teenage years
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Thread: teenage years

  1. #1
    Kimba is offline Senior Member
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    Defaultteenage years

    At about what time does the lab go through those rebellious teenage years? How long does it last. I am having some issues with my 11 month year old male lab. One example, always went to his crate on command, now he makes me chase him around the place or coax him in with treats...
    I just noticed he is being a little unruly and was wondering how long it may last. I am trying and have always used some NILF tactics, any other suggestions??

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  3. #2
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: teenage years

    Not all dogs go through the 'teenage' phase but for the ones that do it can be any time between 6-18 months. It depends on the individual. Keep up the NILIF and join a training class if you haven't already. Also, make sure you tucker him out with lots of exercise and mental stimulation.

  4. #3
    LarrytheLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: teenage years

    When we first got Larry (he's a rescue) he was reluctant to go in his kennel. We got in the habit of putting him in with his Kong full of a yogurt/banana/kibble mixture, a treat we only gave him when he went in his kennel. Now he is much more willing to go in on command, and we don't have a problem.
    Doyle and Larry<br /><br />

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    Kimba is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: teenage years

    cannot give Kimba kongs, he eats them...literally ate the red one and then the black kong apart!
    I do not mind finding new ways to get him into his crate, I just wanted to know how long i will have to deal with this odd behavior.

  7. #5
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: teenage years

    Its not odd behavior. In fact, its normal! he is just testing you. Be consistant and take no crap. It won't take long for him to realize his antics are getting him nowhere.

  8. #6
    ThatsMyGirl Guest

    DefaultRe: teenage years

    Good advice Trickster!

    To answer your question, I believe teenage years last until around 18 months. Of course, your mileage may vary.

  9. #7
    theoconbrio is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: teenage years

    Anytime your dog stops listening to you it's time to tighten up the standards. That doesn't necessarily mean adding more corrections; like the others who've already answered I prefer to control the resources more tightly. You better pay attention to me and do what I ask if you expect to get the things you want (play, food, treats, sleeping on the couch, and in tougher cases, petting).

    I'm convinced that not all dogs' difficult behavior during the teenage years is the result of "challenging." In some cases I think they just get more distracted and more interested in exploring the world around them. I'm wary of anthropomorphizing, but I remember when I was about 14-15 I could NOT remember a thing my parents said because I was always so focused on something else (now we call this Teenage Boy Retardation Syndrome). Whatever the reason is, isn't necessarily as important as what you do, and I agree that raising your standards is always a good bet.

  10. #8
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: teenage years

    My Puff (YF, AKC, field line, 63 lbs., dob: 8--'01) went through a number of phases of loss of learning.

    Here's a reply I've somtimes posted:
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The post below is adapted from two longer posts I'd previously posted on a Just Labs BB.

    My Puff (YF; AKC, field line; 62 lbs., DOB: 8-'01) started going through those so called "teen age" years at around 5 or 6 months.

    We walk every morning in a nature preserve for an hour, Puff's first year or so with a 50' long line/check cord for some control offleash.

    I noticed periodically that commands that Puff had apparently well-learned would not be obeyed.

    That exasperated me at first but the solution I quickly adopted was to go to a NiFiL/NFL ("Nothing in Life is Free"/"No Free Luinch") feeding schedule.*

    With this, all of Puff's meals came a bite at a time from my hand and she had to obey a command to earn each bite -- sit, stand, down, come, leave it, etc.* We'd repeat this for a couple days until I felt that she had them firmly mastered.

    Then, on our walks, we had obedience reigning again for a month or so.* Then we'd go through periods of typically about 2 days in which she'd seem to lose it again.* One period even lasted 5 days, when she was about 11 months old.

    I observed Puff very closely and came to a pretty firm belief that it wasn't "teenage rebellion" but a partial loss of learning of her old commands.* She just didn't have the old learning accessible and I saw no return of it even after the "phases" were over.

    I suspect that the phases are just the behavioral facet of some underlying neuro-physiological changes that take place during normal development. While it isn't anywhere near as drastic as the metamorphoses that, say, butterflies go through in their development (in which all the internal organs and stuff dissolve and the cells become part of new systems as the creature goes from one life form to another) -- BUT it's something kind of remotely like that, but on a much more minor scale.

    While we might say a the dog reaches a "plateau", that implies a levelling off. But what I've seen is an actual loss or sacrifice of some old, valued responses (the past learning that functions to give food). That's why the metamorphosis analogy comes to mind.

    There are some sound scientific grounds for thinking this.* We know there is state dependent learning -- learning that takes place under the influence of drugs often suffers when the drug is withdrawn (and vice-versa). The first 6-18 months of a dog's life has a great deal of internal changes going on -- some hormones coming on line, others going off, new neurons and neural centers being developed.

    There are a couple other good reasons for rejecting the idea of a "teenage rebellion" phase.*

    One is "Occam's Razor" or, as it's used in comparative psychology, Lloyd Morgan's Canon which rephrases it as "In no case can a higher mental process be used to describe a behavior when a lower one will suffice."

    "Teenage rebellion" in humans occurs in many cultures and is very common. I'm not sure the "terrible teens" is really the best, most fitting analogy of Labs, though.. It certainly "kind of" fits. But I'm not aware of any sacrifices of past learning that take place in human adolescent development.* On the psychological side, teenage angst, problems in teen years between parent and child are really healthy.

    Having those problems prepare both parent and child for separation. The child begins saying (and behaving), more and more like, "Sheesh! Will I ever be glad to get away from this place!" And the parents, too, begin thinking "Oh, Lord, let me count the days! I can hardly wait!" and saying, "Please! We'll be glad to help you pack!" The young man or young woman is happy to get away from the nest and the parents are happy to see them go.

    Those problems help make the launching into adulthood possible
    and tolerable for all parties.

    Think what a very different situation we'd have if most kids
    were saying, "Golly! What marvellous parents and marvellous
    family! I don't ever want to leave them!" And parents were
    thinking very parallel thoughts!?!

    So the type of adolescent problem with parents possibly has
    a much different underlying cause and may serve a much
    different purpose than the troubles between dog and trainner
    during the dog's adolescent years.

    In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher mental faculty, if it can be interpreted as the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The post below is adapted from two longer posts I'd made on a previous Just Labs BB.

    My Puff (YF; AKC, field line; 63 lbs; dob: 8-'01) started going through those so called "teen age" behaviors at around 5 or 6 months.

    We walk every morning in a nature preserve for an hour -- during Puff's first year or so it was with a 50' long line/check cord for some control offleash.

    I noticed periodically that commands that Puff had apparently very well-learned would not be obeyed.

    That exasperated me at first but the solution I quickly adopted was to go to a NiFiL/NFL ("Nothing in Life is Free"/"No Free Luinch") feeding schedule.*

    With this, all of Puff's meals came a bite at a time from my hand and she had to obey a command to earn each bite -- sit, stand, down, come, leave it, etc.* We'd repeat this for a couple days until I felt that she had them firmly mastered.

    Then, on our walks, we'd have obedience reigning again for a month or so.* Then we'd go through periods of typically about 2 days in which she'd seem to lose it again.* One period even lasted 5 days, when she was about 11 months old.

    I observed Puff very closely and came to a pretty firm belief that it wasn't "teenage rebellion" at all but a partial loss of learning of her old commands.* She just didn't have the old learning accessible and I saw no spontaneous return of it even after the "phases" were over.

    I suspect that the phases are just the behavioral expression of some underlying neuro-physiological changes that take place during normal development. While it isn't anywhere near as drastic as the metamorphoses that, say, the one that* caterpillars to butterflies go through in their development (in which all the internal organs and systems dissolve and the cells become reorganized into new systems as the creature morphs from one life form to another) -- BUT it's something kind of remotely like that, although on a much more minor and internal scale.

    While we might say a dog reaches a "plateau", that implies a levelling off. But what I've seen is an actual loss or sacrifice of some old, valued responses (the past learning that functions to give food). That's why the metamorphosis analogy comes to mind.

    There are some sound scientific grounds for thinking this.* We know there is state dependent learning -- learning that takes place under the influence of drugs often suffers when the drug is withdrawn (and vice-versa). The first 4-18 months of a dog's life has a great deal of internal changes going on -- some hormones come on line, others go off, new neurons and neural centers are being developed.

    There are a couple other good reasons for rejecting the popular notion of a "teenage rebellion" phase.*

    One is "Occam's Razor" or, as it's used in comparative psychology, "Lloyd Morgan's Canon" which rephrases it as* something like "In no case can a higher mental process be used to describe a behavior when a lower one will suffice."

    "Teenage rebellion" in humans occurs in many -- probably most, maybe all* -- cultures and is very common. (Margaret Mead's "Coming of Age in Samoa" argued a different view but later research in Samoa hasn't supported her position.)

    But I doubt that the "terrible teens" is really the best, most fitting analogy for Labs.. It "kind of" fits. But I'm not aware of any sacrifices of past learning that take place in human adolescent development during their teen phase.* Also, on the psychological side, teenage angst, problems in the teen years between parent and child lead to a healthy, desirable outcome..

    Having those problems prepare both parent and child for separation.

    The child begins saying (and behaving), more and more like, "Sheesh! Will I ever be glad to get away from this place"! And the parents, too, begin thinking "Oh, Lord, let me count the days! I can hardly wait!" and mumbling, "Please! We'll be glad to help you pack!" The young man or young woman is happy to get away from the nest and the parents are happy to see them go. (See the comic strip "ZITS!" for many good examples.)

    Those problems help make the launch into adulthood possible, likely, and tolerable for all parties.

    Think what a very different situation we'd hae if most teens were saying, "Golly! What wise and marvellous parents and what a great family! I don't ever want to leave them!"

    And if parents were also thinking very parallel thoughts!?!

    So the type of adolescent problem with parents almost certainly has a much different underlying cause and certainly serves a much different purpose than the troubles between a young dog and its trainer during the dog's developmental, adolescent phase.

    As Lloyd Morgan's Canon/Occam's Razor says, In no case may we interpret an action as the outcome of the exercise of a higher mental faculty, if it can be interpreted as the exercise of one which stands lower in the psychological scale.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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