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Monday, February 16, 2015

Puppy Adolescence

So, we have this puppy, and so far he's been great. He listens pretty well, and is cute and well-behaved.

Well, until a few days ago.

Suddenly, the dog I had almost finished house-training, to the point where he would whine and scratch at the door if he had to go out, was not only going in the house by accident, but seeking out opportunity to do it on purpose. Refusing to go outside, in fact, then peeing as soon as we came in.

The dog who has  been sleeping through the night since the first week we got him started getting up, not just to go potty and go back to bed at 3 a.m., but full-on wanting to play and being a total nuisance at 3 a.m. We had to go back to the crate last night to get him to calm down to sleep--something we haven't had to do in ages.

The dog who listened to 'no biting' and would lick instead, though you could tell he wanted to play his puppy games with his teeth began nipping and growling and trying to assert dominance over the kids.


After not sleeping last night due to his antics, I looked up 5-month-old puppy on the Internet. Because I can. And wouldn't you know there's a whole Google page devoted to "puppy adolescence." This is the stage where a male puppy starts trying to take the alpha role in the pack. We're to be calm alphas, always taking care of him, but not letting him get away with his little attitude displays.

Apparently this will lessen when he gets neutered and in small dogs it doesn't last too long anyway.

In large dogs it's said to last up to a year.

I have no idea how anyone manages to own large dogs.

I've trained a male dog before, but we got him around 5 months and I'm thinking the new situation and environment combined with his previous life left little room for this type of development, so I've never seen it before. Fletch, by contrast, has been with us since Thanksgiving, and certainly knows his way around. Plus he was the largest of the litter, so perhaps his alpha inclinations are stronger.

Online tells me to train, train, train. To continue giving praise when he completes a task or trick and to be stern but calm when he disobeys. I've got twin six year olds. I think I can handle that. I hope.

Regardless, it's probably going to be a rough couple of weeks at Chez Cunha. Hopefully everyone lives through it.


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