Adolescent Dogs-The Teenage Years

Positive Dog Training for Your New Puppy

Creative Puppy Training Tips

During this time, your puppy’s immature brain is changing and developing, and it can be a difficult and challenging period in both your puppy’s life and yours. The best comparison between a puppy adolescent is a human teenager, and needless to say, this can be one of the toughest times in your relationship.
Basic Dog Training and Puppy Training

Puppies are so cute. They have the best puppy breath, sweet eyes, fluffy fur. But, what happens when they hit that time in their lives when you just feel like you are going to lose your mind? You know what I’m talking about, a teenager with fur!

Your puppy will become an adolescent dog around the time his canine teeth start to come in, and this developmental stage lasts until he is about 18 months of age, depending on the breed. During this time, your puppy’s immature brain is changing and developing, and it can be a difficult and challenging period in both your puppy’s life and yours. The best comparison between a puppy adolescent is a human teenager, and needless to say, this can be one of the toughest times in your relationship.

An adolescent dog is more often than not rowdier, mouthier, jumpier, and generally more obnoxious than at any other time in his life. They tend to have short fuses, test you, and downright ignore you when given the opportunity. Our shelters consist of a lot of adolescent dogs; dog parents just feel like they don’t know what to do, and can’t control their behavior. I use “parent” lightly because a good parent would not give up. So why even bother? Because it is a temporary time in their lives, and they are so worth the effort.

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Dog Training Tip: Have patience.

What you can do: Have patience. Have a little more patience. Continue with all your puppy training lessons, play exercises, and prevention life lessons. Focus on all the positive aspects your puppy has already learned and keep up his progress. Have fun when interacting with your puppy. Keep in mind the best way to keep your puppy engaged with you is to be fun and enjoyable, especially during this time. If you have been putting in the work, adolescence will not be as troublesome. If during your puppy’s first 18 months of life, you continue to play a very proactive role in his development and learning, you will be able to have an enjoyable “rest of his life,” for hopefully 10+ years.

Your puppy’s future depends solely on you. When you decided to bring home your new puppy, you took on the great responsibility for his livelihood and his future. Your puppy is a bright being, full of life, who is counting on you to train him and help him develop into a great family dog. You are responsible for his life and well-being. If you choose to work with him only half-heartedly and do not teach him the life skills he needs to live in your human world, he is more likely to become one of the 4 million pets surrendered to animal shelters each year.

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He’s counting on YOU!

So keep working with your puppy on a daily basis. If you are practicing the exercises in Proactive Puppy Care daily, you are on your way to a well behaved and valued family member. Keep taking your puppy on regular, preferably daily puppy socialization adventures. Get the help of a positive and experienced dog training coach and enroll in group puppy training or private dog training classes. As they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

And last, but certainly not least, enjoy your puppy and have fun!


What do you enjoy most about your new puppy?  Tell me in the comments.
 

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11 thoughts on “Adolescent Dogs-The Teenage Years

  1. Gracie looks like an angel when she’s sleeping! And while she’s awake she loves life!
    Having fun attacking a water jug, running around the yard with a rope in her mouth waving it like it’s a flag! Antagonizing the cranky Cocker until she chases her. I hope she’ll still snuggle next to me like she’s that 8lb puppy when she’s a big girl!
    But right now she’s testing the limits, the teenage years! Only a few needle like teeth left, stares at me like I’m speaking a foreign language when I tell her to sit, and helping herself to what’s on the counter isn’t funny anymore! The life of an Irish Setter, always looking for the party!

  2. “An adolescent dog is more often than not rowdier, mouthier, jumpier, and generally more obnoxious” sounds just like a teenager to me!
    I adopted Kilo when he was just finishing his, so I missed out on his puppy phase too sadly. But I will say that it is a good option for people looking to adopt a dog but aren’t ready to deal with all of the learning and training phases.

  3. Aww, I love training dogs. Unfortunately, mine are all gone now. I agree with you that you have to have patience (and more patience) and be consistent in your training. Your dog will not learn by himself. It always makes me sad when people say their dog is bad, or worse, stupid. It’s only because they haven’t bothered training. Thanks so much for sharing this valuable information and I’m sure it will influence some people to indeed, spend more teaching time with their puppies. Peace

    1. 🙂 So agree and thanks. I think when people know it’s normal, it does help. But, no way around it, young dogs can be a lot of work. What about some kitty training? More on that in 2017. 🙂

  4. This phase should be talked about more! This was a very difficult time with Walter and he was mouthier! Do you recall if the fear period is around the same time? I didn’t do enough desensitization with Walter as he’s super noise sensitive so I should have exposed him to more when he was at this critical period…

    1. Thanks, Christy. Their emotions and behavior are all over the place for the first 2 years. I know people say x months etc, and that is all true, but I feel the first 2 years are critical. My golden developed noise phobias around 1 year. Thunder phobia can happen anytime and has a lot to do with the dog’s personality and history. I have a few articles that might be helpful. I also offer phone/Skype sessions if you would like to address more details. <3 http://raisingyourpetsnaturally.com/?s=thunder

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