What About the Teenage Puppy?

by | Jul 17, 2023

How are you traveling with your puppy who has now reached about eight months of age?  What about the teenage puppy, is he or she acting as though they know everything and trying to ignore you?

Sounds like our teenage years!

When we were growing up and had reached our teenage years, of course in our minds, we knew everything about life, and we could not understand why our parents were still putting limits on our behaviour or outings.  Sound familiar?

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This is when I used to repeat these oft-heard words … why not?  So and so is allowed to do that!  My mum would quickly reply, you are not so and so, you are Robin!  I laugh now, that used to annoy me, but now I am glad, as it has taught me not to flow with the sheep and to make my own decisions.

Sometimes I even need to do extensive research and read between the lines, then make an informed decision that I am not going to follow the sheep on this or that issue.

Back to our treasure who is trying to outsmart you.  When I introduce a new puppy to my household I follow the same routine, of course, this may need to be tweaked for this particular puppy’s personality.

I find around the eight month mark, that most of the manners I have taught my dogs seems to fly out of the window! 

I ask them to sit, down, stay plus other requests and it is like they have never heard of this before!  When you are not aware of this, you feel like pulling your hair out.  What is happening?  What have I done?  Where have I missed out on something?

Relax, this is quite normal, they are now teenagers, so what about the teenage puppy?    

So, what will you do?  Yell at them?  Handle them roughly?  The list could go on…  This will not work; it will simply add to the reluctance.  I simply put a leash on them, wait until they settle down whilst I also take this time to get over my irritation, and when I’m calm I ask this teenage larrikin to sit.

I may even need to go back to basics and teach these exercises again, but that is okay as it usually doesn’t take quite as long to learn the basics again.

Just say, they have responded to sitting again after you have taken the time to train them once more.  I may repeat the exercise, or I may just reward them with a happy joyful pat and then take them for a short walk as a treat.

However, they still need to remain calm on the walk, not take you for a walk by lunging ahead of you like a sled leader.  That is another issue all of its own!

I consistently and patiently teach again the doggie exercises that have been taught to date, this may take a short while, or it may take quite a lot of repetitions especially if your teenage pup is of a mindset that they are the ones in control now that they are reaching adolescence.  

I always make sure that we return to the level of teaching that has been taught beforehand, otherwise, you may be returning time and again to these basic exercises. 

By the way, if you have had a length of time when your interaction with your dog has not been kept moving forward, when life gets in the way, as it has a habit of doing, you may need to return to basics again.  This aspect does not faze me, as my aim is to have a calm well adjusted puppy that is a welcome member of our household.  It is so worth it that you are taking this time to let your teenage puppy understand that you are their leader and when a sit, down, come is asked for, they will need to respond willingly. 

Basically, if your dog respects you for being a consistent and fair trainer that sets boundaries that they have been taught from the start of their life with you, your dog will quite happily fit in with your requests as they too enjoy a life that is calm and not full of hassles.

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Until next time…

With Love, Success and Inspiration

Robin Oliver


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With Love, Success and Inspiration,

Robin Oliver

Robin Oliver Pet Dog Training
Professional Dog Trainer

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