The Adolescent Stage

The adolescent stage of your dog’s life cycle will begin sometime between the ages of 6 and 18 months.

This is the stage of your dog’s life when hormones start to kick in, if not sprayed or neutered, your adolescent dog may show signs of moody ‘teenage’ behaviour, just like humans.

You may notice your dog being reluctant to pay attention and more likely to exhibit undesirable behaviour. Female adolescent dogs will go into heat and male adolescent dogs will become more interested in marking with urine and sniffing.

The adolescent dog stage may continue until your dog reaches 18-24 months for smaller breeds and up to 36 months in larger breeds. Training using gentle and consistent methods is highly recommended for adolescent dogs and can help to stop behavioural problems.

Like most adolescents, puppies are very rambunctious. So, continue the process of training and socialising your dog during this phase. Socialisation and training are necessary if you want your puppy to be comfortable and act acceptably in public places, such as dog parks and beaches, or anywhere that the pup will meet new dogs and new people.