The Dreaded Teenage Years

Our dog’s teenage years one of the most trying times many of us face.  It seems we have just mastered the puppy stage of their sharp little teeth, housebreaking, and chewing on everything, and suddenly this teenage stage is  upon us.

A dog’s teenage years can start as early as six months and last until your dog is two years old!  Many owners have a hard time making it through this stage.  More dogs are given to rescues and shelters during this time.  Owners find themselves not knowing where to turn.  That ever so cute puppy has now turned in to a monster. Owners do need to realize, they can make this stage less trying if they start training their dog early.  As early as the day you bring your dog home.  If you did not do this, do not fret, however I will tell you that you are going to need an extreme amount of patience in order to make it through this stage.

Mentally, teenage dogs may be showing what seems to be selective hearing.  Owners find themselves repeating commands over and over for the dog to only occasionally listen.  Some dogs even reverse back to puppy behavior.  Chewing, having accidents in the house, and mouthing along with barking are just a few.  Their bodies are getting bigger, but their minds are still in puppyhood.  Many times this also happens if your dog was spade or neutered at a very early age.  They tend to hold those puppy traits even longer.

One of the best things you can do at this time is exercise your dog.  Not only with daily walks, but mental exercise as well.  Play games such as hide and seek, or find it.  Work on your dog’s obedience.  Don’t just go for the basic sit, ask your dog for a sit while you are in another room, or maybe sitting in a chair backwards.  Do all that you can to keep you dog occupied and moving forward on the training scale.  Work on something new with your dog.  Maybe something as simply getting out of the car properly, or working on their manners while walking through a doorway.    Give yourself and your dog a challenge. Take a tricks class, or go to YouTube and watch some simple videos and try to teach your dog what you have learned.  Enjoy the weather take your dog swimming!

Please remember be patient.  Your dog is not trying to dominate you or take over your household, even though I know you think he is.  His hormones are in a state of frenzy, but remaining calm is the key.  Be a Leader and Be Confident!  Dogs need and want to feel secure.  Being an effective leader isn’t about dominating your dog and making them be submissive to you.  It is all about being a teacher and building their confidence.  You can achieve that by encouraging and always rewarding good behavior.  Remember reward the good, and ignore the bad.  Train your dog what you want him to do, not what you don’t want him to do.

Let us help you make it through the teenage years!  Call Kim Paciotti at 704-877-7821 or by email at  Visit our website at

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