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13-18-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect


Your dog has passed his first birthday but the learning doesn't stop for either of you! You'll find that caring for a properly-socialized adult is a little easier than chasing after a frenzied puppy, but there's still work to do. While most of your pet's behavioral issues were likely addressed during his first year, some new ones like separation anxiety, jumping or digging could crop up while some old ones resurface. And while you've switched to an adult dog food you might find you need to make adjustments based on your pet's weight and overall health.

Here are some things you should be thinking about during your puppy's second year:

» What to Expect at Your Puppy's First Yearly Physical Exam
Even if your vet does not recommend yearly vaccinations, it's important to make this an annual habit to check for lumps, allergies, and anything irregular. This is a thorough exam and you should feel your vet is taking her time with it. Bring in your list of questions and concerns and make sure they are addressed. Here's what to expect »



» How to Determine if Your Puppy is Doing Well on Adult Food
Is your puppy wolfing down his adult dog food or is he turning his nose up at it? Have you noticed either positive or negative effects from switching from puppy food? This change may seem simple but it can wreak havoc on everything from your puppy's stomach to your patience at dinnertime. Here's how to determine if your puppy's adult food is right for him »



» A Guide to Longer Walks and Short Hikes with Your Puppy
Introducing a puppy to hiking is a joy for everyone. By now, he should be up for some longer walks and short hikes, which you can slowly lengthen. Longer treks benefit your puppy as much as they benefit you. They strengthen his leg muscles, his lungs, and his heart. A well-exercised puppy is more alert and learns training commands more easily. It may even give a boost to his mood. View our guide to hiking with your pet »



» How to Deal with Housetraining Accidents
Just as your older puppy may revert to young puppy behavior problems, he might suddenly seem to forget his housetraining at this age. Actually, a dog does not truly forget his training - changes in the environment are more likely the cause. If you don't take the time to determine what has changed that has caused this problem, it will pop up again later on. Here's a look at changes that can cause housetraining accidents »



» How to Prevent Parvovirus
Parvovirus can be a threat for puppies at any age. But, because your puppy is out and about now and in contact with other dogs, it can be especially dangerous at this age, as it is transferred by contact with canine stools. Luckily, it almost never occurs after 14 months so the time for worry now is short. Bone up on the symptoms of Parvovirus »



» How to Safely Jog, Rollerblade or Bike with Your Puppy
Now that your puppy's coordination, bones and joints are developed, it's a good time to try some creative exercise with your pup. Jogging, rollerblading and cycling with your puppy offer a chance to do something exciting for yourself and a chance to teach your puppy new skills. Here's how to get started »



» How to Check Your Puppy's Vision
Now is a good time to check your puppy's vision. At this age, a dog's color vision should be mature as well as his ability to see detail. Signs of a pup whose vision is not optimal include not recognizing family members when they come into a room, bumping into furniture, the inability to catch, and barking at inanimate objects. Learn more about checking your dog's vision »



» A Beginner's Guide to Agility Training
Does your puppy jump logs and recycle bins with the greatest of ease? Does he dodge the kids' toys on the floor with majestic swiftness? Then it's a good time to introduce him to agility training. Most facilities will not take a dog until he is over a year old because puppies under that age are not coordinated and developed enough. Dogs at this age have at least 90% of their adult coordination and development so agility is a good choice now for exercising and learning new commands. Learn more about agility training ».



» A Checklist for Grooming Your Dog
Since puppies start shedding at around 11 months and their fur continues to come in until about month 15, it's a good time to look at your long term grooming choices. Keeping a dog well-groomed on a regular schedule offers many benefits. Even if you do use a groomer, you should do your own lighter grooming weekly to ensure the health of your puppy's skin and coat. How often a heavier grooming is necessary depends on your dog's coat. Check out our grooming checklist »



» How to Prevent Dog Fights
Any breed can get into a dog fight, even your mild-mannered Maltese. Dog fights outside of the ring usually involve a territorial argument. Dog fights can occur at the dog park, among dogs in the same house or really anywhere where your puppy meets another dog. There are many signs that a puppy is going to fight before it actually happens. Knowing and watching for these can help you prevent a fight. Learn more about preventing dog fights »



» How to Navigate the Bad "Treats" Your Puppy Finds on Walks
Do you go on walks with your puppy only to spend a great deal of time jerking his head back from the ground? If so, it's time to stop your puppy's grazing. Noticing the signs that your puppy is ready to dive can help prevent the problem. Here's how to prevent your puppy from being tempted »



» How to Prevent Underlying Illnesses from Progressing
If your puppy suddenly has a change in behavior, it's possible that it's a sign of an underlying illness. There are several behavioral signs that an underlying illness or condition could be present. Knowing these, and knowing your puppy can help you decide if it's time for a visit to the vet. It also helps to know what is "normal" behavior for a puppy at this age. Here's what to look for »



» How to Curb Your Puppy's Tendency to Bark at Everything
Is your puppy suddenly acting like he's a guard dog at a palace? Does he bark his head off at sounds you can't even hear? Dogs bark at things for several reasons including a perceived a threat, a sign of boredom, or a cry for attention. Barking is also a form of communication between dogs. There are two approaches to stopping barking - deterrents and training. Often the best result is to use both »



» The Top Eight Ways to Deal with Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is simply your puppy becoming fearful or agitated when you're not there. Though most often seen in puppies who were not properly socialized early on, even well-adjusted puppies at this age can suffer from separation anxiety. And it may suddenly appear after months of not having any trouble. Understanding why the anxiety occurs can help you alleviate it »



» How to Play the Right Way with Your Puppy
Play is just as important as training for your puppy. Play helps a puppy with his social skills (many early skills are developed by playing with litter mates). It is a way to model real life, help your puppy learn to follow directions, use up excessive energy and have fun. Playing with your puppy also helps you better understand your puppy and communicate with him better. Here are some good games to play with your puppy »



» Tips for Finding Work for Your Puppy
Most breeds were bred for a certain job - flushing out birds, guarding stock, pulling a sled, herding sheep, sighting or tracking prey - and most dogs today, whether purebred or mixed, are pulled to that desire. When a dog uses his instincts and skills to accomplish something, it's a beautiful sight indeed. Besides the praise he gets from you, a working dog is calmer, more alert and less likely to engage in destructive behavior. If you consider your dog's breed or mix and learn what they were bred for, it's easy to find a suitable pastime. Find work for your pup today »



» A Guide to Testing Your Puppy's Hearing
When you call your puppy's name and he doesn't respond, do you automatically think "He's ignoring me, darn it!"? Well, that's certainly a possibility but also consider that your puppy's hearing may not be good. Because your puppy's hearing is now fully mature, it's a good time to test it. If you think your puppy may be hard of hearing, there are tests you and your vet can do to get further information. Learn more about testing your dog's hearing »



» What to Do if Your Puppy is Overweight
Overweight dogs often suffer from many maladies including arthritis, diabetes, heart and breathing trouble. They are also much more at risk for death during surgery. This is a good age to determine if your puppy is overweight as he has probably been on the same food for a while and you've got your exercise routine down which may, or may not, be sufficient. Learn how to help a tubby pup slim down »



» Ways to Keep Your Puppy from Stealing Things
Puppies at this age are notoriously mischievous. The good news is that even when they steal something, they usually leave it intact as the goal is to get the object, not to destroy it. Here are five tricks you can try to deter your pup from stealing »



» A Guide To Earning Your Puppy's Canine Good Citizens Certificate
If your puppy has gone all the way through basic obedience classes, you may wonder what new challenge you two can try. Earning a Canine Good Citizens certificate offers new and exciting commands and lessons and gives your puppy a chance to work in such jobs as being a therapy dog. The AKC determines the criteria for a CGC certificate and the goal is to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. Learn more about how to earn a CGC »



» Make Your Puppy's First Dental Cleaning a Success
More than half of dogs have tartar accumulation by one year of age. This is a good time to introduce your puppy to the process and make it a routine thing. Dental cleaning prevents tartar build up, helps ensure healthy gums, reveals loose teeth and any other problems, and improves breath. Read more about a puppy's first cleaning »



» Checking Your Puppy For Benign or Dangerous Lumps
We think of lumps cysts or as something that appears in older dogs but puppies can get them too. Lumps are categorized into two sizes - small (papules) and larger lumps (nodules). There is also a simple categorization of lumps or cysts as benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Starting to check for these lumps now will help insure that you will always catch something early on. Learn more about benign or dangerous lumps »



» How to Stop Your Puppy from Licking or Mouthing You
Lickers or mouthers often start out with the occasional slobbering of the hand. But this seeming innocuous habit can advance to a chronic habit. There are several reasons that puppies this age do this. Your puppy may be mouthing or licking you as a sign of affection or of dominance or they may be mimicking wild behavior. Learn how to curb this behavior »



» What to Do If Your Puppy is Sleeping Too Much
At this age, puppies should be sleeping about the same amount of time as adult dogs which is approximately 14 hours a day. The correct amount of sleep for dogs is as important as it is for humans. If you're home all day, it's easy for you to see how much your puppy is sleeping. If not, there are some signs to look for. Here's a short list »



» A Checklist for Leaving Your Puppy Alone for an Extended Time
Crating your puppy is ideal but some dog owners do not like this method. If you leave your puppy out when you're gone, section off an area for him which you can make sure is free of temptations such as shoes and cat food. This also makes it less likely your puppy will have an accident. Whether crating or leaving in a sectioned-off area, there is a checklist for ensuring that his time alone is optimal. See it over here »



» How to Care for Your Puppy's Toys
It's best to set up a schedule for cleaning the toys than waiting until a toy looks too nasty to touch. Clean them about once a week and consider rotating them so that you only have to clean half at a time. Never spray the toys with hand sanitizer. It can be harmful to dogs. To prevent bacterial growth on toys, clean them properly and frequently. Here's how to do it »



» Eight Ways to Deal with a Finicky Eater
There's a difference between a picky eater and a finicky eater. A picky eater will only occasionally refuse to eat and can be easily tempted with a slice of cheese added to his bowl. A finicky eater is what we deal with here, a dog who has decided he's giving up dog food for good. First, you want to rule any health issues out first when a dog makes any behavioral change but if your vet gives your puppy the thumbs up, there are several ways to get him to eat without disrupting his stomach. See our suggestions »



» How to Stop Your Puppy from Humping
It's rather embarrassing if you have guests over, go into the kitchen for the drinks and return to find your puppy going at it on your guest's leg. Humping is a subject that even seasoned dog owners hesitate to discuss perhaps because it can seem to be a hard habit to break. As your puppy nears his second year, it's likely that he'll start humping objects and people. Here's how to get over the hump »


« what to expect in months 7-12

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