Taking on a new puppy is often a highlight of life, and most people love the journey – but there is also no denying that it is difficult, exhausting, stressful, and sometimes upsetting at the same time, because new puppies can be a real handful. That might lead you to wonder “when does having a puppy get easier?” when your puppy has torn up another pair of shoes or made a mess on your favorite rug. It will be quite a long time before your puppy is completely settled in your home, feels comfortable and happy, and starts to listen when you try to train it.
There are a lot of challenges that come with owning a new puppy, including toilet training, socializing, feeding, caring for, and getting to know the dog. Each puppy is unique, so even if you have raised a dog before, it will take time for you (and your dog) to understand what to expect and work out how to get along together. Some puppies are keen chewers, others are slow to toilet trained, and others might be easily distracted when you’re trying to teach them things.
Patience will be key as you help your new dog get acclimatized to your home, and you should only take on a puppy when you are in a good space to commit time, money, and energy. This will make owning one easier and increase your chances of enjoying the puppyhood months.
When Does Having A Puppy Get Easier?
There is no exact point at which owning a puppy gets easier, because puppies are all individuals and can vary in terms of their behavior, but around the four or five month mark, most puppies will start to become easier to handle. They will be more settled in your home, more used to you, and better able to focus on listening. They will usually be calmer, and most will be close to being toilet trained by this age, meaning fewer accidents to deal with.
The four-five month estimate on things getting easier is particularly true if you have devoted time and energy to training your puppy when it is young, even if it seems like the puppy is never going to listen to you, or your attempts at discipline are having no visible impact. Setting yourself up for success involves teaching your dog the rules from the start, regardless of whether it seems to be learning, because it’s much easier to implement good habits early on than to fix bad habits later.
Puppy parenting is not easy to begin with, but you should know that it will get easier as long as you lay solid foundations. Don’t teach your puppy bad behavior, or you’ll have a long uphill battle even once it does start to listen to you. If your puppy thinks that it can do things it can’t, being older will make things harder, not easier.
Why Is Having A Puppy So Hard?
Having a puppy is hard for many reasons, but the biggest ones are probably toilet training, socializing, and walking the puppy, as well as dealing with chewing and any concerns you have about your puppy’s health. It can be frustrating to have to get up to take the dog out every few hours when you first get it, but doing so will make toilet training your puppy far more successful and straightforward. Preventing things like chewing, nipping, and peeing on the furniture are also major challenges of puppy parenting.
Apart from having a human baby, taking on a puppy is probably one of the most stressful (and enjoyable) things that a person can do, and there will be a steep learning curve with any new dog, even if you are an experienced dog owner. You will have to get to know what motivates your dog, what it struggles with, and what its best and worst quirks are, and this can be a long haul. In some cases, puppies seem to get worse before they get better, and this might lead you to despair.
This is usually a sign that your dog is getting more comfortable with the house, but hasn’t yet learned to listen to you properly. As the puppy finds its feet and begins to explore and chew and misbehave, it might seem that owning a puppy has become even more difficult, but this phase rarely lasts for long. Soon, your dog should start to follow the rules.
What Can You Do To Make It Easier To Have A Puppy?
Although owning a puppy will always be challenging, there are a few things that you can do to make your life easier and ensure that your puppy is safe even when you aren’t around. Puppy proofing your home or the rooms where your dog is allowed makes a big difference and will mean you don’t have to supervise your dog every minute of the day. You should ideally have at least one safe space where you can put your dog when you aren’t watching it, so it can’t get into any mischief or do anything dangerous.
Use things like baby gates to block off access to parts of the house and prevent your puppy from destroying things that are precious, especially if it is a keen chewer. A dog crate can also be useful, as this ensures you can stop your puppy from getting into things when you aren’t around, and can increase the safety that the dog enjoys.
Another important step involves deciding what behavior you don’t want to see, and discouraging this from a very early age (while encouraging behavior that you do want to see). Things like jumping up and nipping might be cute when your puppy is small, but unless you want your adult dog to do these things, you need to train it away from this kind of behavior from the beginning, or you’ll have a very confused dog that’s hard to handle.
If you’ve ever wondered “when does having a puppy get easier?” the answer is that they often become better listeners and calmer dogs when they reach about four or five months old. However, this is also dependent on the input that they get from their owners, and on good training from puppyhood. You can set your dog up for success by teaching it good habits and being patient when it is little, building strong bonds that will last a lifetime.