Is your dog acting out? Is she moodier than usual? She might just be entering her teenage years!
According to the results of a recent study, dogs demonstrate reduced obedience toward their humans when going through canine puberty. UK-based researchers discovered that during this “teenage” stage of a dog’s life, which can start at as early as four months of age, he’s more apt to ignore simple commands such as “sit” and “stay”.
The team observed 69 dogs before adolescence (five months) and then again during this stage (eight months). Dogs in adolescence took longer to respond when asked to “sit”, even if they’d been quick to obey the command in the past. A questionnaire distributed to 285 dog guardians showed similar results – canines going through puberty were harder to train!
Interestingly, the dogs involved in the study were only “moody” toward their own guardians. With strangers, they were much better behaved. “We found evidence that dogs do show a period of reduced obedience that is specific to their owners, not to other people,” says zoologist Dr. Naomi Harvey. “This is associated with all the issues going on inside the dog during puberty. Hormonal fluctuations and remodelling of the brain as the dog matures cause a lot of issues.”