You Have A Choice To Make During Your Dog’s “Teenage Phase”



They just weren’t responding anymore, even though they knew not to pee in the house. They started doing it again, even though your puppy was an angel outside. When you were on walks now, it seems like you’re walking a little tasmanian devil they’re, just not interested in you anymore, and it seems like they’re, pushing every single boundary just to see how you’ll respond. Now some of this may be true, but there’s a couple things that you need to know about.

There are two important developmental thresholds in your dog’s life. I guess that your puppy’s starting to act a little bit differently before four months. You are, or should be, the center of your puppy’s world you’re spending lots of time with them, you’re focused on helping them to avoid making mistakes, and you know that they’re going to need to be supervised. Otherwise, your puppy’s going to get into all kinds of trouble.

Even in a quiet prepared and safe environment, but the reality is, they haven’t ever really been faced with any realworld distractions. You’ve been kind of controlling the world around them, and this is a really important part of that puppy training phase. This is a time with your puppy that allows you to pattern the right behaviors and it allows you to teach them to respond to their name, so that every single time they respond, they’re 100 % successful with their training, as your puppy enters this first developmental period. Your puppy might know to respond to their name when you’re in a quiet environment, they might know to park their butt when you say sit.

But when you’re out in in the real world, with all these new sites and smells and things that are around to to to take their focus and attention off of you, you’re going to have to take a few steps back in your training. If you change the location of your training, you need to make it easier for your puppy to be successful and for most puppies. Now notice that I didn’t say they start to have more freedom, I’m going to get back to that in just a minute. The second developmental threshold and the one that most people complain about for dogs is around the seven month old mark, and this is commonly referred to as the teenage phase, and this is the one that most people really struggle with.

At seven months, your dog is likely a little bit bigger they’re a little bit stronger than they were before, and at this point you aren’t really focused on training anymore. You feel like you’ve been through most of that you’ve seen them do the things that you want them to do, and they’re pretty good at most of those things, they’re pretty good at listening most of the time, but there’s often one problem behavior that really stands out. If you feel like you’re struggling with skills like listening, you need to make the right decision to train. That means that your dog is back on a leash or back on a long line so that you have a plan you you have some some way of following through when they don’t respond and it’s okay, if they don’t respond, because at this point, you’re ready to Turn this into a training moment, your dog’s quickly, going to learn that there are times when they must listen, but you can’t let them think that they only have to listen when they want to.

This is a time when I need to get out there and show them what it means and, with your dog learning some of these bad habits, they’re, learning that that is the response they don’t have to come when they’re called it’s really important that at this stage, Especially you’re focused on training, dog training is a dynamic process and a lot of the skills you’ve taught your puppy are perishable skills. So if you call your dog’s name in a busy environment and they turn back to you and happily come running back, what are you doing randomly rewarding your dog at this stage in their life is a great way to remind them to put in that little bit Of extra effort when’s the last time that you rewarded your dog for something great, I i don’t mean just giving them a treat, maybe for your dog, it’s uh, a toy. They can’t be given the freedom to be in that location unsupervised. Now you might think – and I sometimes hear people say that their dog’s peeing in the carp on the carpet to be defiant or that they’ve started chewing on things in your home because they’re somehow mad at you, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The reality is that, because of a lack of information, they’ve discovered that it feels good to pee indoors or they’ve, discovered that your gym shoes taste good. In the absence of good information, and because it feels good, they think that that is the right choice. So to avoid your dog being able to rehearse some of these unwanted things, you’re going to want to start scaling back some of those freedoms using your crate. More often will keep your dog out of trouble using things like baby gates to restrict your dog’s access to places where they can get into trouble.

If they’re not listening when they’re outside, then it’s time to use your leash or a long line. If they started to jump up on people, then it’s time to use a leash or have your uh dog drag a house line so that you can train through this stuff. This is likely the most important time to give your dog great information. The best way to do that is to understand the skills that they’re going to need.

A little bit of extra practice in and to set them up so that you can train through these problems. We recently talked to instructor meg about her new puppy and she discussed some of the things that her puppy found really valuable during the teenage phase, and she recognized that she’d made a couple of mistakes when meg realized what those mistakes were.

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