Stubborn, emotional and loud teenage dogs

Goodog owner Barbara Hodel spoke with the Sydney Morning Herald about stubborn, emotional and loud teenage dogs.

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) contacted Barbara about the behaviour of Emily Hallam’s stubborn, emotional and loud teenage dogs Cooper.

Hallam and partner Loz Robinson adopted 14-month old boxer Cooper from RSPCA Victoria in July after instantly falling in love with his playful, friendly nature. But she jokes that he acts just like a teenager: he’s boisterous, stubborn, attention-seeking and easily distracted. And without routine, “he acts out”.

This, according to experienced dog trainer Barbara Hodel, is entirely normal, as dogs have a period of adolescence between puppyhood and adulthood.

And it’s a phase many so-called “COVID puppies” will be entering soon.

Hodel, who has a book called How to Love and Survive Your Teenage Dogsays common behaviours include barking or lunging at other people and dogs, pulling intensely on the lead, refusing to come when called, testing boundaries and digging in the yard.

“They don’t make good assessments of situations and that’s why they’re so emotional and act over the top,” she says.

“I think if people know it’s just a phase and there is a reason for it, they’re better able to manage.”

Hodel says the timing and duration of the teen phase depends on the dog breed and size, beginning as early as seven months old and reaching maturity as late as 24 months of age.

Continuing reading the full article on the SMH site here: Stubborn, emotional and loud: Welcome to the teenage dog phase