Puberty is a fear that cannot be avoided by any family - not even a dog family. A cute, clumsy puppy suddenly turns into a barking brat who goes temporarily deaf every time he's given a command. How to survive canine puberty together and not endanger mutual relationships?
Canine puberty is not a modern invention of spoiled brats. A giant wave of hormones and body changes rolls over the puppy and puberty is the phase when the dog copes with them . Changes in behavior that approach human behavior were also confirmed by a British study from 2020. Scientists from the universities of Newcastle, Edinburgh and Nottingham examined the reactions of 69 dogs. They first met the five-month-old puppies and then returned to their owners three months later. In addition, the scientific team received 285 completed questionnaires from owners of adolescent dogs. The results clearly matched – with teenagers it was worse . Dogs that were just going through puberty had longer overall responses to the "sit" command.
Dog teenagers often end up in shelters
Puberty usually comes around the sixth month of a dog's life a. It gradually leaves the scene after one year. However, it depends on the size of the dog and the specific breed. Among the manifestations, more stubbornness, impulsiveness and inattentiveness prevail. Difficulties with reactivity to other dogs or people may appear during this period. In addition, problems with puberty are compounded by inconsistent upbringing. It is not surprising that it is during this period that there are dogs most at risk of being placed in a shelter . The owners may feel that the situation is getting in over their heads.
Another piece of information found in the British study caught the attention of scientists. The dogs mainly reacted worse to their masters . They carried out orders in front of strangers as if there was nothing wrong with it. This confirms the theory that dogs have one thing in common with human teenagers – they can really get on the nerves of those closest to them. Fortunately, in addition to observations, scientists have also provided a solution. "Stay consistent and use reward motivation instead of punishment," Dr Lucy Asher, who led the research, explained to the BBC. "It's important to remember that a dog doesn't misbehave because it wants to annoy you, it's just biology. Be kind to your dog during this period, try to repeat that this is only a temporary phase," added the scientist.
Step by step from the wild season
You can use good advice for the period of puberty in relation to your dog and your child. Do not discount your claims, but be more patient when you demand their fulfillment . When your adolescent raises his head, take a few deep breaths before responding. Set the bar and be really consistent. Instead of punishment, reach for motivation. Try to set up every situation to turn out well - don't wait to see if it works out or not. Be more understanding, remember how you yourself were interested in the demands of your parents when you were a teenager. And if you realize with your canine companion that you have underestimated basic obedience training, go see a trainer. It is high time.