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I realized this is merely a single story. My pup lost the last 90% of his reactivity over the course of a week just after he reached sexual maturity.

Over the past couple of weeks, Ole has started carrying himself with more confidence. He has almost completely stopped walking. Instead, he prances or trots.

Little yippy dogs who annoyed him the most, he just ignores. Pup let one little dog run up and try to bite him on the throat and shoulder.The little dog must have broken the catch on it's flexi-lead. Pup's mane is still so thick that the little dog couldn't get more than a mouthful of hair. After about 10 seconds, he slowly turned his head and stepped on the little dog until it calmed down. It remained me of Mufasa showing Simba gentle discipline in the Lion King.

With his friends, usually big laid back dogs, he acknowledges them and moves on. It is almost as if his 'Dog Brain' has figured out that he is going on a nice long hike through the hills with me. There will be plenty of time to see his buddies after the hike.

We still have a few dogs who rile pup up. Interestingly, these dogs are the ones most like himself. Young, big, athletic, and proud. He no longer barks or lunges. Instead, his head goes up, his tail goes up, and his mannerisms become even bigger than normal. It doesn't feel like dominance or aggression. Rather he is just carrying himself with pride. After seeing one of these dogs, pup pees on every tree, fire hydrant, and flowerbed we come across for the next 45-60 seconds. Interestingly, in his excitement, he forgets to lift his leg so he just stands next to the object peeing all over his front feet. Not much dignity in that :(

90% of our on-leash encounters with other dogs are currently just walking past each other at about 6-10 feet. If things continue to go this well, we will start to experiment with brief meet-and-greets while on-leash in a couple of weeks.
 

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No dog, in the history of the world, became "mature" at 8 months!

It'll happen much closer to 2 yrs.

But yeah, you'll likely see some drastic and immediate changes in behaviors until then...

Just watch and enjoy the process. It's really cool! And sometimes challenging, but inevitable either way!
 

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I think your hard work is paying off.Good on you!An occasional backslide may pop up so remain calm and stay consistent.(y)
 

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He no longer barks or lunges. Instead, his head goes up, his tail goes up, and his mannerisms become even bigger than normal. It doesn't feel like dominance or aggression.
That's exactly how a dog communicates 'I'm the boss'. I don't want to use the 'd' word, as it's misunderstood/misused, but that IS how a dog says 'I'm bigger than you, stronger than you.' Usually, when they pull themselves up like that the tail will be rather stiff and wagging just at the tip. If they are anxious, or want to convey submission, they will crouch, and maybe lick the other dog's lower jaw. Tail may be wagging but carried low, or may be tucked.
 

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@tim_s_adams sexual maturity is an independent milestone toward maturity. It connotates the ability of a plant or animal to reproduce.

@Sunsilver Yes, Ole also has what I would describe as a don't mess with me 'd' like posture. His tail goes completely stiff. Rather than wag, it kind throbs back and forth like a cat watching prey. His walk becomes stiff and his hackles go up. Whenever I see that posture, I go on high alert and make plans to exit the area quickly if necessary.

This new, prancing look reminds me of a teenage girl flipping her hair and giggling or a teenage boy puffing out his chest and clearing his throat as someone walks by. Maybe I am just projecting my human emotions onto pup.

Either way, it is fascinating to watch. I have never had a dog who conveyed this level of emotion before.
 
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