Dog Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I seriously need to hear from someone that the "adolescent phase" will end at some point!! My dog (almost 7 months) is a mutt (maybe beagle Pitt cross??) and is a total love when she's not a total spazz. But she spends A LOT of the day being a major pain in the butt. She is only 20 lbs so is CONSTANTLY standing on her hind legs to get things off any table. Sometimes she actually jumps on the table. I keep tables cleared as much as possible, but that's not always an option with family life happening and all. She steals shoes constantly (they are put on the shoe shelf, but she takes them out, I literally do not have a closet). I take her for multiple walks/runs and she still has so much energy!! We are in training classes and practice obedience daily. She is quick to learn what we cover in class, but nothing stops the table surfing and shoe eating. My last dog was a lazy bulldog, so this much energy is foreign to me. I fear I will have to spend the next 15 years constantly watching and correcting this dog! I just need to hear some "it gets better" stories before I lose my mind! TIA!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I seriously need to hear from someone that the "adolescent phase" will end at some point!! My dog (almost 7 months) is a mutt (maybe beagle Pitt cross??) and is a total love when she's not a total spazz. But she spends A LOT of the day being a major pain in the butt. She is only 20 lbs so is CONSTANTLY standing on her hind legs to get things off any table. Sometimes she actually jumps on the table. I keep tables cleared as much as possible, but that's not always an option with family life happening and all. She steals shoes constantly (they are put on the shoe shelf, but she takes them out, I literally do not have a closet). I take her for multiple walks/runs and she still has so much energy!! We are in training classes and practice obedience daily. She is quick to learn what we cover in class, but nothing stops the table surfing and shoe eating. My last dog was a lazy bulldog, so this much energy is foreign to me. I fear I will have to spend the next 15 years constantly watching and correcting this dog! I just need to hear some "it gets better" stories before I lose my mind! TIA!!!!
Let me reassure you that the puppy phase does eventually subside based on my own experience. However, I did hear that there are multiple phases so although my puppy has gotten through the first one, I'm not sure whether there will be more coming. He is currently 8 months old and he is a kelpie (one of the most energetic breeds for herding in Australia).
Around 6 months old, he started to show some behaviour such as resource guarding, snapping at my hands while petting, jumping on me to snap at my hands when he is frustrated during training, and digging out all the soil in the flower pots while I'm at work. He had his crazy moments on leash where he would dash around like crazy and sometimes would pretend to not hear my commands. Here's how I got through this whole thing but please be consistent because consistency is what earned my dog's respect and nipped the bad behaviour in the bud. He is just being a dog and needs to learn what he can't do to live harmoniously in the human world.

1. Shoe issue (I had this when he was 8 weeks old but the behaviour stopped in a few days and never occurred again) = spray the shoes with bitter spray for dogs. So every time my puppy would go sniffing and chewing the shoes, I would spray it. Timing is important and you must do it every time. He doesn't take an interest in shoes anymore. But you might also need to just confiscate all shoes left visible.

2. Jumping on tables: While my dog has never jumped up on tables, he has tried to do so with other things like chairs etc. I told him "no" in a firm voice every time and put him down back on the floor while saying "Off". I've taught him the command "off" (get off something) and "paws up" (get on something) with clicker training and he is able to jump on and off objects based on commands now.

3. Jumping on you: I never allowed him to jump on me or others. Whenever he jumped up on me, I would avoid all eye contact and take a small step forward or to the side. I don't even touch or talk to him because that could be rewarding for some dogs. I would then walk into his space without looking at him, forcing him to back off. He learnt that he should never jump on me or anyone in the house. He still does it very occasionally with strangers who kneel down to pat him, especially when he gets to affectionate or excited. In that case, I give a quick correction using the leash and a firm "no" then ask the stranger to stop patting altogether. Only pat when he is sitting or calm.

4. Digging out soil = you don't have this problem but for anyone else who might face this problem, I just put hot pepper powder on the soil in the pots and he has not dug them out ever since.

5. Walks are okay but mental stimulation is key. Do you have any games you can play with your dog or use puzzles? This is my schedule to keep my dog content on top of physical exercise:

MORNING
- 50 minutes of walk, game of fetch, free running and training in different parks. My dog is ball obsessed so I throw the ball as a reward for every few tricks he does in the park like sit, down, dance around, high five, recall, crawl, targeting, etc
- additional 10 minute training in the house after we return from the walk
- 30 minutes hide and seek game where he has to find the treat with his nose
- 30 minutes of soccer and tug
- 15 minutes of food puzzle for his breakfast

NOON
Mum takes him for a 30 min walk. He also gets a raw bone to chew on mid morning so that keeps him occupied. I also give him a kong or deer hooves/ shank bone/ lamb neck as a chew treat.

AFTERNOON/ NIGHT
- 1 HR of walk, fetch, free running, training in the park
- 15 minutes of training in the house
- 15 minutes of soccer and tug
- 30 minutes hide and seek
- 30 minutes of free play (usually with water hose) and calming exercise (staying down in different places).

The above schedule keeps him happy and occupied during weekdays when I'm at work. The weekends are completely devoted to him in terms of outings, training and dog day care so he is very tired by Monday.

Now that he is 8 month old, he is perfectly behaved in and outside the house. He is willing to perform tricks 99% time in the city, on public transport etc with efficiency and speed. But training him every day does take patience and consistency or else he would have still been naughty and destructive. I use a leash every time during training sessions so he can't run away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Tange! She is young and learning, patience and consistency are key and it helps to be reminded that she is still learning. She is a rescue who I adopted at 6 months, so we have to undo some learned behaviors and retrain. Which I didn't have to do with my last dog who I had as a pup. I have bitter Apple, but she doesn't mind the taste, so it doesn't deter her. I just bought a different spray to see if she responds to a different flavor. She's very good at "off" in terms of jumping on me, and I am very consistent about saying it when she gets on table, but she is determined. I think you are right that she needs more mental stimulation to pair with physical exercise. I just got her a dog puzzle to keep her busy and will increase my play and training time to see what that does for her. She really is wonderful, she's just so curious, smart, and stubborn which sounds great, but can make for quite a challenge!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Pixel is *just* starting to come out of it a bit at 15 months (we adopted her at 8 months). Luckily she's never been a difficult dog, but there are definitely days/moments where she just blows me off and any command is ignored totally or returned by a look of feigned ignorance before running off to do what she wanted.

Those moments/days still happen, but less frequently now. Exercise, mental stimulation, and consistency were what have been getting me through. Plus reminding myself frequently of all her good traits, especially whenever I'm ready to rip my hair out.

You can make it through this phase!! It does get better!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
I should add that in addition to consistency, I would follow through until the behaviour I didn't want (or wanted) was stopped (or achieved).

The hardest one for this has been recall. She's good off-leash 95% of the time (steadily increasing from 75% of the time early on) at coming when called. If I called and she didn't come, I would wait, call her name, have her attention and give the recall command again. If she blew me off I stopped calling and walked her down until she was in a position that I knew she'd come and I'd call again. When she came she was praised (no treat) but went on leash for 2-3 minutes. If she came on the first call she got a treat and was allowed to return to whatever she was doing. Finally she learned that coming immediately = treat + return to fun and is now way better. but it's taken a good 5 months of being REALLY consistent. If i give the come command, she's coming one way or another even if I have to walk her down for 15-20 minutes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
How much socialization/ exercise/ stimulation did she get before she came to you?

When I was 15 my family got a puppy who died of parvo after and week and were so disraught that we jumped the gun getting another pup (we had to get a puppy bc of a dog aggressive dog who only tolerated puppies). The only one the shelter had in our age range was a dog we probably never would have gotten (or should have gotten) otherwise. She's a mutt but definitely has Lab and probably Border Collie in her mix. We got her at 8 months after she'd spent the beginning of her life wandering the streets and then been crated for upwards of 2 months in isolation from other dogs being treated for ringworm. She would jump up and drag people down by their arm in play, literally chew on people with no bite inhibition, steal from the trash and counter and literally dug a hole through our couch. My parents almost reached the point of sending her back it got so crazy- we had an unusually lazy Boston at home and had not been ready for her off the walls energy level.

Eventually we enrolled her in daycare 3 days a week, made sure she got at least 45 minute if not 1+ hour walks daily, got to run free off leash on weekends on long nature walks and went to dog runs to wrestle when that couldn't happen, played a lot of fetch, and I biked with her if she still had a lot of go at the end of the day. I also was very strict with her and consistent and practice her obedience daily. It was a pain, and until she was around 2.5-3 we always had to be very aware where she was and what she was doing, but she has been the best addition to our life we could have asked for. She gotten everyone in the family to be a lot more active and bonds so closely to her people it's amazing.

It's going to take work and training and time but with dedication he'll learn what is OK and what is not and eventually he will calm down a little, though maybe in years and not months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Moonstream, she lived in a home with 2 other dogs and had a fenced yard to play with them regularly. My last dog was very dog aggressive, so I spent a lot of time finding a dog that got along with other dogs. She gets playtime at obedience class (once a week), but she would rather greet the humans while the other dogs are busy playing together! She is very sweet, she is just constantly looking for things to explore. Unfortunately, the options for exploration when in the house are places I don't agree with (shoe bin, tables, etc). We have a long run planned for today, which is I think will do us both some good after yesterday which was particularly trying!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
My girl is 4 years old and she still acts like a puppy sometimes! :D But, honestly, for the first year I felt like nothing was getting through but as she approached 3 years, things seemed to start to click.

She's just a bit wild so I think she'll always challenge me but I really do love that she's so happy and excited all the time. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,469 Posts
I know well what you mean.... only my dog was 30 kg so much more "fun" :D And yes she also jumped up ON tables... like once when we were visiting my grandmother, as soon as we got inside, she went to the kitchen and JUMPED ON THE KITCHEN TABLE AND STOOD ON IT. Good first impression!

Ate everything.... once when I got home from movies, she had eaten 250 fish oil capsules. Another time she somehow got the envelope where I keep rent money and yes literally ate 150 EUR. mmm... let me think... tore off wallpaper, ate one sofa so I had to throw it away. Some shoes.... numerous shirts... a BRAND NEW DRESS... I literally didn`t wear anything nice for first 9 months I think.

A 70 EUR purse...

She would also get zoomies after dinner time...

It eventually passed even tho I didnt believe it would. She just turned 3 and is pretty much dream dog now :) When she wants to play or chew on something she always finds her toys now and even doesn`t destroy them/chews only gently... all will be well, eventually :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I know well what you mean.... only my dog was 30 kg so much more "fun" :D And yes she also jumped up ON tables... like once when we were visiting my grandmother, as soon as we got inside, she went to the kitchen and JUMPED ON THE KITCHEN TABLE AND STOOD ON IT. Good first impression!

Ate everything.... once when I got home from movies, she had eaten 250 fish oil capsules. Another time she somehow got the envelope where I keep rent money and yes literally ate 150 EUR. mmm... let me think... tore off wallpaper, ate one sofa so I had to throw it away. Some shoes.... numerous shirts... a BRAND NEW DRESS... I literally didn`t wear anything nice for first 9 months I think.

A 70 EUR purse...

She would also get zoomies after dinner time...

It eventually passed even tho I didnt believe it would. She just turned 3 and is pretty much dream dog now :) When she wants to play or chew on something she always finds her toys now and even doesn`t destroy them/chews only gently... all will be well, eventually :D
Thanks! That is exactly what I needed to hear!!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
I sympathisize with you. We have a 95 pd mastiff mix who just turned 1 year. During this adolescent age, it just requires patience and continued training to ride it through. It will end! Dogs mature mentally around 2-3 years of ago, depending on the individual and breed...you can look forward to that.

Reading this article was very informative for me:

Surviving our dog’s adolescence - Smart Animal Training Systems...

Our dog behaves well in the house...just about the perfect dog. But outside, when off leash, he has turned deaf if he sees a dog he wants to play with. He wasn't this bad when he was a young puppy. So...for now, we don't take him off leash when other dogs are around, and it's retraining him on recall again. It is common in adolescence that they 'forget' things. I've been using a long lead and he just about yanked my arm off and twisted my back the other day. Isn't adolescence fun? Lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I got my pup at 6 months and she was CRAZY for about two months. For the first month I seriously thought about giving her back. Finally we figured out a tie down system so that she could be contained and we could have a little space without having to put her in the crate. She's now 10 months and still has her crazy barking moments when she's not getting attention. She sometimes blatantly ignores me, and she still greets people over-excitedly. But she is SO much better in so many ways. She 90% of the time stops when I say "uh uh" if she's getting into something she's not supposed to. She's housetrained! Yay! She has learned a settle command and often self-settles. She's learned to play on her own a bit, so is a little less demanding. She's learned to walk loose leash, and is beginning to learn to sit to greet people. She sits in front of her rope to ask to play instead of barking. It's amazing how in just 3 1/2 months she's become almost a real dog...I can't wait to see what she's like after the summer.
I totally get that it seems crazy and like it will never end at 7 months, but it all gets better from there.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top