Puppy Adolescence Has Arrived
Just when you thought it was all getting easier, your puppy turns into a little monster! At roughly 7 months of age, your puppy is hitting the peak of adolescence. Puppy hood is full of hoops, hurdles, and challenges, and puppy adolescence is one of the most challenging stages to navigate through.
Adolescence is a natural part of development, and this “teenage phase” is typically characterized by increased pushiness, rebelliousness, and momentary lapses in judgment. Luckily, you have PupBox here to walk you through the aches and pains of adolescence. Keep your chin up! Stay calm, cool, collected, and focused on guiding your 7-month puppy through this stage, the puppy who aced his puppy training class will reemerge in no time.
Testing Your Limits7 month Old Puppy Behaviors
Below are a few characteristics that will drive you crazy through adolescence. Recognize these puppy behaviors in your 7-month puppy, and understand that with a little extra attention and patience this phase will pass. Luckily adolescence in your pup doesn’t last quite as long as in human teenagers! Remember, your sweet loving puppy will return shortly, once he finishes destroying your home and pissing off the neighbors.
Your 7-month pup will suddenly become more interested in what’s going on around him and less interested in you. Don’t be jealous. See this as a challenge to make yourself more exciting to your puppy. Try playing more games and provide generous rewards for good puppy behavior. Switch up the rewards to keep your pup guessing. Treats, bones, toys, belly rubs, and “life rewards” such as park time, are all great to offer up.
Puppy brain farts are normal at this age. Simple skills your puppy could perform in his sleep are now a mystery to him. It is normal for puppy parents to take a step back in training, even with those pups that were star pupils at puppy school. Be patient with your pup, he has a lot going on upstairs, and simple puppy training review sessions can make all the dfference.
The most maddening aspect of adolescence is the destruction that often comes along with it. You thought you survived the worst of it, but during adolescence the puppy chewing returns! This can include gnawing on everything (furniture, shoes, trees, etc.), digging giant potholes, jumping up on visitors, barking, and the list goes on. The best advice we can give you at this point is to practice your breathing exercises :). Keep your pup focused on training, and always reward handsomely when your puppyy displays actions you want to encourage.
Try Some Advanced Training On Your 7 Month Pup
Your 7 month puppy may take a few steps back in training during puppy adolescence, but don’t let this discourage your efforts! Learning ebbs and flows for all developing babies and continuing the education is a key to staying on track. We recommend you enroll your pup in an advanced training, tricks or agility class.
Advanced training sessions keep your pupyp mentally stimulated, focused on behaviors you want (rather than those you don’t), and will further strengthen your bond. Remember to always use your positive reinforcement techniques.
If your pup shows concern or fear, take a step back, reassess, and plan on more gradual exposure in the future. We will discuss socialization more next month, but remember to get out there as early as possible to experience the world!
A Quick Note: If your puppy is losing focus during training sessions, try to shorten the length of each session. Ideally, sessions should be no more than 3-5 minutes in length and spread out throughout the day.
Weathering the Adolescent 7 Month Puppy Storm
These four tips are going to get you through some long days trapped in an adolescent household. Structure and exercise are key elements. Helping your puppy develop better impulse control is also vital. Give your 7-month pup loads of opportunities throughout the day to earn what he wants (attention, toys, food, and play time). Get your pup to learn in order to earn!
Stick to a Schedule
A daily routine is one of the easiest ways to keep your furbaby out of trouble. Try to stay consistent with mealtimes, walk/park schedules, and lots of brief training sessions. Your consistency will help build his consistency.
Run Your 7 Month Puppy Wild!
We probably mention the importance of puppy exercise in every one of our training guides. Well here it is again... run that pup ragged!
Interactive Pup Toys
It takes time and repetition for your puppy to learn what are the right puppy chew toys and what are not. Be patient, reward and praise your puppy when he picks up an approved chew toy. Never yell at your baby or grab the muzzle to correct the action. A hostile response might scare your pup and teach him not to like hands reaching toward the face
Advanced Puppy Training
As mentioned above, consider enrolling your pup in an advanced training, tricks, or agility class. The increased focus required of advanced puppy training exercises will help improve obedience, impulse control, and responsiveness to your requests.