Allow the puppy unrestricted access to the stairs until he or she is fully grown. This might take up to 18 months depending on the breed and size. Again, leaping, particularly jumping off furniture, can enhance a puppy's risk of injury. Avoid letting your puppy sleep in high places so that he or she does not become unconscious or intoxicated from the heat and then fall.
Puppies need exercise and stimulation too! Let them out into the backyard every afternoon for a few hours before they get too hot or busy playing with their friends. Most breeds will drink water when it's offered regularly, but some may have specific needs to ensure they are always adequately hydrated. The same goes for eating; make sure your puppy gets opportunities to taste different foods so that he or she learns which ones are most delicious and popular.
Finally, be sure to stop all stair climbing when you go on vacation or leave the house for any length of time. Your puppy should not be left alone for more than three hours at a time unless you have someone available who knows how to care for him or her. If you are going to be out for an extended period of time or if you hire a pet sitter, tell everyone about your puppy's needs and don't forget to write a check for the sitter when you get back.
Approximately 16 weeks old Aside from short bathroom breaks, do not leave your puppy on the ground in your backyard or outside your home until they are around 16 weeks old. Because young pups are prone to sickness, be extra cautious if other dogs or animals have access to your yard. Also remember that puppies don't know how to use the bathroom in front of others, so make sure you take them to an area where no one will be able to see them. Finally, make sure that dog doors are opened every time you leave your house for any length of time.
Puppies also tend to relieve themselves more frequently than adults do and may even do so during the night when you're asleep. If you hear your puppy barking out there at night, it's best to let him out again so that he can go back inside where it's warm. You should also wash your hands after letting your puppy out so that you don't send him into another room to answer the call of nature when you come down the hallway!
Around 16 weeks old, your puppy is now old enough to go out during the day while you work. But because young pups are still developing muscle control, it's best to wait until they are at least 10-12 weeks old before leaving them alone for long periods of time. Even then, only put them in places where they can't escape the yard or feel uncomfortable.
Physical maturation begins as soon as the puppies' eyes open. They should be aware and attempting to stand by two weeks of age. They should be attempting to climb out of their nest or whelping box by three weeks. All of the puppies should be able to walk, run, and play by four weeks. The mother dog will continue to nurse her pups for about six months after they are weaned.
The old adage "out with the old, in with the new" applies to puppies too! By opening up their palates for some quality food and water, you're giving them the opportunity to grow healthy teeth and gums. Starting them on solid foods by five to six weeks old will help develop their digestive systems and give them essential nutrients they need for growth and development.
Puppies should remain in their whelping boxes or nesting areas until they are approximately six weeks old. At that time, they should no longer be sleeping in there but rather in a separate area of the house with their mother until she resumes breeding at two years of age. This helps reduce stress on both parent dogs and their young. However, if a mother dog has given birth to several litters in a short period of time, she may not have enough energy to care for all of her puppies at once. In this case, some of the younger puppies may need to stay in their whelping box longer than others.
A decent rule of thumb is to exercise the puppy for five minutes every month of age (up to twice a day) until it is completely grown, e.g., 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when it is three months old, 20 minutes when it is four months old, and so on. They can go out for considerably longer after they are completely developed. A one-year-old dog can safely exercise for 30 minutes at a time several times a week.
It's best to start training puppies when they are young so that they become used to being with people and therefore more likely to listen when you tell them to do something later on. For example, if you begin training your three-month-old puppy by taking it on walks every day, then by the time spring comes around again it will have gotten into the habit of walking with you and will be much less likely to run away or want to stay out late at night alone.
Some breeds, such as Labradors and German Shepherds, are known for their great stamina and will usually not complain if you ask them to go for a walk after only fifteen minutes. However, this depends on the individual dog and how well it has been trained already. If you are still getting to know your pup, start off slowly and increase the time each week until you reach the recommended amount.