ACQUE LYNN SCHULTZ, C.P.D.T., COMPANION ANIMAL PROGRAMS ADVISER. NATIONAL OUTREACH
Those weeks of careful monitoring have finally paid off — you’re now the proud caretaker of a housebroken pup! But wait, is that a yellow stain partway up the drapes? And after you unclip Rex’s leash in the dog run, and he maniacally bounds around for 45 minutes, it still takes a ten-minute game of “catch me if you can” to get him back on-leash to go home. What gives? Your puppy has grown into a teenager.
The Wide World of Spot’s
From the age of 6-18 months, your dog undergoes adolescence — that gawky stage between puppy-hood and adulthood. Physically, your dog has his adult teeth, but he still needs to chew on hard toys. That cottony puppy coat is falling out during one tremendous shedding cycle, allowing the adult coat to grow in. He has almost reached his adult height, but for now is all loose elbows and gangly movement.
And what movement! During adolescence, the domestic canine resembles a perpetual-motion machine that requires superhuman stamina to wear out. It’s a good idea to find your pup a friendly pack of other canine adolescents to run with in the safety of an urban dog run or suburban fenced-in yard. If your dog lacks canine friends, send him or her out with your resident human teen to fetch a Frisbee or go jogging.
Tiring out your canine teen will also save wear and tear on your abode. Chewing often results when a bored, anxious, or curious dog is allowed the run of the house. For the canine adolescent, boredom and curiosity can lead to major household damage via chewing, digging, and general reorganization.
This damage could largely be avoided if caretakers would simply continue to confine their dog in a training crate or dog-proof room whenever no one is around to monitor canine investigations. Canine teens are not yet capable of the consistency it takes to earn the run of the place unsupervised.
Read more at: http://www.petfinder.com/dogs/dog-problems/surviving-dog-adolescence/