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Expectations of a 18-24mo Dog?


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#1 Camden's Mom

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:32 PM

OK, I realize the answer to this questions is always going to be: Every dog is different and it completely depends on the individual dog.

 

However, this is my first time raising a dog and while there’s a surplus of info on puppyhood, there seems to be a lot less about adolescence. I understand that patience, constancy and fairness are key elements to continue to build trust during the teenage years. Continued socializing and training also seem extremely important.

 

I guess what I’m really asking is: What do YOU expect of a 18 – 24mo dog? Do you give him/her any responsibilities (or different responsibilities)? Hold him to higher standards? Do the rules and expectations change as he gets older, and if the answer is “yes”, then how so?

 

I worry that I would be doing my dog a disservice if I treated him like a puppy for the rest of his life. I’d be very interested in hearing how experienced dog owners think about and handle the transition from puppyhood to adolescence and finally adulthood.



#2 Smalahundur

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 04:35 PM

What period do you call "adolescence"? Or "puppy hood" for that matter.

I have people on this board call dogs puppies up to a year old, even beyond that.

I don´t really think in these kind of periods/transitions.

When the dog is still growing I call it a puppy, when it´s done and reaches sexual maturity it is an adult imo.

It gets trained, and of course the expectations, standards and responsibilities grow accordingly over time. If not you are doing something (very) wrong.

I don´t really see how you could quantify that.



#3 Camden's Mom

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 06:08 PM

Maybe my mistake was putting an age on the question. I've read that dogs can mature at wildly different ages so that probably made the question a bit unanswerable.

It gets trained, and of course the expectations, standards and responsibilities grow accordingly over time.

^^ This!! I'm interested in HOW expectations, standards and responsibilities grow accordingly over time for a puppy that's moving into adulthood (at whatever age that maturity takes place for each individual dog). 



#4 juliepoudrier

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 06:26 PM

Camden's Mom,

I think what you're asking largely depends on what you're doing with your youngster on a regular basis. Mine generally get trained for stockwork, so my expectations of an 18-14 month old might be somewhat different from what someone else's expectations might be (but I won't address stockwork here).

 

In general at that age I'd expect the youngster to have good manners, a good recall, and be trustworthy loose in my house at least while I'm home. I'd expect it not to chase my cats or chickens and to behave well socially within my pack. I'd also expect to be able to attend a sheepdog trial and walk the youngster off leash (with or without the rest of the pack) and have it listen to me and not go off visiting, chasing, or anything else.

 

So essentially I'd expect a dog at that age to have manners, listen well, and generally just be a pretty good citizen (if we don't consider training for a specific activity).

 

J.


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#5 Camden's Mom

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 06:56 PM

In general at that age I'd expect the youngster to have good manners, a good recall, and be trustworthy loose in my house at least while I'm home. I'd expect it not to chase my cats or chickens and to behave well socially within my pack. I'd also expect to be able to attend a sheepdog trial and walk the youngster off leash (with or without the rest of the pack) and have it listen to me and not go off visiting, chasing, or anything else.

 

So essentially I'd expect a dog at that age to have manners, listen well, and generally just be a pretty good citizen (if we don't consider training for a specific activity).

 

J.

 

 

Thanks, Julie! That's what I was after! I do of course understand that each dog will have a different skill set depending on what it's being trained to do (stockwork, agility/flyball, therapy, etc.) but I was more interested in basic behavioral expectations or responsibilities given to a young dog as it matures. 



#6 Donald McCaig

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:31 AM

Camden's Mom,

I think what you're asking largely depends on what you're doing with your youngster on a regular basis. Mine generally get trained for stockwork, so my expectations of an 18-14 month old might be somewhat different from what someone else's expectations might be (but I won't address stockwork here).

 

In general at that age I'd expect the youngster to have good manners, a good recall, and be trustworthy loose in my house at least while I'm home. I'd expect it not to chase my cats or chickens and to behave well socially within my pack. I'd also expect to be able to attend a sheepdog trial and walk the youngster off leash (with or without the rest of the pack) and have it listen to me and not go off visiting, chasing, or anything else.

 

So essentially I'd expect a dog at that age to have manners, listen well, and generally just be a pretty good citizen (if we don't consider training for a specific activity).

 

J.

Dear Doggers,

 

Julie's expectations are pretty standard in the sheepdog world.  I'd add: interested but not too interested in other dogs or people. Fussless in the car  and in the vet's waiting room. At that age I might or might not crate them when I left them in the motel room to go out to dinner.

 

Interestingly, such a dog might not be able to pass a Canine Good Citizen test and almost certainly wouldn't be a fully trained sheepdog.

 

Donald McCaig



#7 mum24dog

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 06:43 AM

So essentially I'd expect a dog at that age to have manners, listen well, and generally just be a pretty good citizen (if we don't consider training for a specific activity).
 
J.

The same expectations at any age - or rather aspirations with the random selection of damaged dogs I have taken on.

"Good citizen" in a general sense covers it pretty well. Anything else a dog can do is just icing on the cake.

#8 Camden's Mom

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:23 AM

Thanks, these suggestions help a lot! He's pretty good about most of what was mentioned here, with the exception of visiting other dogs. He'd go up to say "hi" to every dog we pass if it as his choice. I'm glad my dog is social, but I have a lot of work to do with him regarding when it's OK to say "hi" and when it's not (and that it's my decision, not his). Not to mention his rude, overly excited behavior while greeting other dogs. Ugh... I think I'll have to save that one for another thread.  :unsure:

 

I am curious about rewarding, however, and how it is handled as the dog is expected to act a certain way. I'm not saying I want to discontinue rewarding my dog, but at what point is the dog expected to offer a mature behavior because he knows it's the right thing to do, not because you have a piece of cheese (or a ball) in your pocket? Do you take rewarding down a notch as the dog matures or does that stay pretty consistent throughout their lives?



#9 GentleLake

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 10:47 AM

Once a dog has learned a behavior well and consistently, intermittent, random reward becomes a much more powerful reinforcement than do constant, consistent rewards. 

 

So, once he's learned something well, try skipping the reward now and again.  Then skip more often, and more often until he's only getting a reward once in a while.  But make it unpredictable.  IOW, don't reward every 5th or 10th time, but maybe the 3rd time, then the 10th time, then twice in a row, then the 10th time again.  The dog learns to look for that reward eagerly, never knowing when it's coming, so always wants to work for it.



#10 rushdoggie

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:15 PM

At this age, I expect my dog to have mastered the basics of dog life: potty outside and on command, basic training skills like sit, down, stay. Its this age that the focus on self control happens.

 

You wait at all doors, crate, house and car.

 

You get let out because I let you out and therefore you must empty now because the opportunity is there. Yes, you can hold it and no you must go outside on your own sometimes (because we still get distracted when our bestie goes out with us and there is more squirrel barking than peeing).

 

No, I am not here to entertain you. You got exercise, and we trained a bit. Now go away and find a chewie or something.

 

Etc.


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#11 erin_ohagan

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 12:18 PM

Oh, man if you ever figure out how to train your dog not to be so enthusiastic in greeting other dogs, please let me know how you do it!  I think our dogs must be closely related, because this is the SAME issue I have with mine.  Like you, I LOVE that she's so social (as I have heard many BCs are notoriously NOT), but it can make walks a bit of a chore.  She is getting better (we are working really hard on "Leave it") and as long as the dog is clearly behind a fence or walking away from us, she is able to settle down a little better, but if we encounter one on our side of the road....sheesh!  I have a 1-on-1 training session scheduled with a trainer about this issue on Thurs....I'll report back what she says if it's helpful.

 

As for rewards....I too do the random reward system.  Unless we are in a "new" environment then I reward heavily.  But, for places like around the house etc....it's much more a "when I feel like it" reward system. 



#12 Camden's Mom

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:56 PM

Sounds like I really need to scale back my rewards. Not that I'm rewarding every sit and down but I do tend to reward self control exercises quite heavily. (Example: he can't be in the kitchen while I'm preparing food. I say "out", he goes "out", but I will periodically pop around the corner and treat him for staying "out".) I'll start scaling back and rewarding at vastly different intervals when we're working on a behavior he knows well.

 

We work a lot on self control and it seems like he is making adult decisions more and more frequently. That's kind of what got me to ask my initial question. I want to continue to challenge him and hold him to a high standard, but I also don't want to expect too much from him and leave us both frustrated. 

 

Erin, I'd LOVE to hear what your trainer has to say about your gals over-enthusiasm regarding other dogs (especially when greeting)!! Please do let me know how it goes and feel free to PM me if you like! 




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