Puppy adolescence is a real thing, and it is hitting Olivia right now. The perfect, Velcro dog puppy does have naughtiness in her after all! With Olivia it started at about seven and a half months. Puppy adolescence normally begins between six and eights months of age, and will last until your pup is two or three years old. Don’t worry, it is manageable using our five tips!
What are some signs that your precious little one is becoming a teenager? She may become defiant, forgetting much of the obedience you know she has learned. Boundaries will be tested. The Velcro dog won’t stick to you anymore. Pups become sassy, and pretty much exhibit behaviors similar to human teenagers. Olivia kicked off adolescence by becoming a thief and stealing anything of Mom’s that was not locked down.
Tip 1 – Create A Deeper Bond
Hopefully you have been bonding with your puppy since you got her. Now is the time to step up the bonding, but also to use patience. Your pup my be trying to pull away, but you need to find things you can do together, and both enjoy to build a stronger bond. Olivia has been working on sports with Mom since she was nine weeks old. They are a team, and team members have a special bond. Team Orange will continue working on sports together to strengthen their bond. Hiking or games can also be a way to bond with your puppy. (Photo purchased from Tracy Pollard Photography)
Tip 2 – Make Sure To Continue Socializing
By the time your puppy hits adolescence, she should be used to meeting new dogs and people, as well as going to new places. Now is not the time to stop socializing her. Early adolescence has another fear period you need to work through, and it is also important to keep introducing new things to your pup. Don’t stop because your puppy appears fearful. Continue training and socializing, but be patient, calming, and help her through any fears she may show.
Tip 3 – Work On Training With Your Puppy
While your puppy may seem to have forgotten everything she learned up to now, it is important to keep on teaching her. One day she may be perfectly obedient, and the next not. It is all a phase, and keeping puppies learning is key. Work on short sessions such as during commercial breaks while watching TV. Do a few sits, downs, heal, or whatever works at the moment.
Tip 4 – Provide Mental And Physical Exercise
Both mental and physical exercise are super important. During puppy adolescence, you will notice your pup likes to go on walks more than she used to, and she is starting to be interested in the sights and sounds on walks. Remember not to walk your puppy too far until they are at least a year old, but even shorter walks are more stimulating now that your puppy’s brain is also engaged in the process. Mental exercise can take the form of short obedience or sports training practice sessions. Fun is the key, so keep things short and more often, rather than long sessions which are not fun for puppies.
Tip 5 – Give Your Puppy Plenty Of Chewing Options
Chewing? Why, my puppy has all her teeth now? This is true, but between eight and ten months of age, the new teeth are really settling into the jaw. This phase is similar to teething, and will make your puppy want to chew. Make sure she has appropriate chew items for her current age and size on hand.
Dealing with puppy adolescence isn’t all that hard if you are willing to put forth a bit of effort. Cut back on some of the freedoms, make rules and stick to them. Before you know it, your precious puppy will be a dog, and you will miss the puppy antics!
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