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Old 01-13-2016, 06:04 PM
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Default Adolescent Puppy Advice!

My male puppy is nearly 9 months old and deep into adolescence. I've noticed ever since he hit puberty he's been totally on edge when we go out for walks. He's always looking around, and when I stop at a sniffing place he can hardly sniff without looking around some more.

When we first leave the house it's like he's never been outside before. He'll bark a bit at people, sometimes a single bark at a loud van, and ALWAYS barking and growling at other dogs. Here's what happens every time:

-spots another dog, locks eyes onto it
-begins trembling
-butt starts to wiggle
-lips start to quiver, starts to growl
-gets down into a crouch with tail wagging
-full on barking, will give a few barks while walking away if especially excited

This all happens while we're moving. Usually I just put him on the other side away from the dog, and he's neither pulling or trying to move away. At first I thought he was scared of other dogs but I ruled that out when he sat and ate a treat in front of one of the dogs that caused him the biggest reaction. If the other dog goes to try to meet him, he will usually go and meet them too. Other than this reaction he's always been polite when meeting other dogs. If for some reason the other dog barks at him first he usually just gives them space and passes by.

The problem is not all dogs appreciate this behavior, and some very big/older dogs will either tell him off which scares him or get that 'prey' look in their eyes and lunge at him, sometimes aggressively. I also can't take him to the dog park when he's like this as he elicits some bad responses from other dogs which is a shame because he loves to play with them.

I noticed this is it's worst when we just leave the house, so I started paying attention to what he does while we walk. After half an hour of walking his reactions are either much less or have disappeared. Some days it takes a full hour of walking before he has no reaction. He's passed pointers, rottweilers, small dogs, big dogs and after enough exercise usually there's no reaction. The problem is some days he just never turns off!! I have literally walked him for 3 hours once and he never got tired, and didn't nap at home, we get in and he wants to play!! We walk an hour every day including literally hiking up hills, then he gets some obedience, we play fetch at least once a day, and then play with toys. He eats from a puzzle ball as well.

Some days he's worse than others. I'm just hoping that this is an adolescent male thing and it will wear off? The other day he was very good, and today, not so good. Sometimes I feel a bit beaten down by this, especially since I'm the only one who walks him, and does obedience with him. Is there anything else I can do? Pheromone collar maybe?
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2016, 10:12 PM
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It sounds like he may just be over excited. Try taking him out when/where he won't see other dogs at first, so he is calmer by the time he does. Or try doing some play or training at home before you leave the house so he is more focussed and less excitable.
Also work on 'watch me' so you can always get his attention back to you.
Make sure he meets lots of dogs that you know and that he has learnt appropriate greeting behaviours. Time with an older well mannered dog that will gently correct him if he is too rambunctious is invaluable
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:29 AM
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Thank you, I'll try playing a game of fetch at home before we leave. Back where we used to live he used to have regular play dates with most of the other dogs in the neighborhood that used to send him way into overdrive. I'm wondering if that sort of set him up into getting so excited around all dogs. It's funny that besides this he is polite in greeting. Never jumps up, head butts, he always gives a lot of space. Usually he will just be annoying and hop around the other dog on his stomach barking.

A tiny chihuahua in our building with a bad back leg gave him a stern warning the other day when he was being too boisterous, his owner apologized but I was actually glad for it!
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