Photo credit dogsdeservebetter.org
A 1 year-old dog is not quite a puppy anymore. But it is not yet an adult either.
Just like a 14 year-old human, they are still growing and learning how to play fairly with others.
Exercise, play, train --- and then exercise some more!
Dogs want and need lots of exercise at this age. Your job as a dog owner is to provide them with lots of walks, sessions fetching the ball, or play time with other dogs.
Dogs do not exercise themselves alone in the back yard! Like teenagers, they become easily frustrated and bored without an outlet for all of their youthful energy. They may become quite destructive in their pursuit to find something to do. It is common to find family heirlooms chewed to pieces, holes dug deeply in the garden, or patio furniture destroyed.
This is a tough time for dogs who have not been properly socialized from the beginning. They start to look and act more like a dog, and less like a cute, charming puppy.
Unfortunately, many people give up on dogs at this age. Every year, millions of dogs are relinquished to animal shelters or rescue groups. Some of the common reasons people give are:
“He is too hyper.”
“She is much bigger than I thought she would be.”
“She jumps on people.”
“He is way too much for me. He pulls me down the street!”
“I can’t have him in the house! He has way too much energy. He will just have to stay in the yard.”
All of the “problems" that people see with their 1 year-old dogs are, in fact, normal behavior from dogs that need attention. Rescue success stories always include a person who takes the time to train, socialize, and love the problems away.
Do not get a puppy in the first place if you do not have time to exercise, socialize and love them. Dogs deserve better!
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The Social K9