View Full Version : Oh no! Pup has turned into wild beastie!

25th July 2012, 05:04 PM
Wondering if anyone has any tips to help me with my 7m/o who has suddenly turned into the hound of hades?

Tails used to be a very good dog who walked nicely always came when I called never strayed too far and ate all his food.

Over the past few weeks, I think he has started to hear the call of the wild because now he:

1) walks like a wild boar. He almost pulls my arm out of the socket. I have been doing all the basics we learned in puppy class (ie. stopping dead when he pulls...) but this just upsets him makes him whine and make monkey noises... I think part of the problem is that up until a few weeks ago, he always walked so nicely that if ever he wanted to investigate something, he would tug gently and I wouldn't have a problem with letting him go investigate, but now he swings wildly from side to side, straining at the leash (he wave a no pull harness but it does nothing) and the closer to the park we get, the worse he gets.

2) he now thinks nothing of running from one side of the park to the other and yesterday scared me to death by running out of the gate. His recall used to be solid as a rock and I have been re-enforcing since he was a baby but the time he ran away.. it was like he was in a trance.

Also, if he sees another dog... he will just go completely deaf to my calls and tear off in the direction of said creature. This worries me as there are a couple of dodgy staffies in the park with very dodgy looking owners.

3) He now just picks and plays with his breakfast. Ive tried different foods but nothing seems to work for more than 2 days in a row. He still loves treats... I think he is trying to train me to stop giving him healthy dog food and just give him a huge bowl of treats!

He is not aggressive and still loves all people and all dogs... but he has just become so... problematic!! Is this hormones?

25th July 2012, 05:17 PM
Puppy adolescence. :) It sounds like Tails is becoming a teenager!!! Hang in there because this phase will pass. However in the mean time keep doing what you are doing and be consistent with training and maybe even put in a little extra time to work on all of the "commands that he once knew". Our trainer recommended another round of training classes at this age because she said this is when puppies tend to need to review. I found that this age took a lot of patience. Good luck!

25th July 2012, 06:07 PM
Normal, but this is the time when you really need to emphasise his training. When he comes out of this phase he'll be a well behaved adult. Also, you can't trust him during this period, he's going to hang out with friends you don't approve of, stay out late, chase girls, drive recklessly...oh wait that's humans. But it's basically the same thing.

If he isn't eating his breakfast just pick it up and wait till his next meal. If he isn't hungry, he isn't hungry.

Guinness gets offered food twice a day, but really eats one big meal and then picks at the other meal, Thistle will eat as much as she can get her paws on, then beg for more.

25th July 2012, 09:21 PM
Thanks guys for your advice. I will just keep calm and carry on... and put extra emphasis on training during this phase. Hopefully it will fly by!

25th July 2012, 10:17 PM
Oh another thing... when we go to the park, I swear Tails thinks I'm an embarrassment when he's with the other dogs. I'm like "Hey guys! Don't you think the Bay City Rollers have a great beat?!" and Tails is like "I'm not with this guy, I don't even know who he is."

27th July 2012, 12:31 PM
Jazz has also reached 7months and I too am enduring the adolescent/teenager stage! She's exercising her feeewill much more now, has selective deafness when trying to call her back when out walking! Recently she rolled in cow dung and was smothered from head to toe before I could stop her!

ive also noticed that she's become much more vocal lately - when we chose her it was because of her calmness and did not "yap" like her litter mates - now she barks if she's sees the slightest movement or hears a noise! I can no longer watch tv shows with animals on them as she barks constantly at the screen! It's quite funny but I hope she's grows out of it soon..... I suppose her first season won't be long now and then she'll be all grown up!

27th July 2012, 12:57 PM
I think it's important to understand that trainers generally advise that dogs can never be trusted to have a reasonable level of recall until they are at least a year old (as this is the one command on which a dog's life may depend at some point). While there is definitely a level of “adolescence”, a common stage puppies go through where they seem to forget many of the things they've learned, there is surely also a degree to which puppies lose what might seem to be good recall and a tendency to stay close on walks, simply because when they are young, they are less confident and adventurous and would be inclined to stick more closely to what their owner. I have also seen exactly the same phenomenon happen with adult rescue dogs in foster or that I have owned myself. There is almost always an initial period where the dog remains right at your heels on long walks, and comes quickly when called–and then there's a point where suddenly they gain confidence and will happily run off, seemingly becoming a completely different dog. Training is so important!

I am sure a major contributing part of this too, is that puppy owners tend to feel that their dog is now trained, once they are getting a regular response to a given command, whereas dogs need regular reinforcement & practice–which means doing some focused recall training practice each day and also creating ways within day-to-day activity that recall can be enforced casually.

Again, all these issues are covered in Ian Dunbar's book After You Get Your Puppy, a free download that I am always recommending to people! Anyone who has a puppy or young dog, a new rescue dog, or just a dog generally who wants a very good training and behavior and management manual at their side all the time, should definitely download this free book!


Dogs around this age also are ideal candidates for a group obedience class (a rewards-based class, and never one that uses “corrections" and jerks a dog around by the neck). Many owners make the mistake of training at home and other quiet settings then find their dog -- naturally -- won't respond in the real life places we take them, like parks, the beach etc. Dogs around 6-7 months really need the benefit of socialisation that comes from a group class as well as learning in a distracting true to life environment. And it is good to have a certified (APDT or CPDT) trainer help correct the owner! Most of us make all sorts of mistakes in training that actually confuse dogs and even reinforce the unwanted rather than wanted behaviours. As trainers say, classes are more about training the owner how to train, than training the dog. :lol: Plus -- classes are FUN for owner and dog! Highly recommended. This goes too for dogs now barking at TV etc. That behaviour won't stop unless steps are taken for training and management that a good trainer can give. Almost all puppies are actually quiet puppies -- most bark very little til they reach about 6 months. As with anything else, owners need to make sure they shape their young dog into the adult they want as it won't happen without a lot of work, training, practice and management :). There are some great links about all of this pinned in this section (see 'if you only read one thing...' etc) but nothing compares to attending classes with a great certified trainer and getting proper and effective guidance. :D

27th July 2012, 03:31 PM
Oh another thing... when we go to the park, I swear Tails thinks I'm an embarrassment when he's with the other dogs. I'm like "Hey guys! Don't you think the Bay City Rollers have a great beat?!" and Tails is like "I'm not with this guy, I don't even know who he is."

Maybe in the future you should try not to embarrass him in front of his friends. :cool: