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Young dogs go through moody “adolescent” phase

A UK study has demonstrated that, like human teenagers, dogs go through a moody adolescent stage during puberty.

A recent study has demonstrated that, like human teenagers, dogs go through a moody adolescent stage when they’re in puberty. Published in Biology Letters, the study — “Teenage dogs? Evidence for adolescent-phase conflict behavior and an association between attachment to humans and pubertal timing in the domestic dog” — found that dogs in puberty (at eight months of age) are more likely to ignore commands given by their caregivers, and are also harder to train. This behavior is more pronounced in dogs with an insecure attachment to their owners.

“This is a very important time in a dog’s life,” says study leader Dr. Lucy Asher, the Senior Lecturer in Precision Animal Science at Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. “It’s when dogs are often re-homed because they are no longer cute little puppies, and suddenly, their owners find they are more challenging and can no longer control or train them. But as with human teenage children, owners need to be aware that their dogs are going through a phase and that it will pass.”

 

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