Picture raising a pup. Perhaps you’ve done it before. All that work, playing, feeding, chewing, puppy school, sleep deprivation whilst toilet training and that’s just you. Ok, well maybe he chewed more than you. The world has been even bigger event for your pup. When a pup hits around 8 months of age folks often breathe a sigh of relief saying, ‘Thank goodness that little puppy stage is over’. We hate to alarm you, but teenage hood is about to begin.
You may have started out on a good thing, but now your pup has gone from cute fluffball to demon pup! This young canine is about to experience a number of biological, physical and psychological changes. Hence the reason so many dogs are surrendered at between 10 & 18 months. Adolescence kicks in and can leave owners reeling. Suddenly it’s as if another dog has possessed the body of your sweet puppy. Your dog is now equivalent to 15 years of age if measured against the human scale. This developmental stage when his canines appear, may involve around 8 more months of extreme behavior and similar observations as you might hear from parents with human teenagers. Remarks such as ‘he’s so obnoxious, he outright ignores everything I say, he constantly tests me & he’s out of control’ are commonly heard from parents of teen dogs.
It’s important to be aware that this stage is going to happen, preferably before it arrives to help you prepare. However, every cloud has a silver lining. This is a valuable time to build a bond with your dog. Work done through this period will help cement a solid relationship and earn his trust in you. Use this as a molding stage and forge ahead creating a dog people love being around. His desire for stimulus can be met by you giving him exercise and training sessions.
He is counting on you to be able to provide a fulfilling life. You have made a long-term commitment to delivering his care as a new member of your family. Be prepared for ups and downs and continue to seek all the help you need. It will be a learning curve which challenges your own patience and development so embrace it.
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)