Training a teenage dog
Now your puppy has entered the teenage years, a period that can be a little tricky for both dog owner and dog. The puppy still looks like a puppy, but inside, hormones are starting to bubble and energy levels are rising. Here are some simple tips to make your everyday life with your teenage puppy easier.
Lower the standards. Actually. Lower the standards in every situation your dog encounters. Hormones are playing tricks on your dog's brain, resulting in increased energy levels and gas. The brakes in your dog's brain lower his hormonal supply during this period so it's not impossible that you may find your dog has completely lost his impulse control.
Give plenty of freedom. Give your teen lots of time, preferably loose, in the woods and fields. Depending on what time of year your puppy starts to become a teenager, you may want to wear a long leash on your dog. Given the gas mentioned above, your teen is much more dependent on movement and exercise, preferably at his own pace. This is something that is beneficial throughout the dog's life, but especially important during the puppyhood.
Enrichment every day. Give your dog lots of things to chew on, tear apart and explore. Have activation toys on hand for every meal or make your own fun activations for your dog. Watch your dog and see what it needs. Maybe it's digging up the plot - then give it a place to dig that you can live with. If it breaks your cushions - give it cardboard to tear apart. Bites on the legs of chairs - always give it access to chewing bones.
Don't nag. Don't get caught up in nagging your teenager about his ears coming off. If the incubator doesn't sit a hundred during this period - be calm. The puppy remembers what you taught it as a puppy, but be careful not to destroy that trust during this period of the young dog's life. If the housetraining isn't great - use the long leash or turn the heel when you need to get your dog out for a walk. Never nag - you'll destroy the great foundation you've built.
Play a lot. Yes, play a lot - preferably without a lot of requirements and rules. Play builds such a great relationship and it should be fun to have a young dog. Make the most of your young and energetic dog and build on your great bond!
Be patient. The young dog period will pass that too. If you give your young dog the opportunity to explore the world, give lots of freedom and lower the demands, then you can laugh about this period when your dog has grown up and got his brain back in balance. Because here's the thing, your young dog's hormones are out of whack. Create the conditions so as not to destroy the great bond you have built.