I am writing this post to let all dog owners know that the terrible teens in dogs really does exist. You are not going mad, you are not alone and your training thus far has not been forgotten by your lovable mutt.
Ralph has been going through the terrible teens for around a month now. Thankfully not consistently but he has been keeping me on my toes.
As a Toy poodle Ralph started around 9 and a half months but bigger breeds may start much longer. Smaller breeds of dogs tend to reach maturity at around one but the bigger breeds may not reach it until maybe 2 years.
Normally Ralph is good about going on the lead after a walk.However, the other day, he ran from the park without me. Causing chaos along the road and running in gardens and driveways. Thankfully the two cars he managed to slow down because he was running in the road were understanding and offered help. So embarrassing !
By the time I managed to catch him and get him on the leash, we were nearly home. I very clearly told him he was naughty and then he had a ten minute time out in the downstairs loo. Now this was the first time I had ever done this but he put up no fight to get out and practically skulked out just like a teenager. It was all I could do, not to laugh.
Ralph seems to do the naughty things when we are out of the home but you may find that they will do things in the home too. Like jumping on the sofa if they are not allowed or refusing to come in from the garden when called. Chewing things they have never chewed before. I am laying in wait for these things and I will keep you updated on the naughty exploits of Ralph.
What you must do is to keep to the rules you made when they were little. They haven’t forgotten. They are testing their boundaries and you, just like a human teenager. If you let them get away with it, they will have managed to make a new rule for themselves.
Letting them chew that slipper because you need a new pair anyway (Ralph has actually tried this several times ) may mean they chew your favourite pair of shoes at a later date. They don’t know the difference between an old slipper and your favourite shoes.
Going back a few years a puppy of ours, Silver a miniature Schnauzer, that has since sadly passed was found chewing my daughters pointe ballet shoe in the middle of the lawn ten minutes before we were leaving for competitions. She had to dance in shoes we had to borrow that were a size too big, not easy when you have to go on pointe. She was kind of wobbly and was not placed and he never chewed a shoe again.
Ralph’s biggest misdemeanor thus far has been to run from his agility training field and chase the flock of sheep over three fields. It was pointless chasing him as he just thinks it is a game and runs more. It was funny to watch him realise he didn’t know where I was and suddenly turn and run back as fast as he could. His agility trainer caught him. I was mortified and the lesson ended early.
Try to keep your cool when things go wrong during these teenage months. Make sure they know they have done wrong by the tone of your voice and telling them they are naughty ( Ralph definitely understands this word )
Do tell them at the time though. They will not be able to understand what they did wrong if you wait half an hour until you get home or when guests leave your house.
Good luck if you are going through this stage with your puppy. And please be sure to comment below if you need any advice or just want to share your stories of naughty teenage puppies. I am always happy to receive your photographs for my doggie rogues gallery. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen & Ralph