Training and Care — Tip Of The Week
Excerpt from Our New
Australian Shepherd Lover's Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care
The Adolescent Months
Just as humans have their moody and anxious teenage years, puppies also go through an adolescence period when their behavior can be unpredictable. It typically begins at about 5 months of age and can last right through to full development at around one year old.
It's common to find that your pup suddenly forgets commands you've taught her or generally won't respond to you. This is because young pups are very easily led, but as they get older they'll start testing the boundaries of their world. That includes figuring out where they stand in the pack hierarchy.
Toilet training regressions can also happen at this stage, so be prepared to go through the toilet training process again if your pup starts having accidents.
This stage of growth is often the first time you'll start to notice some of the problem behaviors covered in this book. When pups are very young it's their nature to be dependent. When they reach adolescence, they start to develop into more independent young dogs. This is good and natural, but it can be problematic. Take a look at the chapter on problem behaviors to prepare yourself for the problems that may arise – remember, it's easier to prevent problems than it is to fix them once they become habits.
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