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What to Expect in Puppy's First 6 Months

When a puppy becomes a new family member, it's good to know what to expect in the months ahead.  That way, you can best provide his nutritional, socialization, and health-care needs.  Below is a sampling of what to expect and what you can do during the time period for 8 weeks until 6 months.

8-12 Weeks
Physical coordination and bladder control are improving, but attention span is still  short.  Three weeks through 12 weeks is his most critical socialization period, influencing greatly how he will interact as adult.  Your pup still sleeps a lot during the day.  By 12 weeks, he'll begin losing puppy teeth.
Your Job: Protect his developing immune system by staying current on vaccinations.  Ask your veterinarian about deworming, heartworm preventives, and flea and tick control.  Take your puppy outside frequently to avoid accidents. 
Start basic training: get him used to a collar, to leash walking, and to coming to you when called.  When your puppy obeys a command, give an immediate reward.  Introduce your pup to variety of people, situations, and places.  Enroll in a puppy class, if you can.  Let him sleep when he's tired.  Begin grooming? Brush is teeth and his coat, handle his mouth and paws, and trim nails.  Feed a quality puppy food - 4 meals a day.

12-16 Weeks
We explores everything at this stage.
Your Job: Continue basic training; offer rewards and praise for a good job.  Give plenty of toys for chewing, play with him, and offer lots of exercise.  Cut feeding to 3 meals per day.

4-6 Months
This is a period of great physical growth. Give or take a few weeks, or months. In this is the stage your puppy will be go through the ugly stage. But I promise he/she will will grow up to look like a beautiful Australian Shepherd. About age 2 your puppy will be considered full grown, filled out all the hair he/she will have.
Your Job:Keep socializing your pup, but be gentle with him if he's reluctant or shy.  Check his collar as he grows to make sure it's not too tight.  Continue feeding 3 meals a day until 6 months of age.  At your puppy exam, ask your veterinarian about spaying/neutering.

Your time and attention in these critical months pay off when he becomes a well-behaved, well-adjusted adult.
- Teething schedule -


Deciduous Teeth (puppy teeth)
Incisors3-4 weeks
Canines3 weeks
Premolars4-12 weeks


Permanent teeth (adult teeth)
Incisors3-5 months
Canines4-6 months
Premolars4-6 months
Molars5-7 months

~Recommended Schedule for Dog Vaccination~

A possible vaccination schedule for the "average" dog is shown below.

5 weeksParvovirus: For puppies at high risk. Check with your veterinarian.
6 & 9
Combination vaccine* without leptospirosis.

Coronavirus:where coronavirus is a concern.

12 weeks
or older
Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (age at vaccination may vary according to local law).
12 & 15
Combination vaccine*

Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.

Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Adult Combination vaccine*

Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.

Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law).

 Consult with your local veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your dog. Recommendations vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the dog, the potential of the dog to be exposed to the disease, the type of vaccine, whether the dog is used for breeding, and the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.

*A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes adenovirus cough and hepatitis, canine distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Some combination vaccines may also include leptospirosis (7-way vaccines) and/or coronavirus. The inclusion of either canine adenovirus-1 or adenovirus-2 in a vaccine will protect against both adenovirus cough and hepatitis; adenovirus-2 is highly preferred.

**Some puppies may need additional vaccinations against parvovirus after 15 weeks of age. Consult with your local veterinarian.

Bordetella and parainfluenza: For complete canine cough protection, we recommend Intra-Trac III ADT. For dogs that are shown, in field trials, or are boarded, we recommend vaccination every six to twelve months with Intra-Trac III ADT.


I pee, poop, chase, jump, dig, bark, and bite.
Assembly (training) required.
Batteries (food) not included.
Health care manitory.
Yearly Cost: $750 to $3000.
Additional Recommendations:
I prefer to sleep in the bedroom with you. Please provide
a minimum of 2 hours a day play, exercise, socialization,
and employment. Education must include emotional, mental,
and physical stimulation.
I will accept you as you are, unconditionally love you,
work with you, grow with you, and together we will form a living, loving bond.
©The Dog Whisperer - Paul Owens


Important Information - MDR1 mutation~

***Many different drugs and drug classes have
been reported to cause problems in Collies and
other herding breed dogs that carry the MDR1 mutation.


Aussies and other herding types (Collies, Border Collies, ACD's and Shelties) can have certain drug sensitivities. Aussies should never be given any of the drugs listed below. Please note Heartgaurd is on the list and can cause seizures in sensitive aussies. Never give Heartguard to an Aussie, choose Interceptor instead. Also note not all vets are familiar with this list or the MDR1 mutation.

Drugs that have been documented, or are strongly suspected to cause problems in dogs with the MDR1 mutation:

* Ivermectin (antiparasitic agent) "Heartgaurd"
* Loperamide (Imodium®; over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent)
* Doxorubicin (anticancer agent)
* Vincristine (anticancer agent)
* Vinblastine (anticancer agent)
* Cyclosporin (immunosuppressive agent)
* Digoxin (heart drug)
* Acepromazine (tranquilizer)
*Butorphanol (pain control)

For More Information on this: