60–63 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy
How to Prevent Underlying Illnesses from Progressing
If your puppy suddenly has a change in behavior, you may think he is forgetting his training. While it's possible training has become slack, it's also possible that it's a sign of an underlying illness. Some underlying illnesses and conditions that usually start showing with behavior changes include hypothyroidism, epilepsy or hydrocephalus (excess fluid in the brain). More minor conditions include fleas, bladder or ear infections, dermatitis, and dental pain. Any of these can make your dog frustrated and unable to respond to commands or routine.
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.
Signs of a Possible Underlying Illness or Condition
Being Lazy or Inattentive - This can indicate many different illnesses including hypothyroidism and hydrocephalus.
Eating Too Much or Too Little - A common sign for illness, including hypothyroidism, bacterial or viral infection and worms.
Acting Restless or Burrowing Into the Carpet - If your puppy is acting restless and won't "Stay!" when you tell him too, this could be a sign of epilepsy. He may also walk in circles and appear agitated.
Chewing Objects - If your puppy is suddenly chewing on the furniture or on any shoe he can get in his mouth, it could indicate dental pain.
Chewing on Himself - This can indicate parasites, as well as allergies.
Marking - This often indicates a bladder infection.
If your puppy exhibits any sudden, notable change in behavior, reemphasize his training and add new commands as needed. A puppy suddenly running through the house might just be spring fever - or it could indicate a number of illnesses, something that is making him uncomfortable and that he is literally trying to run away from. If your pup does not respond to training immediately, see the vet. Bring a list of all the changes you've noticed.
It's so easy to over-worry about our dogs and vet trips can be expensive. Noting behavioral and physical changes in your puppy can help you decipher what is going on and sleep easier at night.
Advice from Other Dog Owners
How to Keep Your Puppy Off the Christmas Tree
Puppies should be supervised at all times. She or he should be crated while alone, leashed while you are around. Time to teach the "leave it" command. You will really mean it when you fear for the dogs safety! Baby gates might deter him - unless he's that curious kind that looks to defeat all confinement. If he's leashed it's easy to give a sharp leash correction if he goes near the tree. Put the tree up for a few days without trimming to get the dog used to it without risking fragile ornaments.
~Liz C., owner of German Shepherd mix
When Puppies Lose Their Teeth
Puppies have a full set of 28 milk teeth - 4 canines, 12 incisors and 12 molars. The incisors and canines grow in first, the molars last. At around three to four months of age, your dog is going to start losing milk teeth and growing in her adult set of teeth, which consists of a total of 42 teeth - a lot more than the puppy teeth she has. The first to fall out are going to be her incisors, her front teeth. She will start growing her adult incisors first. Around four to five months of age you will see her adult molars and canines to grow in. By about six months, she should have her full set of adult teeth.
~Chris & Brian C., owner of German Shepherd