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What to Expect from Your 16-week-old Puppy

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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At four months old, pups are in full teething mode and chewing becomes an issue. Also, at this stage of development, puppies often exhibit fits of "the maddies" and periodically tear around the house, running across the furniture, practically bouncing off the walls. This is a release of their natural exuberance and is to be expected. At this age, puppies are "braver" and may get into things that they would have not done so when younger. This may be described as the pre-adolescent stage when puppies may show more independence.

The following list will help you know what to expect from your puppy has he develops.

  • How Big? - Most 16-week-old puppies are in their rapid growth phase. Most puppies will gain or grow rapidly between birth and 6 months of age and how much they grow or gain will depend on their breed, diet, and ultimate adult size. Some formulas estimate that by 16 weeks of age your puppy is at least half of his adult weight.

  • Teething – The puppy's first teeth are temporary and are soon replaced by permanent teeth. This is a very active teething stage as many of the adult teeth come in now and for the next couple months. As teeth first erupt, puppies like to chew. Make sure you have a good supply of appropriate chew toys. Don't keep too many toys out at one time. Hide some of the toys and reintroduce them when your puppy seems bored.

  • Senses –16-week-old puppies will show fear, pain, pleasure, and excitement. They can see and hear fairly well. They are learning to differentiate between smells. Their ear muscles are maturing as they learn to manipulate their ears to allow the entrance of sound waves which adds to their keen sense of hearing.

  • Ability to Hold Urine – 16-week-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 5 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 5 hours to get them "housebroken".

  • Intelligence –16-week-old puppies are very interested in the environment. This makes them at higher risk for getting into "things" as they explore their environment. Some puppies have a brief phase of "fear" at this time as they may respond to noises or new objects. Exposure your puppy to new objects and allow them to investigate on their own terms until they are comfortable with the new situation.

  • Agility – Most puppies that are 16 weeks old are still a little clumsy but are getting stronger and more coordinated. They can generally romp, play, jump, and run with good accuracy. This is a time they have lots of energy and some of the fetch type toys can be a good release.

  • Sleep – Puppies that are 16 weeks old sleep approximately 18 to 20 hours per day. The rest is spent eating, playing and eliminating.

  • Physical Appearance & Hair Coat – 16-week-old puppies may begin to show some of their adult hair coat at this stage. It is important to get them use to being brushed and touched. They are continuing to grow in height and length but still look very much like a puppy.

    Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 16-week-old Old Puppy

  • Continue crate training
  • Maintain a housetraining schedule
  • Take him out at least every 5 hours
  • Feed 3 to 4 times per day
  • Choose safe toys
  • Switch out safe chew toys
  • Don't let your puppy chew on anything toy he can swallow
  • Get your puppy used to grooming and trimming his nails
  • Expose your puppy to different people to minimize fear
  • Socialize!
  • Never hit your puppy
  • Give positive reinforcement for work well done
  • Beware puppy hazards
  • Play with your puppy
  • Provide access to fresh water at all times
  • Make sure he gets his vaccines!

    Read about What your 16-week-old Puppy Needs to Stay Healthy!


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