- Behaviour & Training>
- Adolescent behaviour
“Adolescence” in puppies can start from about 10 weeks of age and lasts for several months. This can include:
- Rise in level of aggression: consider the causes (more territorial, trying to assert dominance over owner)
- Adult coat replaces puppy coat
- Maturing sexually so the interaction between male and female dogs changes.
Like rebellious teens, adolescent dogs can be a handful – hyperactive, inattentive and hormonal. But that’s what you get when nature provides an immature brain with a body that’s nearly the size of an adult.
And just like all generation next’s, a fast growing dog needs similar guidance during this difficult life stage.
Common traits of dog adolescence
More adventurous and rebellious
- More adventurous and interested in the big wide world than you
- Test boundaries – physically and in the relationship
- Become deaf to commands such as "come”
- Chewing gets out of hand
- Buckets of energy
Reach sexual maturity
- Males often jump fences and take off in search of the babes
- Males may mark in and around the house to claim their territory
- Females will mark to advertise their availability to the local Romeo’s
- Both can become aggressive with other dogs of the same sex.
Possibly become shy or frightened of things he or she took in stride just a few weeks before. Don't force your dog to confront something that frightens him or her, but don't coddle (and thereby reward) his or her fears, either.
- Long, gangly and awkward
- Lose the cottony puppy coat
Tips for parents of adolescent dogs
- Keep them in a gated-off area so they can’t run away
- Puppy-proof part of the house against the chewing machine
- Get the family to spend time with them
- Burn off that energy with loads of exercise
- Keep training sessions short and fun to cater for a very short attention span
- Be calm but consistent about house rules
- Give kind, gentle commands
- Perhaps enrol in another obedience class