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Adolescence - it’s hard!

Puppies are hard but I find adolescent dogs a lot harder!

Adolescence generally happens anytime between 6 and 12 months and ends around 18 to 24 months. Your new puppy has settled in, found their feet & you think everything is going great with their routine and training then BAM it hits you 😂

During this phase, there are lots of hormonal changes happening in your dogs. This is one of the reasons why we tend to suggest not to neuter or spay until your dog is fully matured and these changes have taken place.

These hormones may make your dog appear to be less motivated by us, exploring more, not listening, running off to things etc (we've all been there). Generally they have endless amounts of energy and struggle to settle down.


You may find your dog becoming more frustrated, barking more, chewing more even if teething has finished, pulling on the lead even if they knew how to walk nicely, recall being off, jumping up! Again, they are not being naughty!

There are lots of things we can do during adolescence to get through it with all our hair and still loving our pup on the otherside!

The best way to do this is to give them more physically and emotionally stimulating things to do!

• Puzzle feeding or searching for their tea.- pop it in a slow feed bowl, kong, toppl, puzzle toy, throw it over the floor, hide it around the house.

• Provide lots and lots of appropriate things to chew on - you may have thought teething was over but teenage pups love to chew! If they pick up something inappropriate then replace with something else. Have chews and chew toys all around the house.

• Have dedicated play times scattered throughout the day - a really good tuggy session or some scentwork for those hound owners. Remember your pup may find it hard to settle after an exciting activity so always give them something to help them settle afterwards - a chew or kong etc.

• If your dog has become a little obsessed or started becoming frustrated when seeing other dogs, take a step back from busy walks. Go to quiet areas and work on focus and games with you. Continue to socialise with friends and dogs they know but you may need to keep playtime short and sweet.

• Dogs can go through fear periods during this stage too where they are more wary of objects, humans, other dogs etc. If this is the case, don't push them to say hello or go and see the object. Take it slowly, allow them to approach slowly with lots of rewards for looking and even looking away. This generally does not affect them for life if they were a confident, happy pup beforehand.

• Reward, reward, reward! Just as a little puppy, reward everything good they are doing! Keep up the associations that walking nicely gets rewarded, coming back to you is the best thing ever! Always have your best treats on you!!

If you are struggling then reach out to us and book a 1-2-1 session :) Remember shouting or being negative will not help and its not your pups fault!

It does get better and also not every dog goes through this - Reya is my third dog and by far the hardest adolescent dog I've had too!

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