Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Dogs reach maturity at different times, ranging from one year up to four years depending on their size. The smaller the dog, the sooner he enters each phase of maturity. Until dogs are four months old they all follow pretty much the same growth patterns. After that the periods of development vary slightly, with smaller dogs graduating to the next phase of development before the larger ones.
Once a dog reaches full maturity, there is a reorganization of the pecking order: during this final phase of growth the dog tries to show her identity within the pack once and for all. The way your dog reacts when she reaches full maturity will be the sum total of how you and she have handled issues and perhaps confrontations in the stages that led up to full maturity. If you have allowed a dog to reach a “high rank” during the first stage of classification (twelve to sixteen weeks), then you now face the ultimate test: any challenge between you and the dog over who will ultimately have “alpha status” can become aggressive.
The alpha figure in a wolf pack disciplines all lower-ranking individuals who try to take benefits they did not earn. If your dog acts aggressively when you challenge him and you have had him since puppyhood, his personality is a result of how you allowed him to mature. Whether or not there are confrontations between you and the dog at this juncture depends entirely on the type of dog you are dealing with and how you have responded in the past to his demands. If your dog’s instinct is to be passively defensive, then when you confront him he will display total submission—or he may display silly puppy behavior.

If you have a dog who, when challenged, responds with aggression, don’t think of him as being a “bad” or “difficult” dog—he is a high-ranking dog behaving in an aggressive style, protecting his turf. But if he respects you as the pack alpha figure, then you’re home free.
Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. I Have Been wondering about this issue, so thanks for posting. Pretty cool post.It 's really very nice and Useful post.Thanks

    Dog Lover