Puberty has hit! When your puppy tests your limits.

I like to think of myself as someone who knows quite a bit about raising and training a puppy. I’ve completed training courses, read heaps of books and helped others with their puppy problems. Well let me tell you – Cooper is seriously testing me at the moment.  It’s like he is going through his terrible twos, or naughty teenage stage. He is constantly pushing the boundaries and seems to be overexcited most of the time!!
Thankfully there is an explanation behind this naughty and cheeky faze – it is called Puberty or Puppy Adolescence!!                            

You will know when your pup is going through it because he or she seems to forget everything they has previously learned. Like a teenager going through puberty, your puppy also changes physiologically. Your awareness of these changes in behaviour will help get you through this commonly difficult period. So this is the time that you must be tough and keep up the training – I promise you it will be worth it down the track. Take your pup to obedience classes, be tough and stick to it!  If your pup has somehow forgotten the “come command” it might be a good time to keep your pup on leash when walking. Jase and I only let Coop off the leash now when we go to the small park near home. This park never has any other dogs and is quiet without distractions. So we actually use it as a good place to do training with Coop. It’s a perfect spot for us to re- practice the command “Come” with Coop off lead. Lately if we let him off the lead in the bigger park near our home which is always filled with dogs – he just gets too excited, charges at the dogs and more often than not and doesn’t come back when called. We’ve always wanted Coop to be an off the lead dog but in order for him to get there, he needs to gain our trust back and this reinforced training is the best way to go about it!   

A good example of Cooper’s naughty behaviour was last Saturday when I took Coop out for a walk. I was ready to go for a good long one but unfortunately the walk only lasted ten minutes – it was disastrous!! The second we walked out the front door Cooper saw another dog, and got uncontrollably excited.  At now nearly 30kg in weight he’s getting too strong for me to handle and I couldn’t hold him back. His behaviour was actually embarrassing- especially for me! This troublesome behaviour continued on after the dog had left and I got super frustrated! I decided to go home and have some time out and try again in a short time. Dogs can really sense your energy and they tend to feed of it, so I needed to calm down and get my energy right before taking Coop out again. After I got home I realised that Cooper had been missing for a few minutes. I went looking for him and caught him red handed digging like crazy in the garden, absolutely covered in dirt!!! I got so mad at him – I told him off and put him in his naughty room for time out. After a short while I let him out and the both of us chilled out. A few hours later I ended up taking him out again for a light jog and this time he did great – we passed two other dogs with a quick sniff and then kept going, it was a great feeling. The experience taught me a lot about how my energy passes through to him and that now at nearly 8 months old Cooper’s energy levels have definitely increased and we need to find new ways for him to release it!
Between Jase and I, we walk Coop twice a day everyday- we give him toys and games that should stimulate him mentally but he is still just so full of energy! Unfortunately I think his mum was also full of energy until she hit two – but hopefully he will calm down as he matures. In response to this new burst of energy, Jase and I are trying to change some of the activities we do with Coop to help drain some of this energy. So instead of two walks a day we have started running with him a little bit – which he is loving (it is not good for your pups growth to properly run with them until they are 12 months old – so just a light jog at your dogs pace is recommended. Don’t push it). We have also found a game that brings out the retriever in him. We make him ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ we hide his favourite rope and then ask “Where’s ropey?” and he goes and finds his rope and brings it back to us in such a proud way. He loves it. It is great to let your dog be a dog and bring out the traits in them that they were bread to do! Not only is this great exercise its also very mentally stimulating for him.
The last few weeks have certainly tested my resolve but we are going to stay strong and keep at it!
What do you do with your dog to keep him/her happy and balanced??
Cooper’s masterpiece in our garden!!



3 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *