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  • Writer's pictureMecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Living With And Training The Adolescent Dog

You may know what I am talking about. You had that wonderful puppy that just learned all those basic obedience skills. Your puppy was doing so great and suddenly, you noticed the change.

I was talking with a lady and she was noticing changes in her dog. I asked the age of the dog and she told me the dog was nine months old. The dog had been great and suddenly the changes started to happen. The adolescent time in a dog's life.

This is a time when they do change, they can turn into a very willful, wild teenager. There are many dogs in shelters in this stage of their lives. Behavior problems have started and unfortunately the owner gave up.

I explained to the lady that training must continue with her dog. She was having a hard time getting her dog to listen.

Many times it's getting the dog to come when called. The dog is more interested in a squirrel than listening.

I recommend not yelling, it really don't help.

Just keep on training and keep a good positive association with your dog. If you would go out to your dog and grab it by the collar and scold it. Do you see what the dog is seeing? It sees you are very angry and grabbing the collar is not very pleasant either.

When a dog is just not listening that is not the time to get mean. It's not a time to give up.

I have worked with adolescent dogs and when they would not come or listen. I will often grab up a lot of treats and get them to focus on me.

There was a dog that had ignored come when called and I changed the cue to house. The dog came right into the house when she learned it was good. She learned there was a reward for coming when house was said. The training plan was executed and was successful.

When you think about a person's action's and how dog's see this through their eyes. That is when you will realize how communication with your dog can go wrong or right.

The adolescent dog, it happens in every dog's life. Anger is not a big help.

If you feel overwhelmed and struggling because your dog is changing. I always recommend to find a certified dog trainer to get you back on track.

Keep on training! Your bond with your dog will become stronger.

In the end, the training will pay off.

Mecca Curtice, CCDT, CTDI

Behavior Specialist

Sheboygan, WI.

© 2020 Mecca Curtice, Mecca's All Breed Dog Training, LLC.

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