Managing Your Adolescent Puppy or That K9 Teenage Tyrant




Today, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal discuss what changes to expect as your puppy enters adolescence.

Lasting between the ages of 18 months and two years, dogs in their “teenage” years will seem to forget everything they’ve been taught up to that point.

Listen in as our hosts share how to instill focus and impulse control in your puppy as early as possible in order to minimize the challenges trainers should expect in the “terror stage” of their growth.

They talk about becoming relevant to your dog and creating an environment around yourself that incentivizes them to make good choices, while at the same time avoiding so much manipulation and artificiality that your dog’s trained habits fail to translate well into the real world.

Finally, our hosts discuss the proper way to socialize your dog, explaining that socialization is less about interacting with other dogs and humans (which causes them to be reactive more often than not) and more about acclimating them to the appropriate environments.

“Socialization is about protecting the dog from bad experiences. It’s not about giving them lots of experiences that they’re going to be afraid of later on in life.”

Key Topics:

  • Dealing with teething (05:25)

  • Differences in the maturity time frame between different breeds (07:36)

  • Establishing your “working contract” with a dog early on (12:53)

  • Incentivizing behaviors through deprivation (18:28)

  • Setting up an environment for your dog to make good choices (28:00)

  • Paying your dog for their attention (33:07)

  • Why you should not manipulate your environment just to force your dog to learn (39:37)

  • The right way to socialize your growing puppy (42:39)

  • Final takeaways (58:03)

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