Expectations For Adolescent Dogs

8 Obedience training at this stage is • not intended to "fix" all of your problems. Obedience will be used to create patterns that will be adopted (self-applied) in various situations to create manners over time. So don't "force" the "fix." "Forcing" will cause other problems to occur.

(j Patience-building exercises are espeI »cially helpful at these stages. Do position-holding (SIT STAY and DOWN STAY) exercises daily to increase patience over time.

During puberty, secondary sexual • characteristics begin to blossom. Genetic imprinting such as territorial responses can also begin to surface. This is the time when mental discipline must be instilled as a basis for developing a sense of canine "morality." Mentally challenging exercises, like distraction training, practiced often will help decrease response to genetics.

"I've never seen my dog do that • before." If owners could assign a slogan to this developmental stage of puberty, that would be it! Mental growth driven by genetic imprinting and hormonal influences will find fertile ground in a dog who is becoming more confident with sorting out these impulses. Many interesting behavior problems can surface in an otherwise "good dog" during this period.

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