The Dreaded Teenage Years

The Dreaded Teenage Years

With Bernard at almost seven months old, I thought I would go through with first hand experience the teenage years with you!  Therw are many things that they face that some owners are often shocked about, but feel their dog has forgotten everything they have learned!  I’ll say here depending upon the dog teenage years go from six months and sometimes up to 18 months!  (I have been praying Bernard doesn’t go that long!  LOL!)

One of the first things that you will notice is that your dog all of a sudden does not want to listen to you.  You may call them to come; they look at you, and go in the opposite direction.  This is heartbreaking for those who have spent so much effort and time working with their puppy.  They begin jumping on people, chewing things again, and sometimes get rebellious with other dogs.

All of this is totally normal.  Just like humans, puppies go through a juvenile development stage, where they think they can take on the world.  Your dog is now taking on his or her own identity.  They will want to assert their independence and question your authority.  They get moody and irritable, just like teenagers.   Many feel (and this is good to some extent) that they don’t need “mom” telling them what to do every waking second.  Good on the confidence level and bad on that you may need to work on your relationship.

Don’t despair; most of the problems that do arise require one thing from us and that is patience.  Recognize that the dog is going through a phase is one of the first things to help you through it.  There are a few other things you should know that your dog may be experiencing.

The second teething phase.    This is when the adult teeth settle into the jawbone.  This can cause some discomfort in the dogs and also the need physiologically to chew.  This is when dog’s curiosity of the world is at its peak.  They learn about their environment by mouthing and gnawing at objects.  If your dog is not allowed to explore and “get into trouble” their behavior will surface as destruction at some point.  This is why even though he drives me crazy; Bernard plays in the mud almost every day.  Good thing he loves the hose when he gets washed off!

Energy levels are also on the rise.  Lack of mental stimulation and exercise are the culprit.  It is very true a tired dog is a good dog.  Long, long, long walks!  Set play dates; take your dog to a group class, anything to tire them out at this point.  Even jump in the car and go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and walk them around the store.  The change of scenery will do them and you wonders.

The hormones are also kicking in.  If you have a male dog, in my opinion, it is best to wait until they are a year to get them neutered.  This allows your dog the time to mature.  Many times owners neuter their dog thinking that it will calm them down, only to find the dogs puppy like behaviors go on for years to come.

Please don’t give up on your dogs at this stage.  Many get taken to shelters.  They will be disobedient, it is proven nature, however you MUST stick your ground.  Ask for the sit and don’t take “no” for an answer.  If you need help with your pup during this trying time, contact Kim Paciotti at 704-877-7821 or by email at kim@trainingcanines.com or our website at www.trainingcanines.com Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/trainingcanines

 

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