|The Smart and Beautiful Foster Puppy Girl Lovey|
Generally dogs are considered adults at around 12 months of age. The adolescence phase can begin at any point between about 6 months and about 18 months. The repetitively good news is that it does not last as long as it does in people. Usually in dogs it last from a few weeks to a couple of months or so.
The adolescence is brought about by physiological, mainly hormonal changes in the dog as part of his/her growth to adulthood. The thing that seems a bit counter intuitive, to me at least, is that altering the dog (spay/neuter) does not seem to have a great effect on the behavior during adolescence.
Well, here is the bad news: During adolescence it is not uncommon for you sweet little well behaved and polite dog to seemingly forget everything that you worked so hard teach him/her.
Housebreaking accidents are common. General misbehavior is common. An article on Petfinder.com really describes it well; "At times he may look at you as though you had just addressed him in Mandarin, trying to convince you that you never taught him the sit command"
This is really serious stuff. Many dogs end up in shelters because their people do not understand what is going on here. This condition is temporary and there are things that you can do about it. It is far from a hopeless situation. It can however, be extremely frustrating.
|Foster Boy Biscuit taking a nap|
|Foster Boy Biscuit... ain't that a pretty face!|
What you have to do is remain calm, be patient, and take several steps back in your training (this will be temporary). Treat him/her like they are learning this stuff for the first time.
As I have written before, dogs sense our emotions. They know when you are frustrated. Be careful to remain calm when working with them. I realize this is difficult when a housebroken pup pees on your furniture. Or it is difficult to remain calm when that well behaved little guy forgets how to sit properly or jumps all over you. But try to remember that this too will pass and you will have your old dog back soon. Perhaps it will not seem as bad if you remember some of the odd stuff you may have done as an adolescent.
If you are getting really frustrated and need help with your adolescent pup, I will be more than happy to talk to you about it and possibly show you some techniques to deal with it better. Please contact me at anytime!
Till next time
William Moore Canine Training