"Teenage" stage
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Thread: "Teenage" stage

  1. #1
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    Default"Teenage" stage

    This may be a stupid question but... ???
    I hear others talking about their dog being in the "teenage" stage & in rebellious times; when has this happened for others here?
    Not sure if this is something I should be looking for soon or going through it (Bailey is 7 months old).
    Just curious!!

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  3. #2
    Mybabymambo Guest

    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bailey24
    This may be a stupid question but...* *???
    I hear others talking about their dog being in the "teenage" stage & in rebellious times; when has this happened for others here?
    Not sure if this is something I should be looking for soon or going through it (Bailey is 7 months old).
    Just curious!!*
    Mambo just turned 7 months and I tell everyone he is my teenage boy. He isnt listening, barking at 5 am. Taking stuff even though Ileave it. I hope he grows through this fast. Goodluck

  4. #3
    Brigettas Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    I'm also interested in this...Brigetta is 8 months...and I swear some days...regardless of how much training and exercise she gets she acts as though she's testing me.

    Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence

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  6. #4
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    funny you should ask...i had the same curiosity about this.

    a very wise dog person said to me:

    "I think puppies naturally progress from following us everywhere to becoming more aware of their environment and wanting to explore more.* Most good trainers will have few problems with this transition and it goes unnoticed.
    I think pet people seem to think that the teenage stage happens when they let cute little puppy do cute little things that aren't so cute once they reach 75 pounds.* Every problem behaviour that people identify with dogs are natural dog behaviours and the older a puppy becomes, the more they will begin to act like a dog and start barking, digging, wandering, sex behaviours, aggression behaviours such as inter-male aggression, etc.

    I think it has more to do with perception than the actual dog, don't you?"


    yes, i do.
    these words make a lot of sense to me.*

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

  7. #5
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    My Puff [YF, AKC field line (competitive breeder), 63lbs., DOB: 8-'01] had a number of episodes during her development from 5 - 13 months which some would call "teenage (mis}behavior" or testing authority.

    I VERY strongly disagree with this "teenage" view because I think it* misunderstands both human teen behavior AND dog behavior.

    Re: dog behavior -- my Puff had most basic commands quite well learned (sit, stay, come, down, etc.) when she was 5 mos. old.* At that time we walked (as we do now) for about 60-70 minutes in a nature preserve with her off leash (she wore a check cord/long line then).

    I found that for a couple days every few months until about 13 months Puff acted as if she forgot all her previously learned commands -- she didn't obey and acted very capriciously.

    When that happened, I retrained her at mealtimes using a NILIF (Nothing in Life is Free) protocol -- giving a command and, when it was obeyed, feeding her a few more kibbles from my hand.* A few days of NILIF feeding/training and she'd relearn the forgotten commands and was fine until the next eclipse, a month or so later.

    My strong belief is that in 99.99% of the cases it is NOT a testing of who has the authority but rather this is during a time of rapid physiological and developmental change with some hormones coming on-line and others going off-line.*

    I think that development interferes with learning and retention.* There is such a thing as "state dependent learning"* -- learning under the influence of certain drugs will be less when those drugs are removed, or added, etc.

    I think this is what is happening with our dogs when they lose learning during their first 13 months of development -- because of the hormonal changes they're going through.

    Calling it "teenage" years and as if they're challenging authority is wrong on several counts.

    For one thing, the time this occurs is usually between 5-13 months of age which, for most dogs, is before their age of puberty or reproductive capacity.

    For another, equating this with human "teen age challenges of authority" shows a lack of understanding of the functional purpose of this human teen age behavior.

    Its major purpose in human societies is to produce a separation between fledgling adult and parents so the teen can begin building a life independent of parents.

    Think of what problems would exist if a teen was saying, "Gee, what wonderful parents -- I don't want to ever leave them" and if the parents were also saying, "what a wonderful child -- I don't want him/her to ever leave us."

    instead of the child thinking the usual:* "they are SO stupid, I can't wait until I can leave" while the parents are thinking "let me count the days until ...."

    What would THAT result in?

    The functional purpose of human "teenage rebellion" is to provide a reason for separation between parent and child for ALL parties.* That is certainly NOT the case with owner and dog.

    I think viewing this behavior in dogs as repeating blips in memory retention due to rapid development and* internal chemical changes is far more accurate and leads to far more useful actions.
    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

  8. #6
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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    I think that is well said Bob.

    Kassa was great, but every now and then would have "lapses" when she was about 12-18 months old. I called them her teenage years because the boys had human "lapses" and needed to be constantly reminded to do homework, etc.

    A neighbour told me they need retraining at that age. When I asked a trainer she told me all dogs need constant training. she said once they are trained we often think our job is done and don't keep it up. We need to keep up the training.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
    Sam 11? adopted Nov 06 - 18/12/07 Lyphoma
    Tessa. Rescued June 2011.
    Bone Cancer Dogs org.http://www.bonecancerdogs.org/
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  9. #7
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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    I think that is well said Bob.

    Kassa was great, but every now and then would have "lapses" when she was about 12-18 months old. I called them her teenage years because the boys had human "lapses" and needed to be constantly reminded to do homework, etc.

    A neighbour told me they need retraining at that age. When I asked a trainer she told me all dogs need constant training. she said once they are trained we often think our job is done and don't keep it up. We need to keep up the training.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
    Sam 11? adopted Nov 06 - 18/12/07 Lyphoma
    Tessa. Rescued June 2011.
    Bone Cancer Dogs org.http://www.bonecancerdogs.org/
    http://kassabella.tripod.com/kassabella/
    http://collarsbychris.weebly.com/

  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    Thank you everyone for your input & great info Bob Pr.!!
    It seems like Bailey reads my posts, because she's been doing great & then on Saturday, decided that she wasn't going to listen to me no matter what command I would give. "Leave it" was the biggest one she seemed to be ignoring; too many good smells/branches were more rewarding to her then my "treat" I had for her.
    I do think these "lapses" are partly human error in slacking on the training; I know I've been a bit more laid back on training, now that she has the basics.
    I also think it differs dog to dog.
    I was curious what other's had experienced & am happy to get great info.

  11. #9
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    I agree with what Luke said....I don't know if we were good trainers or not, but we did take all 3 of ours to extensive training and there has never been an issue of who runs the house, therefore, we really never had a teenage rebellion to deal with.

  12. #10
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    myfavoritedog is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: "Teenage" stage

    Bobpr that is the most reasonable explanation of "teenage" years I have seen on a long time. Tal is 12 weeks today and I know in the not too distant future I will need to make sure I continue to be diligent with his training. Thinking of it as a long term, continuous process makes perfect sense. When I train Tal I use playtime to do that which makes it fun for us both. Besides, it gives him a good sense of accomplishment.

    Again, very well said.

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