Everyone loves a teenager!
...Some dogs may seem to suddenly start to rebel, ignore the house rules, challenge your authority, be driven by raging hormones and may act before they think...sounds familiar? Sounds just like a teenage dog to me!
'He was ace at puppy class, the best at recall, learnt all the basic commands, was a joy to be around and paid attention to my every word...then it all changed' onwers cry!
Adolescence is a fact of life for dogs, and just like with humans, it effects in defferent degrees of severity, but it happens nonetheless.
The more ready we are to accept this, the more likely we are to be able to cope with it.
Smaller dogs tend to reach adolescence earlier than larger breeds and can last from a matter of months to a few years, depending on the individual dog, however the worst of it generally only lasts a few months.
Our gorgeous little bundle of fluff who has now turned into a goofey, lanky teenager, does not do things just to spite us, we just need to appreciate that for the time being, we need to possibly lower our expectations and go back to basics with our training regime.
Like human teenagers, they can often look at you as if you've got two heads when asked a request, they find it hard to concentrate, are easily distracted and may try to test you to your limits!
Younger teen dogs quite often feel discomfort in their gums as their adult teeth are setting into the jawbone, so they may feel the need to chew to alleviate this. As they are now bigger dogs with more powerful jaws, the damage they can inflict can be more extreme than what they chewed when younger pups! It's very important to give them PLENTY of appropriate things to chew on to save your dining table legs!
Their hormones can put their bodies under enormous stress; their interests may change; they may become more interested in the oposite sex; and same sex squabbles can start to emerge.
Females have their first season and males have an increased surge of testosterone. This is very often the 'age' when dogs are handed into rescue centres as owners feel they are unable to cope with all these changes in their pet.
The good news is that ...IT WILL PASS!
Think Calmness, Consistency and Clarity to help get you and your dog through it.