Mature Adulthood Development Period
(1 – 3 Years)
“I SHALL PROTECT THIS KINGDOM”
So, your puppy is no longer a baby. He is pretty much fully grown in height. He will begin to fill out a bit and develop more muscle tone. But mentally the dog is still working out some last details of his life and what it means to him.
He is a member of a pack and now begins to find that his turf is worthy of monitoring and protecting. Sort of sounds nice to have your dog be protective, but don’t fall for it.
You do not want your dog to take over these responsibilities, because soon you too will be under the rule of the King Dog. This can lead to aggressive behaviors, protective to the point of creating fear or actually harming someone or another animal as he protects. This is bad news and often a reason a dog is taken out of the home. So, don’t allow your dog to be the King of the Castle. Assign him the role of court jester – he will be happier and so will your family
WHAT’S GOING ON:
• The dog may become more turf protective.
• Strangers may be greeted with barking.
• Barking at noises, birds, cars, butterflies, pretty much everything he believes is worthy of attention.
• Playing with other dogs may escalate to fighting.
• Same-sex confrontations of other dogs can occur.
• Once again, checking the pack order to see if he can move.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• Reinforce how to greet strangers into your home.
• Teach your dog to ignore dogs he cannot be nice too.
• Practice or reinforce dog manners (utilizing non-threatening dogs)
• Learn to read your dog and other dogs. (Circling, walking on toes, stiff tail wags, tense facial expressions are the signs of aggressive behaviors)
• Rally your family to review that the pack order is clear and everyone is consistent with training and corrections.
• Reward him for good behaviors.
• Give that dog another job, therapy work, obedience classes, agility
Republished with permission from International Doodle Owners Group.