When hormones kick in its not always about sex

During the period from 4 months to a year, the male puppy's hormones surge to four times his adult level, and this surge can have important effects on his behavior. You can usually tell when he's entering this phase. The most obvious sign is that he stops listening to you. He may also try to dominate other dogs in the household or ones he meets outside. Fortunately, after this enormous surge, his hormones ultimately return to normal.

Many pet owners discover at this stage that their dog is becoming difficult to handle, and so they seek professional help or enroll Buddy in an obedience class (see Chapter 20). This stage is also a good time to consider neutering the dog (see the following section).

Some puppies begin protecting their toys, their food, or their owners. During this period puppies also aren't looking their best. With puppy fur falling out and adult fur coming in, they can appear quite moth-eaten. They get tall and gangly and aren't looking or behaving in a very lovable way.

Hormones drive behavior, which means that the intensity of behaviors increases in direct proportion to the amount of hormones coursing through his system. So if you want your male puppy to become calmer and not to assert himself quite so much, neutering him is a good idea.

Although female puppies going through puberty may show similar traits, they more often show greater dependency upon their owners. They follow their owners around, looking at them constantly, as if to say, "Something is happening to my body, but I don't know what. Tell me what to do." Females are just as apt to show mounting behavior as males, and you may consider spaying.

If you don't want to neuter your pet, the necessity for training increases. The freedom that the male puppy had before now becomes limited. The better trained he is, the easier this transition is, but it requires a real commitment on your part. The female, in turn, needs to be protected during her heat cycle, which usually occurs every 6 months and lasts around 21 days. Her attraction is so potent that you may discover unwanted suitors around your house, some of whom may have come from miles away.

Our first experience with a female in season involved our Landseer, Heidi. When we came home from work, we found a good-sized Basset Hound on our front stoop, patiently waiting for Heidi. As we approached, he made it perfectly clear that he was taking a proprietary attitude toward Heidi, as well as to the house.

A sad fact of life

The majority of dogs in animal shelters are delivered at around 8 months of age, when they are "no longer cute" and have "stopped listening." Millions of dogs are killed annually because their owners didn't want to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day working with them while they were young.

We had to enter the house via the back door. We then managed to subdue the little fellow with a few dog biscuits just long enough to check his collar. We were surprised to learn that the horny hound had traveled close to three miles to visit.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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    When do dogs hormones kick in?
    6 months ago
  • Finn
    How to know when dogs hormones are kicking in?
    3 months ago

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