“They will grow out of it.”
The truth is, they won’t grow out of it— but actually, grow into it.
Mouthing. Jumping. Barking. Humping. Digging. Pulling… The list goes on.
You tell yourself, “Oh, but she’s just a puppy. She’ll grow out of it.” or “He will be neutered soon, and then he will listen better.” These are things that we, as dog trainers, hear all the time. “I was told that this breed calms down at 2 years old, so we still have time.”
Having this mindset with your adolescent dog is not fair to them, or to yourself. Puppies are little sponges that are learning and experimenting from day one, and they will continue the behaviors that they rehearse from early on— until they are shown otherwise. And as we all know, practice makes perfect. By giving your young dog a pass on acting up because you feel that he is going to change over time on his own, you are creating unrealistic and unattainable expectations, and in turn, setting him up for failure.
Additionally, we should take into account what makes the most sense for your dog. If for months, they are allowed to jump on people, bark at the door or surf the counter tops, at what point do we say that's not okay and suddenly change the rules. The more we change expectations the more confused we make our dog.
You got a puppy because you wanted to raise him to be the ideal companion for your lifestyle. A puppy to show the ropes to, to bond and grow with while you explore new adventures together.
If this resonates with you and you are looking for guidance with your own young dog, we are here and happy to help!
Post by Anneliese