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Growth Stages/part 2 - by Jean Marcellus, PCE Trainer/Daycare Supervisor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brian Adam   
Wednesday, 30 November 2011 22:40

The adolescent stage, depending on the breed, takes place anywhere from 4 months until 2 years; this is the time that most dog trainers see their most new clients.

The soft, cute, roundish little puppy begins to grow; they lose their baby teeth, go through growth spurts & look more often than not, gangly. They also start to display puzzling behaviours as they mature.

Even though the puppy may've been outgoing & confident before, they may now be reluctant to approach someone or something new & unfamiliar; or, they may suddenly be afraid of something familiar.

Fear of the new or unfamiliar has its' roots in evolution.  In a wolf pack, once the pup is 4 months old, they're allowed to hunt with the pack.  The lesson learned: if you see or smell something unfamiliar, run the other way as fast as you can.

Apprehension or fear of the familiar is also caused by growth spurts.  At this point in a puppy’s life, hormones start to surge; which can affect the calcium intake in the body.  Coupled with growth, this can be a difficult time for them.

Its' hormones can surge up to four times their normal level - and this can have significant effects on their behaviour (moreso in males).  Hormones drive behaviour, which means: their intensity is in direct proportion to the amount of hormones coursing through their system.

It’s at this stage that your puppy may challenge you; it may be outright or subtle - but challenge you they will!  Your young adult dog is looking for leadership - and unless provided, they will 'take over' as Pack Leader.

This is usually a good time to discuss the best time to spay or neuter.  As it's a personal preference, if you are unsure, please consult your veterinarian, the dog’s breeder and/or the dog’s trainer.  Weigh all your options, and trust that you're doing what's best for your pet.

No matter how much you WISH them to remain as they were (a cute little puppy) they are going to grow up from they're a year old, up to 4.  By providing leadership via Training & Obedience Courses, your dog will reward you with many years of loyal devotion!  May your Dog(s) worship you with LOVE! heart Jean


Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 November 2011 23:03

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