What is dog puberty & how to handle it as a dog owner?

May 26, 2021

What is dog puberty & how to handle it as a dog owner?

Do you feel like your dog’s behavior has changed recently? Maybe your dog is in its puberty. Continue reading if you want to know more about dogs going through their adolescence.

What is dog puberty?

Dogs go, just like teenagers, through a phase of puberty. Researchers have studied a dog's behavior in his adolescence, and results show that they are also rebelling like teens. This leads to a dog that is harder to train and suddenly ‘forgets’ what you’ve taught him. He’s exploring his limits with you but also around other dogs.

The puberty phase starts between the 6th and 12th month and could last until they are 2,5 years. For male dogs, it could take a little longer to develop than for female dogs. There’s also a difference between the breeds and the size of the dogs. During this phase, the hormones go crazy in your dog’s body and can cause different behavior you’re not used to.

How to handle your dog in its puberty?

It’s a bit hard to live with the fact that your dog has other priorities than listening to you. However, you’re still responsible for your dog so you want him to listen. Don’t lose your structure and stand your ground when it comes to obeying the rules.

In the adolescence phase training is boring for your dog. Therefore, keep your training sessions short and fun. When your dog is listening to you, stimulate your dog by being his biggest fan. Use something that motivates your dog to reward him. If your dog used to sit for a small biscuit but now does not want to do anything for the treat, find something else he likes. This can be another treat or even a toy. Also, try to make some difference between high-value treats and training treats. The high-value treats are only used when your dog did something good and works like a bonus award. Though it can be hard sometimes, try to keep calm, even when it’s not working out as you want. Celebrate the small achievements together with your pup.

Don’t give your dog the opportunity to do things that you don’t want to. If you don’t want him chewing plants or shoes, keep them out of your dog’s sight. If you don’t want your dog to have the chance to run off, don’t take him off the lead unless you’re 100% sure that he listens to your recalls. To train the recall and offer your dog some extra space you can try our 5-meter tow lead.

If you’re really at loss at what to do with your pubescent dog, check some dog trainers in the neighborhood. Some of them offer a puberty class and can help you with your issue. And remember that it’s just a phase. Soon your dog will be out of it and you’ll enjoy the best time ever together.

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