Dog Adolescence

by Abi Birch // August 2017

The teenage months!

You guessed it! Dogs hit a period of adolescence just like human teenagers and it’s stage that every dog owner needs to know about to understand what their dog is experiencing and how difficult things might be from their perspective.

As they mature and approach adulthood, your well-behaved, well-trained puppy will begin to grow in confidence as they enter a new development stage.

You may have had a puppy who would sit and wait, come back when called, leave objects alone when asked, and be very attentive to their name. Suddenly, that recall isn’t as solid as they start wandering back to you in their own time, not paying attention to you calling. Your dog might appear to have forgotten all about the training you have both worked so hard on, but don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a stage of learning that all dogs go through, as their brains continue to develop – so it’s vital that we continue their training and help them continue to make good choices, which we can then reward.

Within this period, you as an owner will need to step up the training, exercise and stimulation to ensure what they learned as a puppy is repeated and reinforced in order to help your dog become happy, obedient and confident. It is important to keep your adolescent dog physically stimulated during walks, and you can also provide other types of exercise, such as agility or flyball, that give the opportunity to use brain power too. It is also just as important to keep up their mental stimulation, by providing fun and enriching training games for you and your dog to complete daily. By encouraging their independence throughout this stage, along with keeping your dog active and stimulated, you will be rewarded with a mature and confident adult dog.

Why not try out Dog School!

We run adult classes which provide you as owners the tools to build on their basics and keep their minds active and engaged, this ensures training is upheld throughout these challenging stages of their development. We can also help in preventing any future problems that may arise by teaching you about dog behavior and dog body language and looking out for signs of fear and anxiety.

For more information or to sign up to classes you can either fill out the online enquiry form on our web page or e-mail nottsdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk.