7-to-12-Month-Old Puppy: What to Expect

Over the second half of your puppy's first year, you'll continue to reinforce positive behavior and correct him when he stumbles. Your pet's brain is growing, and you'll want to stimulate it by taking him to new places, introducing him to new people...

Puppy on couch. Photography by iStock.
Puppy on couch. Photography by iStock.

Over the second half of your puppy’s first year, you’ll continue to reinforce positive behavior and correct him when he stumbles. Your pet’s brain is growing and you’ll want to stimulate it by taking him to new places, introducing him to new people, and investing in some great interactive toys.

By your puppy’s first birthday he’ll be close to his full potential in terms of size and you may have to start treating him like the young adult he is, starting with switching him to adult dog food and taking him to the vet for his annual exam.

Here are some things you should be thinking about with a 7-to-12-month-old puppy:

A Boxer puppy.
A Boxer puppy. Photography by Shutterstock.

» How to Handle a Vomiting Puppy
It can be alarming to see your puppy vomiting for no apparent reason and, yet, they often do this. And it can be tough to tell when to be worried and when to just let it go, particularly so with vomiting. Vomiting can indicate a serious illness such as liver disease or a simple upset tummy from eating the rug. Here’s what to pay attention to if your dog is vomiting »

» How to Analyze Your Puppy’s Body Language
Puppies and adult dogs use their body language to communicate with other canines and with humans. It is based on the language you see among wolves and wild dogs, but our domesticated pups have adapted their language to get what they want from us. Learn all about puppy body language »


» What to Do if Your Puppy Eats Feces
The eating of feces, or coprophagia, occurs in many puppies. It’s pretty easy to check for the signs of coprophagia — bad breath and a surprisingly low amount of poop in the backyard. The causes range from an attempt to get attention to mimicking another puppy’s behavior to hunger. Learn how to curb this today »


» Solve Your Pup’s Stress with Tolerance Techniques
Even if your puppy’s fear imprint period is coming to an end, there may be some residual effects. Dogs experience stress much like we do. Your main goal is to keep the stress from escalating. This means if your puppy gets stressed out from thunderstorms, you’re going to try to solve the stressor before it really gets going. Here’s how to teach your puppy to handle scary situations calmly »


» A Guide to Puppy Hip Dysplasia and Treatments
Most of us assume that hip dysplasia only occurs in large, older dogs. Medium-size and smaller breeds can be affected, too, and you can see signs of in in dogs as young as 33 weeks. It is primarily a purebred disease, though it can show up in mixed breeds as well. Many pups will show signs of it early on. Here’s what to look for »


» Advanced Obedience Training
Obedience training doesn’t ever have to end (and really shouldn’t). You can keep taking your puppy to class for the rest of his life and work with him at home. Dogs are always eager to learn and love praise for a job well done. Here are some advanced commands to teach your pup »


» Keep Your Pet Safe with Microchipping and Tagging
A lost puppy is a heart-wrenching experience. It’s something all dog owners worry about. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs who are lost in the U.S. every year. Some are lost because their owners let them roam, some because they are escape artists that no fence can hold in, some because they bolt past their owner and out an open door. Learn about your ID options »


» Directions for Proper Dental Care at Home
Puppies of this age tend not to have any dental problems but it’s amazing how quickly things like gingivitis can take hold. A good 80 percent of dogs by the age of three show periodontal disease. Starting to take care of your puppy’s teeth and gums now means he will get used to the process more quickly and you will be insuring a healthier adult mouth. Here’s how to get started »


» Stimulate Your Puppy’s Growing Brain
It is during this time of your puppy’s life that his cognitive system is rapidly developing. Varied stimulation helps a puppy learn and grow, so you want to make sure he has enough stimulation in his life. Here are four ways to provide healthy stimulation for your puppy »


» Use the Surge of Your Puppy’s Senses in Training
Puppies at this age need a good deal of stimulation to hone their senses and develop their cognitive ability. This is a time when a puppy’s senses are surging and unless he’s consistently and correctly stimulated, he’ll get overwhelmed. The main goal now is to help him focus his senses and to use his senses in training. Understanding how a dog’s senses work makes these tasks much easier. Here are the basics »


» How to Handle Canine Incontinence
Incontinence basically means your puppy cannot control his urination. It is entirely different from marking or spraying, which is a voluntary act meant to spread scent around. It is also different from submissive urination, which is a behavioral problem. Incontinence is involuntary and the dog is usually unaware of it. Here are several things you can do to remedy the problem »


» A Guide to Treating Recurrent Ear Infections
Does your puppy shake his head like he’s trying to get water out of his ears even though he hasn’t been swimming? When you scratch behind his ears, does he pull away? These could be signs of an ear infection. Learn how to prevent and treat canine ear infections »


» Trick Your Puppy Into Becoming a Straight-A Student
Your pup may already be a straight-A student in obedience training, but even the best students have a subject or two that is difficult for them. Using objects such as toys and enthusiasm can help even the most stubborn puppy learn that last command or two. These tools can also tempt your puppy into behaving better all around. Read on to get the right tools »


» A Guide to Advanced Socialization
Most puppies who have been socialized since birth will have a well-developed communication system in place. But while some are still in adolescence, especially the large breeds, you may see some awkwardness among friends and new introductions. Here are some things you can do to help your pet along »


» Prevent Injuries in Your Growing Puppy
At this age, puppies will push themselves to the limit and can easily hurt themselves. They also get easily distracted so that when they’re running toward something, such as yourself, the sound of a can opener can make them turn suddenly, causing legs to get all tangled up. Prevention is the best medicine in this case, and you can do several things with training and making spaces safe to avoid injury. Learn how to prevent injuries in growing puppies »


» How to Stop Your Puppy from Digging
Some puppies this age are big diggers who leave craters in your lawn. Other puppies are small diggers who pockmark the grass with dainty holes. Digging occurs when puppies are bored, stressed, or lonely. They also dig to get cooler on a hot day or to get warmer on a cold day. They dig to get to something or to hide something. Here are some way to stop your pup from digging »


» Controlling Your Puppy’s Shedding
Dog fur seems to have an ability to get everywhere, whether it’s the short coarse hair of a Terrier or the long, silky hair of an Afghan. Shedding really gets going around this age, especially if it’s warm outside, although because we keep dogs indoors so much, some will not shed according to season but instead shed year-round. Here’s a look at products to help with shedding »


» How to Determine Your Puppy’s IQ
Did you know that you can test your puppy’s IQ? Your puppy’s cognitive development is coming to a close, and it’s a good time to see just how smart he is. Learning his IQ number certainly won’t change your feelings towards him, but it might give you something to brag about at the dog park. It also can aid you in training, telling you what to focus on and what needs extra time. Here’s how to determine your dog’s IQ »


» A Checklist for Traveling with Your Puppy by Car
Being aware of your puppy’s physical and emotional reactions to a long car ride is very helpful. A dog who is fine traveling around the block may get really anxious after an hour in the car. A quick car trip doesn’t take much planning but if you’re planning on sailing down the highways to places unknown, preparation for the car ride is imperative. Here’s what you’ll need »


» How to Begin to Switch Your Puppy to Adult Dog Food
Puppy food is fine until about 52 weeks. At that point your puppy’s growth begins to slow and he needs to start on adult dog food. Adult dog food is packed more densely with nutrients and vitamins than puppy food, partly because an adult dog eats less calories than a pup. The vitamins and minerals in adult food are also different. It is best to slowly introduce adult food to your puppy so that by 52 weeks he can be completely converted. Here’s how to do it »


» Prevent the Return of Your Puppy’s Bad Childhood Habits
If your puppy has stopped chewing shoes and diving for that piece of cheese, you may have let your guard down. If so, it’s likely that shoes are suddenly getting strewn across the floor and your puppy is once again pushing against your leg at dinner for some tidbits. This occurs not because your puppy has forgotten his behavior training but because he’s seen that he can start to get away with things, inch by inch. Read about some common bad habits and how to handle them »


» How to Stop Dermatitis Before It Spreads
If your puppy is scratching all over, it may be that he has dermatitis, an inflammatory itching of the skin. It has many causes including parasites, food allergies, plant allergies, or chemicals such as cleaning products. Dermatitis can be chronic or temporary. Fortunately, there are ways to stop it, and the first step is to determine what is causing it. Read on to learn more about Dermatitis in puppies »


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