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Teenage dogs(10 Posts)
We have a Lab puppy who’s just over 5 months. We are first time dog owners. We got him at 10 weeks, and I have to admit, we found him really difficult for a long time. I started a thread on here about it at the time and got lots and lots of wise advice from other posters, but in particular quite a few posters said that they felt their pups turned a corner at around the 5 month mark, and we’ve found the same. Over the last few weeks, he’s generally been a delight - he’s far from perfect (he eats poo, jumps up and pulls on the lead like no one’s business!), but the puppy biting has reduced massively and when it does happen it’s far gentler and less painful, he now seems to understand the difference between chew toys and walls/furniture, he sleeps well, travels well, manages time alone well, he’s fairly good at his basic commands, his recall off lead is good, he’s very friendly and affectionate and he’s very reliable on the housetraining.
However, a number of people I’ve spoken to have warned me about the ‘teenage’ phase, and I was wondering what your experience had been with this, particularly if you have a Lab or similar breed. One friend told me it was worse than the puppy wars, so I just want to be prepared. Did your dog go through a teenage phase? When did it hit? Am I being lulled into a false sense of security by his current good behaviour? Is he likely to regress behaviourally and in what ways? Is there anything I can do to mitigate it at this stage?
Sorry for all the questions but I’ve had really good advice on this board in the past!
Thanks in advance.
Yup, teenage dog phase is such fun . On the plus side, all the puppy irritabilities, biting, eating things etc does pass.
However just keep on with the training, ours (border collie/golden retriever) just became very disobedient whilst out. Her recall has varied between show level perfection to non existent, I think I have 3 threads on it on here. She is 16m now and I let her off lead in places where there is plenty of visibility, anywhere like woods or our canal path where there are loads of places she can go that I can't get to I walk her on a long line as if she gets sight of something she wants to chase I have no hope. She is getting better but has a very high prey drive so the red mist comes down and she just can't hear me.
When mine reached the teenage stage her recall disappeared, it came back with some persistence. She also started biting her lead when put walking, at 14 months she still does it from time to time. It wasn’t that bad!
Some dogs do not change over the teenage period so do not assume it will happen.
You may find that your dog becomes slightly deaf to commands but if you up the reward at this stage you will have a fantiastically trained dog in a few months time.
Teenage stage tends to coincide with the owner relaxing a bit with training after the initial puppy stage and the dog becoming more confident and trying new things. 5 months is a great time to really put some time into training it ill be worth it in the long run
My working cocker hit the teenage stage at 6 months. His recall went completely and he was generally a pain in the arse. 8-9 months of age were the worst but around 10months he started to slowly get better again, although had his moments for a long time after that.
As a lab yours might hit that stage later on and last for longer being a larger breed. Best thing to do is get lots of and stocked up and keep on with the training.
I've got a nearly 6 months old pup. He's much, much calmer and less bitey and is generally very well behaved if we discount the determination to jump up at the only people who dislike dogs and to practice his howly-growly wolf impression on people who are rather worried by it. All is mainly good though and he tends to attract lots of positive attention which has the effect of him behaving well.
However, I've been waiting for the teenage phase and sure enough, puberty has arrived. This was demonstrated today as he attempted to hump a very pleasant Lakeland terrier who was more tolerant then he needed to be. DPup has also just started to give me the side-eye when expected to go back on the lead so it looks like adolescence is mainly going to involve the company of a sex pest with questionable recall. Which if I remember rightly, was what my old dog went through at this age.
Our beagle hit the teenage stage at six months - he started to calm down about five months later! Like Bitey, the worst stage was 8-9 months. He's sixteen months now and SO much better than he was. He still has his moments of jumping and getting over-excited but his commands have come back - we can even let him off-lead for entire walks now - something I never thought would happen a few months ago!
Just make sure you persist with training - you'll find you'll have to do shorter sessions to keep their attention but it's really worth persisting with. Mine will now sit, stay, lie down and wait on off-lead walks the majority of the time. He still gets very excited around other dogs but I recalled him away from his collie friend at the woods this morning so it can be done - it just takes persistence and you often need to out-stubborn them!
It's so worth it though. I can now see the adult dog he's becoming and he's a joy to have in the house at last!
My dogs recall was absolute shit when he turned into a teen. He was a massive pain in the butt but we got through it. Keep training because they "rebel" at the teenage years.
dog's asleep next to me, but has led me a merry dance today, that's for sure...overtired, yet won't sleep, despierate to get out, but then not settling afterwards for ages. 7 months. I think the sleep routine is the most difficult to suss out at this age. They are awake much longer in the day but quite wired to noise and things going on, so wont just settle themselves down without you making a conscious effort to put them somewhere quiet. And there is always the worry that they need more or less exercise than you are giving them.. Dog, poodle has had one short and one long walk today and assorted sleeps but it has felt like a big effort to work out what he was trying to tell me!
but he is a complete sweetie with other dogs, and even leaves any dog that doesn't seem that friendly without any trouble at all, and follows me if I call him away from playing.
his burying of "special" things and search for smelly delights (he was convinced there was a crust on the worktop with his name on it) has reached epic proportions. He disembowelled my coat pocket when I hung it up too near the ground, in search of a piece of treat.
But he really is fast asleep now, and looks adorable.