Tips for Owners of Adolescent Dogs
Dogs hit adolescence between 6 months and a year old. Many owners don’t feel the need for training until their dogs become “teenagers”! This can be the most difficult time for many owners. It’s important that clear leadership (the cub scout kind, not the dictator kind!) is in place and that management is used to prevent your dog from inappropriate behavior such as running off, jumping on people or becoming destructive. “Impulse Control” exercises are an important part of everyday life for an adolescent dog.
*For the adolescent dog a “nothing in life is free” program help your dog earn his keep through good behavior. Teach your dog that before he can eat his meal, he needs to sit patiently. Require a sit or down before you pet him or throw the ball for him. Use meal times as training times.
*Adequate exercise is a must for the adolescent dog. Find ways to wear your dog out at least twice a day! Keep in mind that leash walking can be just a warm-up for most youngsters. Vary the exercise.
*Utilize a long line to safely allow your pup more freedom to sniff and run.
It’s All About Adolescence! by Dr. Ian Dunbar
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