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How old is your dog?

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What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
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0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
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2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
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3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
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6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
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12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
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18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
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3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
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8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

Puppy 2-3 Months - Behavioural Milestones

Dr Kate Mornement - Pet Behaviourist profile picture

Dr Kate Mornement - Pet Behaviourist

PhD in Companion Animal Behaviour, BSc(Hons) in Zoology

Dr Kate Mornement is an Applied Animal Behaviourist, Consultant and Educator to pet parents, industry, government and media. She has a PhD which focused on companion animal behaviour from Monash University and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology (Animal Behaviour) from La Trobe University.

Puppy 2-3 Months - Behavioural Milestones
Puppies continue to learn through experience and many more behaviours develop between
two to three months of age.

Some important behavioural milestones puppies reach between two and three months of age are discussed below.

Behavioural milestones between 2-3 months of age

From eight weeks of age, or from the time you bring them home, puppies are primed for learning. In their new homes, puppies learn about their new environment, where they sleep, where they eat and drink, where they go to the toilet and who their new family is.

Puppies are also learning which behaviours work for them and which do not. For example,
many puppies learn that jumping up on people results in attention or a pat and so it’s a behaviour they continue to repeat, even as full-grown adults.

It’s therefore important to reward desired behaviour from the very start (keeping their paws on the ground in this instance, for example) if you want better behaviour down the track.

One of the most critical behavioural millstones puppies continue to experience during this age is the socialisation period.

It is estimated that the socialisation window closes at around 12-16 weeks of age.

Positive socialisation experiences with different people, places, other dogs and at the vet are crucial to help prevent your puppy from fearing these things later on.

Negative or traumatic experiences during this time or an absence of socialisation can have a detrimental and lasting impact on a pup’s behavioural wellbeing.

How to support your pup’s behavioural wellbeing and ensure a loving and lasting
relationship with them

You can support your pup’s behavioural development to ensure you share a strong and lasting relationship by doing the following:

  • Take your puppy to puppy school to assist in their socialisation with different people,
    other dogs and environments
  • Socialise your puppy to things they will encounter in their life in a positive way including different people, places including the vet, household items like the vacuum cleaner etc
  • Use positive reinforcement to teach your puppy desired behaviour including sit, stay, on your bed
  • Teach your puppy where to go to the toilet by taking them to the desired location regularly throughout the day and rewarding them for toileting there
  • Teach your puppy gradually that separation from you can be a positive experience. This can help to reduce separation anxiety
  • Provide your puppy with lots of toys and encourage them to play with their toys. This can help to minimise destructive chewing and chewing on inappropriate items
Following these steps will help get you and your puppy off to a great start and will help you develop a strong and lasting relationship.

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