Socially, your pup turns into an adolescent between 16 and 20 weeks. Yup. Your 9-month old dog isn’t a puppy. Yowza! (They’ll still be growing for many more months, but we’re talking social development here, not physical.)
Lots of people like to chalk their dog’s mis-behavior up to “puppyhood.”
That doesn’t fly around here! Even 10 week old pups can learn the rules and how to follow ’em. So your “crazy 9-month old puppy” is more realistically an out-of-control adolescent dog!
What to do?
First, get that pup into training when she’s still a pup! If your pup is healthy and on a vaccination protocol (if she’s seen a vet and has had her first set of shots), get her in a good, positive reinforcement puppy class right away. We start training our service pups in-training at 8-weeks. A good breeder will start training the pups with a clicker when they are five or six weeks old!
Get her out (safely) often.
Not to a dog park. (ACK!) But to a lot of different locations every week. Think: shopping center, neighborhood (a different street each day), kids play-dates, soccer games, pool, beach, outdoor cafe, sidewalk, country road, the list goes on.
Be fair. Teach her what she needs to know and be predictable! If you don’t want her on the furniture when she’s full grown, don’t let her on the furniture now!
I want to hear from you:
What do you wish you’d taught your pup when you first brought her (or him) home?
What are you thankful you DID teach your pup?