Do dogs go through the terrible twos?

But did you know that dogs also go through a similar rebellious stage as they transition from puppyhood into social maturity? This adolescent stage of a dog’s life is most commonly referred to as ‘the terribles’ or ‘the terrible twos’ and believe me, it is aptly named.

You may be tempted to try to exhaust your puppy by giving him lots of exercise, but keep in mind that he is still growing. His limbs are not at their final length and his joints and muscles are not fully formed, leaving them vulnerable to over-exercising and the damage that this can do.

Most dogs will pick up and chew almost anything, including your furniture and shoes, so make sure you have plenty of safe chew toys available. At this time, the puppy’s deciduous teeth start to be replaced by adult ones, and this, combined with the dogs’ natural curiosity, means that they need to chew – a lot.

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To develop into a well-balanced adult dog, puppies must learn to respond to or ignore all the different stimuli they encounter in their environment. Carry your puppy and allow him to interact with other dogs that you are aware have received all necessary vaccinations if you are concerned that his immunizations, which are typically complete at around 12 weeks of age, may not be.

Many owners discover that their puppy begins to test social boundaries, almost like a stroppy teenager – by refusing to come when called or comply with requests and finding out what works and what doesn’t – and temper tantrums, such as struggling when gently restrained, are common. Behaviorists sometimes refer to the period between 13 and 16 weeks as the Age of Cutting – cutting both teeth and apron strings. You’ll have fewer fights later on if you remain calm and establish clear boundaries so that the puppy knows where he stands and what behavior is acceptable to you.

This passage is taken from Sarah Whitehead’s book The Secret Life of Puppies, which was published by Pavilion Books. Available to order here. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below.

Reward calm behaviors to manage over-excitement

Just like humans, willpower comes with time. Due to their immaturity, puppies can easily become overexcited or aroused by other animals, people, or circumstances. Overexcitement can escalate into frustration or aggression when it’s directed at another dog or person.

Tip #1: Teach your furry best friend to relax to help control that over-excitement. While playing, ask them to sit between rounds of fetch. Reward peaceful actions with pats and praise, such as unwinding or lying down.

Tip #2: To easily remove your young dog from excessively enthused play, have them droop a leash from their collar. Never walk in front of your dog if you need to remove them from the source of their overstimulation; instead, lift their hip and move in a dragging or wheelbarrow motion.

What Are The Signs Of ‘The Terrible Twos’ In Your Dog?

Although the difficult behavioral stage your puppy is going through will probably be obvious, there are some telltale signs of the terrible twos in our developing canine companions.

There are numerous ways these puppies might test the boundaries and see what they can get away with each day.

The following are a few of the many symptoms of the terrible twos in dogs:

  • Disregarding previously learned commands such as sit, stay, lay down, stop barking, and more
  • Jumping on members of the family or visitors to your home
  • Constant zoomies throughout the day, even when you tell them to settle down
  • Endless amounts of hyperactivity
  • Not coming when called, even making a game out of it and requiring you to chase them
  • Humping people or animals
  • Frequent barking, even constant in some cases
  • Increased pulling on walks
  • Rolling around and throwing tantrums on walks
  • Refusing to leave exciting places like the dog park or doggy day care
  • Talking back when you give them commands
  • Jumping on the furniture if they know they are not allowed
  • Making you chase them when it’s time for things like baths, nail trims, putting on their collar, etc.
  • Playing rough with you or other animals
  • Pawing at you for attention
  • Tearing up toys, bedding, or anything else in the home they can destroy
  • Whining or barking when they are not getting attention
  • Although you will need to correct each of these typical puppy behaviors as they mature, they can really shine during the terrible two phase.

    You are not alone if it seems like your dog’s negative behavior increases between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

    Do dogs calm down after 2 years?

    Conclusion. Most dogs begin to calm down between the ages of six and nine months. All that excessive puppy energy ought to be gone by the time they reach full maturity, which occurs between one and two years of age!


    At what age do dogs go through the terrible twos?

    Puppies become more independent as they get older, and between 6 and 12 months, you might notice your once-obedient pup is beginning to exhibit some undesirable behaviors.

    Do dogs behavior change at 2 years old?

    Age-related dog behavior changes occur gradually. For instance, a dog’s behavior changing at the age of two, when many dogs become adults, is a typical milestone. Later on, some elderly dogs may become agitated because of things like arthritis pain or vision loss.

    At what age is a dog most difficult?

    The puberty stage is the most difficult time to raise a puppy. When dogs reach puberty, they appear to have forgotten everything. Each dog is different during this time, but it could start around the age of eight months and last until the dog is two years old.

    Do dogs go through a rebellious stage?

    Dogs experience a rebellious “teenager” phase, just like humans, between the ages of 5 and 18. They frequently test their owners during this time to see what they can get away with. Setting boundaries will be easier if you are firm and consistent with your instruction.