I want to share something with you, life with a dog is a constant roller coaster. Whether it is worrying about how to help your dog settle in, concerns over their nutrition, health matters, emotional or physical aspects, and so much more.
If you are anything like me, you will always be trying to figure out how to improve some aspect or another of your dog's life.
Something to keep in the forefront of your mind though is that if you are struggling with some of their behaviours, it is very likely they are struggling too.
Your dog is not plotting against you or trying to make your life harder.
During this time, there are significant hormonal changes and a restructuring of the brain. Just like human teenagers, they can't resist the need to engage in doing more of everything, with the environment around them and the people in it. More exploration, more play, and more interactions with their friends (humans and not humans!), but they lack the necessary knowledge and experience to consider their actions and make good choices. It is the most common age that dogs are rehomed as it is not only tough for them but can be life-altering for their humans too.
Whether you live in a city, or a quiet rural environment, most places are overpopulated now, with ever-changing landscapes, people, noises, smells, and surfaces being carved up and dug into weekly, not to mention the array of critters, all living very close to you.
Life is not easy and if you think back to your own teenage years, was it a peaceful, calm, easily navigated journey? Be honest.
This is a period that many owners don’t anticipate as they often expect their dog will just grow seamlessly from being a cute puppy into being a well-behaved adult, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is a reason why the most common age for dogs being given to rescue centres to be rehomed is between 6-18 months old
This is because canine adolescence can be a tricky time. In humans, it lasts a number of years, in dogs, it is a matter of months, 5-24 to be more specific! Talk about a fast track into adulthood and at a speed, we can barely keep up with them. We begin to see signs of this life stage when every day things start to become ‘different’ like putting your dog's collar or harness on becomes a challenge, touching your dog which used to calm them, now gets them really excited, they can no longer hear you calling them and get easily distracted by items they have seen numerous times before. Sound familiar?
“This life stage may be less than simple but it will be worth it. Enjoy the journey rather than wishing it was over.”