Brown dog on a leash.

Too much freedom too soon

Many people fall into tricking themselves that puppy classes were enough to teach their dog how to behave in public and end up getting frustrated and disappointed when their dogs come into teenagehood. It seems that all the tricks they've once known are suddenly forgotten, and that they also push the boundaries on their selective hearing. It is crucial for us, as humans, to understand that having a well behaved and adjusted dog takes time, effort and consistency. Keeping up with what you've learned during their puppy classes is paramount for them to be able to have more freedom in the future. So when your puppies become teenagers, keep having well structured and routined days - dogs thrive with that, keep asking them to sit and wait before crossing the road, keep building calmness around other dogs and people, keep them learning and keep them on leash until they have a solid recall.

There are so many reasons your teenager dog should be kept on leash, not only for their safety, as they can maybe experience something for the first time (e.g. fireworks, thunder or loud noises) and it can cause them to startle and run away, maybe they will get too excited and run towards a dog on leash that is not that friendly and get into a nasty situation with them, and that can be traumatising, or their prey drive will kick in and suddenly your teenage puppy will disappear for a few hours and you think they'll never come back but actually they were just trying to find the cat that jumped the fence, and so many other reasons, but by creating boundaries and teaching them solid behaviours that will last for their lifetime, keep training them in their teenagehood, and remember not to give them too much freedom too soon.


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