going so that they get used to it.

Not all dogs love the water, so when it comes to bathing be gentle and offer lots of high praise.

Becoming a social pupperfly

#1 Puppers have a ‘window of opportunity’ between 12-16 weeks of age when they should have as many happy & positive experiences as possible. Be careful not to overdo it and give him plenty of rest in between.

#2 Arrange for your puppy to have several pleasant new encounters every day.

#3 These new encounters could be, different people, children, other dogs, other animals and new environments. It’s important to be proactive about this during the ‘window of opportunity’ but also throughout their life.

#4 It’s great to make doggy friends, but socialisation will occur whether your dog meets other puppers or not, so don’t rush them up to every dog you see. Your puppy needs to learn that he doesn’t need to greet every dog that crosses his path.

#5 Enrol your new arrival into puppy training or take them to the vets for socialisation classes.

Housebreaking difficulties

By this point, most puppies have mastered the art of toilet training, but some breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers and Jack Russell’s are notoriously difficult. This is due to their personalities and high-strung temperaments.  

Some puppies can take up to a year to be fully toilet trained, so try to stay positive if it takes a little longer.

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