Well, another month has passed, and you now have a 7-month-old-puppy! Just like children, they grow so fast! Now for the good news, welcome to adolescence! How fun!
While your cute puppy may begin going through a rebellious stage that mimics a “teenage phase” that’s characterized by pushiness and lapses in judgement this month, don’t give up on training. If you remain calm, assertive, and consistent this stage will pass.
Today we’ll take a look at what you should know about dog training at 7-months of age.
There are several things that will annoy you during this period. Recognizing the behaviors and understanding how to deal with them will help you cope through this phase. Remember that whatever happens your sweet little puppy will return soon, but not until after he destroys a few things and gets under your skin. Here’s what to watch for this month:
At 7-months your puppy will begin to show more interest in his surroundings than you. Rather than get jealous, you’ll have to be creative and find ways to make spending time with you more exciting. Think of things such as belly rubs, treats, toys, park time, etc.
By the middle of the month you’ll be questioning if you ever taught your puppy anything. You’ll find that things he used to know from memory are now brand new again. It’s common for puppy owners to relax a bit with training, even if the puppy used to be a star pupil. The good news is that if you remain patient and continue with the training, your puppy will straighten up again.
While the independence and forgetfulness can be a lot to deal with, it’s the destruction that will really get you. Though you think you are past the hardest part, puppy chewing returns once again. However, with some puppies this can include a wider variety of chew “toys” this time. Think of items such as shoes, furniture, trees, etc. You may even find that your dog begins to jump on visitors, bark excessively, and dig massive potholes.
You may want to begin practicing new breathing techniques to calm you down! Just remember to keep your puppy as focused on training as possible and always reward when he does what you want.
We’re not going to lie, this stage is hard and many pup parents give up. Here are some things you can do to make the phase easier:
The truth is it will take time to teach your puppy what he can and cannot chew on. Again, patience, praise, and rewards will also help. It can also help to choose toys that are more interactive than a simple chew toy. There are lots of toys that will help mentally stimulate your pooch and also keep him occupied. A great type of toy to try is any that allows you to fill with treats that your dog has to work to get out.
The easiest way to keep your puppy out of trouble is to create a schedule and stick to it each day. This means to be consistent with walks, exercise, training, mealtimes, and potty breaks.
This is also a great age to consider spaying or neutering your pet. Let’s face it, rescues are full of unwanted pets, so the last thing we need to do is contribute to this problem. Aside from overpopulation, there are also several health benefits of spaying and neutering such as the prevention of certain types of cancer.
Sure, this phase will be hard, and you’ll want to give up. However, just stick with what you know, and it will be over before you know it!