Adolescence in dogs - the teenage years

Understand your dog’s teenage years and their development through adolescence

9th November 2023

It goes without saying that having a puppy is never a smooth sailing process. Of course, puppies are very cute and have a whole load of fun, but they also go through puberty and turbulent mood changes - just like us. 

Like any parent of a troublesome teen, it’s important to expect a few bumps in the road and be prepared for new challenges - the same goes for when your well-behaved puppy hits adolescence. Trust us, this stage won’t last forever. A little patience and support can go a long way. 

Read on for more pointers on how to take care of your pup during puberty. 

What are the symptoms of puppy adolescence? 

Here are some behavioural changes to look out for:

  • Excessive barking
  • Jumping up
  • High energy and frequent zoomies
  • Humping behaviour
  • Marking territory
  • Biting the lead
  • Increased aggression and irritability
  • Scratching 

This can be a pretty turbulent time in their development, so be sure to have your puppy insurance all sorted so as to avoid any costly accidents or oversights. 

Do dogs go through a rebellious stage? 

Every dog is different, but changes in hormones are likely to cause a certain degree of disobedience in your dog. This isn’t always a negative thing, as all that’s happening is that your puppy is becoming more inquisitive about interacting and exploring. 

They just want to check out their environment and understand the people around them. We’re talking more about playing, energy and interaction with their owners and other doggy friends. Just like human teenagers, they just need a little guidance along the way. 

Managing actions and reactions can be difficult for a dog during adolescence. Calming down and responding obediently to commands can leave your pup feeling conflicted and confused - which can cause rebellious behaviour. Don’t take this as an act of defiance. It’s just your pooch struggling to control their hormones. 

Do dogs calm down after 18 months? 

Yes, usually. The majority of puppies begin to calm down at around 12 months, but larger breeds can take slightly longer. At 18 months you should start to notice some changes. By the time they’ve reached the 2-year mark, your dog will have officially made it through puppyhood - and a whole lot of rewiring and hormonal shifts. 

When do puppies become adults? 

By the end of 2 years, your puppy will be well on the road to adulthood. They’ll have reached physical maturity and will also be mentally more alert and attuned to their environment. With gentle but consistent leadership from you, your dog will continue to grow out of their more rebellious phase and enter a more mature stage of their life. 

For more information and help understanding your dog, visit our dog blog

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