You may not know it, but dogs also go through a stage that resembles the adolescence of humans. This stage is commonly referred to as “canine adolescence” or the “adolescent puppy stage”. It is a phase that does not have a fixed duration and may vary according to the breed. But it usually occurs sometime between 6 months and 2 years of age, depending on the size of the dog.
During canine adolescence, dogs may experience changes in behavior and physical development. It is important to understand that dogs need help navigating canine adolescence. Owners should provide proper education and training to help their dogs develop appropriate behavior. This may include socialization with other dogs and people, setting clear boundaries and regular exercise.
It is necessary to have a good dose of patience with the dogs during this stage. While this can be a challenging time for owners, it is important to remember that dogs need time to adjust to change. Owners must be patient, consistent and loving to help their dogs navigate this stage successfully.
Stages of canine adolescence
Some of the typical canine adolescent behaviors include:
- Rebelliousness: Like human adolescents, adolescent dogs can become more defiant and disobedient. They may ignore commands that they used to follow easily.
- Energy: They may have increased energy and will often want to play and explore more.
- Boundary testing: They can test boundaries and challenge the owners’ authority.
- Chewing: Some dogs may have an increased desire to chew on objects, which may be part of their need to explore and relieve dental discomfort.
- Increased independence: They may become more independent and less inclined to follow their owners at all times.
Patience in the stage
It is important to remain patient and consistent in your dog’s education during this stage. Socialization and ongoing training are key to helping your dog get through the adolescent stage in the best possible way. Keep in mind that as your dog matures, some of these behaviors may diminish, but consistency in education is essential for your dog to be a well-balanced and well-behaved member of the family.
Other changes that dogs may experience during canine adolescence is rapid growth. This can lead to changes in their mobility, coordination and endurance. Dogs may also develop a stronger personality and a greater desire to explore. This can lead to inappropriate behaviors such as barking, biting and running away.
During canine adolescence, dogs may also experience hormonal changes. These changes can lead to increased aggression and dominance. Dogs may become more territorial and defiant with other dogs and people. This can be especially worrisome if you have other animals at home.
Remember that socialization remains important during this stage to help avoid behavioral problems in the future.
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