Friday, June 20, 2014

Hormonal changes take place in both the male and female during this time that are similar to the changes that human beings go through during puberty. The surge of hormones can be as dramatic for some dogs as it is for some children. The body has to cope with the changes brought on by the new hormones, while the mind has to cope with the side effects that often accompany the physical upheaval. Like teenagers of any species, the puppy will have mood swings and will at times be distracted, confused and difficult to communicate with. There’s nothing wrong with your dog—he’s just a normal teenager.
  Showing Independence at Eighteen Weeks (Four-and-a-half Months)
By this point, the emotional umbilical cord that has kept the puppy quite tied to you—and willing to stick by your side—begins to break. By five months the pup is ready to take off by himself, often without a backward glance. Obviously this is a generalization, and there will always be individuals who do not fit this age-related description.

This is why it’s important that you train your dog before eighteen weeks to follow you, to be aware of where you are. Think of it as “looking over his shoulder to keep you in his rearview mirror.” Unless you already have this thought process programmed into the puppy’s busy little brain, by the time he has reached five months he may well be oblivious to your location when he’s ready to have a good time. By the time he is eighteen months old, a puppy is going through big physiological changes—if the puppy is not neutered, then the testosterone level in a male starts to rise and, with it, the dog’s attitude can become bolder and more feisty.
Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

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