Age and Training - Related?
Do you believe that, "He's just a baby," is ever an excuse for a dog to behave poorly?
My question is more about various peoples' opinions than an actual question I want a straight answer to. I'm not talking about a VERY young puppy (to me this means 16wks and under), but I think that around 20 weeks, "He's still young," is no longer an excuse for your dog to:
A.) Ignore you completely
B.) Not know or follow any basics commands, such as "sit", at least some of the time
C.) Have poor manners in general
I ask this question mainly because I have an 8 month old puppy, and I do not believe that at his age, it is acceptable for him to ignore me while out on walks (or at any time, really), drag me down the street, or yank toward other people or dogs. I expect him to sit when I ask, drop whatever he has in his mouth when I ask, and not terrorize the neighbors who are walking past on the sidewalk. I have friends who say that I am expecting too much of him at this age.
Now, my puppy is in no way perfect. He has his faults. For example, he can be dog reactive. If he sees another dog and I don't react fast enough, his fur will go up and he will start barking. Every time I comment on one of his training faults to a friend, I am always told the same thing. "He's just a baby." Or even worse, "He'll grow out of it."
I think that a dog is capable of having a good "heel" and "sit" as early as 4 months. Obviously some dogs mature more slowly, but I think it is entirely possible. I do not believe that, "He's a baby," is an excuse for a dog to have no manners or training. Up to a certain age, it makes sense for a puppy to be highly distractible and not be able to do much in the way of formal training, but to me, after 5 months of age, saying, "He's a baby," is no longer an excuse, or at the very least, you are pushing it.
At what age do you consider that excuse no longer viable?