The Not So Terrible Teens

by Dorice Stancher, MBA, CPDT-KA Copyright 2019® All Rights Reserved

Every three months is a big change in a dog’s life. Imagine growing to adulthood in only a year! Most owners are not prepared for the changes that come between these three month spans. Today we will focus on one of the most challenging times. This is the time the jumping, counter surfing and leash pulling is no longer cute. It’s a dangerous time because some owners will pack it in and think re-homing. It does not have to be that way.

Here is a simple strategy to get things back under control.

  1. Bring back “Learning to Earn” as part of your normal routine. Have your dog earn everything. This includes food/treats, freedom when going through the door to go outside, the couch, in short EVERYTHING. It really is not as hard as you think and it does not always need to be about sit. It can be having your dog LOOK at you, a trick, anything where there is an exchange for services rendered. It’s good manners and it will help your dog to understand where he fits in. We want him dependent on you.

2. Get the entire family to be on board. Have a meeting and make a simple list of your commands and what is allowed then stick with it.

3. Do things with your dog. Take them for a walk or play with them. Teach them some tricks. Isn’t the reason you got him in the first place for companionship? Check out the AKC Canine Good Citizen program, trick program, pet therapy and other performance events which are for all dogs and not just purebreds. There are more resources available to dog owners than ever before and some excellent advice can be found on both the APDT and CPDTKA sites. Have more fun with your dog.

4. When the behavior is too challenging call a professional CPDTKA trainer and get back on track. Puppies grow up and become teenagers and we all know what that means. They become belligerent and don’t want to listen. They grow into their big bodies and now the jumping up is kind of annoying. Fortunately with a little re-training and some time and patience this will change.

Today is the day to begin rebuilding the relationship with your best friend.

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