Friday, October 9, 2015

Dylan and Her Teenage Years

Puppies in general go through the same growing processes as do human children.  Fear, anxiety, comfortable acceptance, love and rebellion.   Love and rebellion are where she is right about now.  Think how your 11 year old trusted and loved you. Now remember when, in just two short years, how they became this strange person at 13, they disobeyed every thing they were taught and had no sense of right or wrong.  In reality, it's called growing.  Learning to be independent.

Yesterday, GDA sent a representative to our house to check on us and Dylan.  Yvette, having spent just a few minutes talking to us and observing Dylan was able to  hit on our fears, our successes and Dylan's "teenage" antics.  She told us that labs get very comfortable with their new owners and after adjusting to the change,  they get into a routine.  Everything is going smoothly.  Then they become bored.  Where they never chewed on anything, they now chew on everything.  Where the bathroom trash can becomes their treasure trove. Where they came when called, now look at you like you're from Mars and they want nothing to do with you.  When "leave it"  and "No" come out of your mouth more than you could ever remember saying that command to no avail, you have a teenage puppy.

So you have to change tactics.  Instead of No or Leave It, it's "thanks for picking that up for me, or "good girl" for not jumping on you or the furniture.  Puppies do want to please, we're told.  So by changing tactics and reversing course, the dogs have to think.  Yvette told us they need to be mentally tired, not just physically tired.   The smarter the dog, the more mental fatigue they need.   I get mental fatigue reading a magazine.

Our teenager...
So we are changing her training routine and our reaction to her antics.  I'll let you know how this all works out.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Interesting days ahead...