Rocket turns 8 months on Wednesday!
I was gone to Seattle the last couple of days, but last week and for part of today, he acted like he'd forgotten every thing he's ever learned. Sigh. I knew this might happen, I'd read on here, I was prepared, or so I thought.....
While I was searching this forum and reading threads about this "teenage phase", there were some replies stating that there is no teen phase.
That it is just a lack of training
. I sincerely hope this is not the case, because most of my day is planned around the dog. Probably more than my 3 children. We train for a bit in the am and have an exercise session (these vary by day...maybe a walk, maybe a ball/flirt pole, maybe go to the park, maybe a run)--often I will just train and then get ready for a hike (at least 2 hours if not more). Then it's settle time (a good nap) then more exercise and more training. Night brings a small training session and usually a raw bone.
In between these, I use every chance I get for interaction. We also have "cat training". (That's a whole other thread) We go in the car usually at least once a day, most days a week we go to a store too. He has been in obedience since his second round of shots, with only a slight break (Dec) and right now he's in two classes a week. He eats almost one full meal a day out of my hand while he's "working for it".
How can his behavior be a result of my "lack of training", or him "evolving beyond my training" -----both quotes I found in old "teenage" threads on this forum? (Interestingly enough, I found several links from my training facility, Diamonds in the Ruff, referenced in this old thread: https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum...vice-tips.html
), so their thinking is it is a real phase.
Sometimes I do feel like I'm not the world's greatest trainer. I admit I think I thought I was better before I got this pup! Maybe I'm moving too fast, in the quest to "proof in different situations". Mostly it's when we're in situations with high distraction, outside of home (after the initial "CLASS! WE'RE IN CLASS!!!!!" reaction, he does focus ok in class, at least the one. He just started the second simultaneous one and DH took him to his first session). He acts like he has me on mute. GRRRR. Today I got very frustrated when his new harness we're trying out got tangled and I had to let go for a split second, which unfortunately had to be the precise second one of the cats decided to streak out of the garage, only to be followed through the mud I might add, by my pup--who joyously chased him at full speed under the front porch. I shamefully admit to grabbing him with both hands by his harness and manhandling him over to the gravel path, all the while yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" only to have him trip on the dragging leash part and do a slight crash onto his side.
I had to take him inside and give both of us a brief timeout. Honestly, I had had the crappiest morning and I sat down on the floor and started to cry, which is totally unlike me; and to make matters worse, he came over and licked my face. I felt like Baroness Machiavelli.
There is quite a bit of other stress in my life right now, maybe it's affecting my training/household atmosphere for him.
Anyone else feel this way? To be fair to Rocket, he isn't like that every day. Some days he acts like this perfect dream puppy. We just haven't had one for a week, it seems.