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Navigating Adolescence!


Adolescence can be a really hard period to go through together with your young dog! Going from a puppy that is eager to please and they seem to pick everything up so quickly then all of a sudden they change and they don't listen to cues anymore and they challenge literally EVERYTHING you say! However, it is also a really tough period for your puppy to navigate too as they have changes in hormones, their bodies are growing quickly and they have to try and learn everything they are being told! It can be a really frustrating time as often we have to take a step or two (Maybe even 6 or 7) in our training plans which can be really difficult. It can be really frustrating as you know they know the cues or behaviours you are asking them but don't panic! It is completely normal to experience turbulence during adolescence.

How can we help our adolescence dog?

Keep training sessions short and simple. Lots and lots (and lots more) repetition of your cues and what you are associating them with. In as many different places as possible. Work in an environment that isn't too exciting for your dog to focus this can be a bit of a balancing act! Try not to do too many different things in one session really build your foundations so that your dogs behaviour becomes reliable.

Adolescence usually starts around five to six months and depending upon the breed of dog you own can last up until twelve to eighteen months.

All dogs also go through a secondary fear phase as they develop which often happens as they enter into adolescence where you may see a change in behaviour from your dog such as barking at something, or being worried about something even though they have previously being exposed to it before. This is a completely normal behaviour and try not to panic! You can reassure your puppy, try to give them space away from what they are worried about and expose them to social aspects of their life really gently.

If you are worried or would like help with your adolescent dog please do not hesitate to ask no question is a silly question!

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