Dog Adolescence Not Much Different From Humans

By: Pam Wiese Email
By: Pam Wiese Email

It's hard not to love puppies and well-trained adult dogs but as with humans, adolescence is when things can get a bit difficult.

Did you know a dog is most likely to be surrendered to a shelter between nine and 18 months old? That's the age most difficult to handle because it's the age of adolescence.

Lucky’s owners got him as a cute little pup and as he got bigger and needed more management they didn't have or take the time to work with him, so he grew into an adult body with the manners of a 7-year-old and they could no longer handle him.

Adolescent dogs have insatiable curiosity about the world, which they explore with all of their senses, including taste. They dig, they chew on everything including your arms and legs and they jump on you as if you are as resilient as they are. They run away to explore everything. They may challenge your authority with a snarl or growl or by ignoring obedience commands.

Lucky is not only an adolescent, he's an Australian Kelpie so he's smart, got lots of energy and needs a job. If he hasn't got an appropriate activity to fill his time he'll find an inappropriate activity.

When he arrived at the Humane Society he had no idea what a leash was and would roll to get it off. He knew no commands and when he played he would amp up and up. Those who tried to settle him would end up with 40 pounds of dog hanging off their arms or legs because everything was a game. He was, in a word, obnoxious.

Staff and volunteers have been working hard with this boy and now he sits to get leashed up. He knows that leashes are fun because they get him outside. He loves interacting with other playful dogs. He also plays with toys, not human body parts, and has great car riding etiquette. Because he can still get amped up he'd do best with adults or kids over 12, who won't run screaming from him, inviting him to chase.

Lucky is available by appointment only because NHS staff wants to help potential adopters keep him moving in the right direction. If you want a fun, active boy to spend time with and you've got a fence and no small children, he could be a fun addition to your family. His photo and information to set up an appointment can be found at nehumanesociety.org under the adoption tab.

The Nebraska Humane Society at 8929 Fort Street in Omaha is open weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


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