The puppy turned one and he’s starting to show some signs of growing up. He’s coming into his own and his personality is beaming with new found wisdom. He is growing emotionally and he is sharpening his communication skills daily as he walks this life with his human family, his canine family and his environment. AND he’s a little doofy puppy full of joy and energy and surprises everyday.
- Sometimes I feel like I can start leaving him out of his crate and sometimes he eats the ex-pen.
- Sometimes he acts so well-trained and sometimes he eats the stairs.
- Sometimes he gets so wound up after exercise he zooms miles of circles and sometimes he just passes out in the middle of the floor.
- Sometimes weeks can go by where he doesn’t mouth me anymore and then all of a sudden one day he wants to eat my arm.
- Sometimes he gives me his full attention and sometimes it’s like he doesn’t even know me.
- Sometimes he’s a “Cool Brave Dude” and sometimes he’s weary of things and a little unsure.
- Sometimes he hangs with me and follows me everywhere and sometimes he walks into another room to explore.
- Sometimes he weaves through my legs with ease and sometime he crashes into them and doesn’t have a clue where to go. Okay that one’s on me.
- Sometimes he cuddles up really close and sometimes he sleeps at the edge of the bed and I try not to take it personally.
Well, all are true and all can be confusing.
As with human adolescents, all of the differences are possible and all exist together, sometimes even peacefully. Your adolescent pup is going through hormonal changes every minute of the day and every day.
We have to go through their changes thoughtfully with them.
I learned a very important lesson early on in my dog training career and I follow it still: “If you’re ready to make a change in the puppy’s life, wait for the right time to make the change, think about it very carefully, make the decision and then wait another month.”
Sometimes after that month is up, you make the change and sometimes you decide to wait another month or six. Most importantly, remain calm, stay patient, and remember we are the species that they are trusting to make good choices for them. Even when we have reached our limit, take three deep breaths, stay even and compassionate and have extra understanding during this phase of the pup’s life.
They are counting on us.