Around 9 months of age your puppy will start to test you out, for this reason it is a critical socialisation and training time in your dog’s life. Like a teenager, going through puberty, your puppy is changing physiologically. Your awareness of these changes and assistance will help your pet and family get through this commonly challenging period.
Here are some changes you may notice. Your puppy may:
- test the waters to see if the rules are the same
- refuse to come when called
- show aggression towards other pets
- stop playing games such as catch and fetch
- be destructive at home such as chewing on inappropriate objects
- may be apprehensive, shy or timid around new people and situations
During this time here are some things you can do to help your puppy:
- Build confidence through consistent training every day
- Continue to use positive reinforcement for a job well done
- Avoid overwhelming circumstances if they can be prevented, e.g. first time travelling on a plane
- Drop by and see us at the practice for handling exercises such as ear, mouth and paw touching
- Use a long lead at the park if your pup is not coming when called, and reward for successful recall
- Provide appropriate chew toys and large raw bones
Your puppy will go through this period regardless of your good early work – be aware and ensure everyone in the family provide all the support they need. Your persistence will pay off and ensure your puppy grows into a normal and happy companion.
If you have any questions over the next few months, we would like to offer our assistance and you are welcome to contact our pet healthcare team.