Where is My Puppy and Who is This Monster?!
Your puppy is 5 months old, and probably pushing your buttons daily. A 5-month-old puppy is a force to be reckoned with. King Kong, Godzilla, and the Incredible Hulk all rolled up into an adorable little ball of cuteness with a button nose. A few weeks ago your pup was following you everywhere. Now you have an increasingly independent toddler on your hands.
This is a normal part of puppy development, but does require you to up your game in regards to setting and sticking with rules, boundaries, and training. Failure to do so can lead to behavior issues that are challenging to correct once established. Keep using positive reinforcement techniques to reward the behavior you want to see, and start incorporating your training lessons into daily interactions.
Incorporate Training Into Your Day-to-Day
Here are a couple of ways to incorporate training into your puppy’s daily interactions to make sure mental stimulation starts early. Try each of these and share your pup’s training with us on Instagram. Use hashtag #PupBox.
Sit Before Exiting
Always make your pup sit and wait before exiting your home. Make sure you have treats on you and lure your pup into a sit at the front door. Start opening the door and if your pup stands up close it quickly. Keep playing this game until your pup remains seated and waiting patiently with the door open. If you are consistent with this, your pup will quickly learn to wait for you everytime you leave the home.
Wait Before Meals
Most puppies are highly motivated by food. If your pup waits anxiously for each meal and pounces on the food bowl then this is a great opportunity to work on some self-control. Before every meal, have your pup wait to eat. Place the bowl on the floor and tell your pup to stay, if he lunges for the bowl, pick it up and try again in 5 minutes. Start with a 5-second wait, then 10, 15, etc. Your pup’s self-control will get better with practice. This game will help in all different scenarios both in and out of the home.
Four on the Floor
Does your puppy jump up on you or your visitors? This is extremely common, and may even be cute when your pup was 2-3 months old. But a rapidly growing and clumsy 5-month puppy can wreak havoc on unsuspecting bystanders entering your home. Practice the “four on the floor” lesson when you come home to stop your puppy from jumping up. When you come home and your pup is jumping with joy to see you make him sit before you say your hellos. Give an ear rub and warm greeting only when all four paws are flat on the ground.
Your 5 Month Puppy’s Health and Nutrition
Over the next 8-12 months your pup is going to fill out into his full adult size. Take lots of pictures, the puppy phase is over before you know it. It’s important to talk to your vet and do your research about the best foods and treats for your puppy.
Food selection can have a huge impact on development and prevention of health issues down the line. Make sure to feed your puppy high-quality puppy food that is appropriate for his size and breed. Puppy food has more calories, and your puppy will need the extra oomph to help with growth spurts and the high-energy lifestyle of a puppy. Eventually, your 5 month old puppy will be ready to transition to adult dog food.
While you will probably switch over to a two meal a day routine in a few months, it is good idea to space out meals 3 times per day throughout puppyhood. Multiple smaller meals are easier on your pup’s digestive system and will help stabilize energy levels throughout the day.
Questions to Ask Your Vet About Spaying and Neutering
Advantages and Disadvantages?
Make sure to discuss spaying and neutering in detail with your veterinarian. They are the best source for helping you make an educated decision.
There are a few different trains of thought about when to spay and neuter. Ask your vet for their opinion regarding when would be best for your pup to be altered.
Will spaying or neutering change my pup’s personality? Ask your vet to elaborate on both the long term and short term effects of the procedure on your pup's personality.
If you think the operation is out of your price range, think again. There are many low cost and free Spay/Neuter Centers around the country, just ask Google.