top of page

Doggie Teenage Years: A Time of Change

Just like human teenagers, dogs experience a period of significant change and development between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Here's what happens:

  • Hormonal Rollercoaster: Surging hormones lead to emotional ups and downs, similar to how humans experience puberty.

  • Brain Rewiring: Their brains are undergoing changes, which can temporarily affect their decision-making and impulse control. Imagine it like a construction zone in their heads!

  • Testing Boundaries: They'll start pushing limits and exploring the world, becoming more independent. This is healthy, but can look like defiance.

What to Expect: Challenges and Solutions

  • "Selective Hearing": Your pup might seem to forget all their training. Be patient, and consistently reinforce basic commands with positive rewards.

  • Energy Explosion: Get ready for increased energy! Ensure plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with games, walks, and puzzle toys.

  • Mood Swings: Keep calm during outbursts. Avoid scolding, and redirect their energy constructively.

  • Independence Streak: They might pull on the leash, wander on walks, or ignore your calls. Consider a longer leash for controlled freedom while working on recall.

Adolescence can be a challenging time for both the dog and their humans
Adolescence can be a challenging time for both the dog and their humans


  • This can be temporary! With patience and consistency, your dog will mature.

  • Stay positive: Focus on rewarding good behaviour rather than punishing mistakes.

Why Seek Guidance Now?

  • Early intervention is key: Addressing behavioural issues early on prevents them from becoming ingrained habits.

  • Find methods suited to your dog: Every dog is an individual, and a professional trainer can help you discover the most effective training techniques for your pup's personality and needs.

  • Compassionate solutions: Positive reinforcement training methods, based on rewards and praise, will get better results than punishment. A vet behaviourist or a qualified trainer can show you how to use kindness and understanding to navigate this stage.

Like human teenagers, they need love, understanding, and clear guidance to navigate this exciting, yet often confusing, time.

For those who want to delve deeper into the science behind dog adolescence, this study published in Biology Letters explores the connection between attachment, puberty timing, and behaviour in dogs:

4 views0 comments


bottom of page