Adolescence in dogs is one of the hardest phases for a new pet owner to go through. Most dog’s start hitting this adolescence around the 7-9 month age range and are still considered an adolescent dog up to around 18 months. This is what we playfully call here at Rockin’ Dawgs, “The Teenage Years”.
This is a young dog’s coming of age. An age where bravery steps up and suddenly after months with you, they decide they don’t need you as much anymore. That cute little puppy that wouldn’t leave your side out in the yard, now feels shooting across the street to say hello to the neighbors is no big deal.
It’s an age where hormones start kicking in. Now the boys smell the girls and vice versa and wandering, escaping fences etc. is now a new issue.
Protective tendencies start to come in to play, so now when your dog barks, he might have a real reason for it, and it might not be the best one. Left to his/her own devices that bark could easily become an out-of-control habit if not worked with properly.
And let’s definitely not forget that Prey Drive starting to kick in! You thought they liked to pull towards the blowing leaves and the lizards before… just you wait. Now chasing a squirrel or bird could send one of you to the emergency room if you aren’t careful. Does the phrase “selective hearing” ring a bell?
Yes, the teenage years are a rough one for some dog’s, especially if they were not started in training classes from a young age to help you deal with these things. In a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) and published in the July issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS), researchers found that nearly 50% of all dogs surrendered to shelters during this age were of adolescent age and a whopping 96% of the dogs had not received any obedience training.
We here at Rockin’ Dawgs hope to change these statistics in our community. So if you have a teenage dog, please consider taking a Basic Obedience Class with us, learn how to communicate well with your dog during this young developmental time in their life and promote positive reinforcement obedience training to your doggie friends so we can keep these great animals out of our shelters.