Teenage Pups


There seem to be several pups right now who are experiencing their “terrible twos” or in other words, entering their “teen years.” Here are some survival tips for pup experiencing “growing pains”… and actually for all raisers to remember. This is what a pack leader would do naturally.  If you are experiencing difficulty with any of the below listed rules please contact your club leader ASAP!


ALWAYS BE THE ONE WHO GOES FIRST through doorways, car doors, gates and narrow openings,. A Guide dog on leash should follow behind you through a door, eventually together but never to LEAD! (even with a blind person they would only lead in harness) If the dog tries to dodge past you and bolt through, block them, and shut the door quickly (but carefully) in their face. This applies to bolting out of a crate, as well. Make them” WAIT” and then you give permission. (“Wait” means to stop and wait patiently for further directions, in firmer cases it can mean stop and to SIT)

RESTRICT YOUR DOG’S MOVEMENTS AROUND THE HOUSE. They should not have full access to the whole “den” unless you choose to open that area or door for them. Always make some parts of your home inaccessible to you pup. Only you have full access. Bathrooms or living rooms are usual forbidden areas, but it could be any room in the house. That puts YOU in control and not the other way around!

MAKE A POINT OF PERIODICALLY OCCUPYING THE SPACES WHERE THE PUPS USUALLY SLEEPS. Deny the pup the access to some of these areas from time to time. This includes beside your bed, under the table, etc. Move the crate to a new location, as well. Move the dog rug and tiedown and insist he sleeps in another location. You control when and where they sleep, as a leader.

MAKE IT A POINT TO EAT BEFORE YOUR PUP DOES! Make sure they SEE you eating before they do. This happens regularly in restaurants but what about at home? Is that where the power struggle is? Why? Fix their food, and leave it on the counter-then eat your meal. Of course some pups will object, that is the whole point. Who is in charge? Have them do a down/stay while you eat. Initially, at your feet, eventually several feet away on a down stay or tiedown with them behaving. (You will probably need to have your foot on the leash) In the dog’s world, the top dog or pack leader (should be all humans) eats first.

DO NOT ALLOW THE PUP TO CONTROL THE BUSIEST AREAS IN THE HOUSE. This includes main entrances, kitchen floors, top of the stairs, any high frequency passage way. The top dog or leader always controls those areas. Make them move. Make your dog move if they are in your way. Do not step over them. How will a blind person do that? Slide your feet into them and continue to push until they move. Never step over or go around your pup to get where you are going. Shuffle into the dog, You are the boss, they have to get out of your way!

GDB PUPS SHOULD NOT DEMAND ATTENTION OF YOU OR OTHERS. No hand or elbow nudging, pawing, barking, licking, being naughty, jumping on you, or faking the need to have to relieve just to get your attention. Any attention toward the pup must be initiated by you. Your pup should perform a command first (sit is the simplest, to “puppy push ups” or eventually “stand” if need be) and then receive the reward (what they wanted) of your attention. If they seek attention, give a command and then reward for the performance of the command.

RANDOMLY DO DOMINANT PETTING. Stroke the top of the pup’s ears, top of neck, and shoulder, areas strongly. Place your hand on the top of the pup’s neck and rest it there. Do not allow the pup to put it’s paw on you. Do not play on the ground where your pup has the chance to be on top of you. No roughhousing play where the pup is growling at you, is on top of you, or is grabbing your clothing. Top dog is always the biggest or highest.

REMOVE MOST OF THE PUP’S TOYS AND BONES. Select and offer only a few at a time so the pup knows you are in control of these items. Rotate the toys and they tend to be more interested in them.  Make your pup obey a command before you give them the toy or play with them. Vary that command. Do not allow the pup to keep the tug toy after the game. Put it away until You decide to play again.

YOU MUST CONTROL THE FOOD. Only set it out for a specified amount of time, and then remove it. (10-15 minutes is plenty of time,) if they leave the bowl pick it up and remove it. I have never heard of a pup starving to death by not finishing its food. (Remember when you were a kid and your mom insisted you ate your peas? Remember how you hated those peas?) If they leave then they are done until the next feeding time, especially youngsters.

WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING, have the dog greet you first. Subordinates greet the leader and not vise versa.  Open the crate door slowly, and put the leash on immediately.  If they are old enough (4-5 months) have them sit before you allow them to walk through the house to go outside. If not scoop them up and carry them out. Some pups become very unruly and some raisers give in and cater to the pup first, which was the pups whole objective to begin with. Belt  clip the pup on leash to you so you do not have to chase them don to catch them or observe them.

DO DAILY OBEDIENCE SESSIONS AND INSIST ON GOOD PERFORMANCES. Always be in a position where you can follow through with your commands. DO NOT give any command at any time which you cannot immediately reinforce/correct.

DO YOUR PUPPY HANDLING IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY KNOW YOU ARE IN CHARGE, Calmly, Firmly and with conviction. Do daily grooming of all parts of the pup. The pup should trust you and submit to you. Talk to your leader if you are having difficulty here. Pups need good exposure here, patience, persistence, and praise!



All rules need to be in black and white for the pup.

The whole family needs to follow the established rules.

The pups are either right or they are wrong.


Never allow a pup on any furniture.

Use a drag line and remove them matter-of-factly every time.   This should not be an attention seeking game.


These rules apply particularly to the more assertive pups, but also need to be consistent with more submissive pups as well. Submissive pups, which are allowed leadership roles, can actually develop health issues from the stress and confusion. BE consistent!