The adolescent stage


Brian’s about 6 months old now. He’s much more confident and settled, even people are not such an issue anymore. I guess he’s ready for more formal training.


From 6 to about 18 months there are ‘second phases’. Second chewing phase, second fear phase…Brian’s formative period is lost. He’ll never be really well socialised, he’ll never trust strangers, he’ll have his fear issues. But because he’s so young, he can be trained and learn to react to scary situations in a safe way.


For the next few months he’s likely to have a really high need for stimulation and companionship. He is likely to get bored quickly, so long periods of inactivity are out of the question. So I’ve got tougher toys ready to be chewed. We play vigorously with other dogs, we have an informal ‘puppy club’ with three other adolescent puppies (Blue, Tyrrell & Elsa).


I don’t expect Brian to be super obedient at this stage, but his future emotional stability depends on his experiences, so he needs more control and the (so far, rather lax) rules need to be obeyed. The distinction needs to be made between toys and non-toys. The cats’ space is to be kept ‘cats only zone’. Most importantly: in our family, when you’re scared you run TO Alex, not away from her.


I’m happy when I see the changes in him. He’s going to be a brilliant dog, I know it.



34 thoughts on “The adolescent stage

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ Brian’s doing well, most of the time he’s not different from other pups. Compared to my other rescues his life hasn’t been terribly bad, so I do hope all his issues can be resolved in time πŸ™‚

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      1. They are easy to love (and I love them, not feel sorry for them, they always turn into proud animals with great characters, I believe it’s much harder to damage a dog than a human, we’re much weaker). Sending love from surprisingly hot and sunny England πŸ™‚

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  1. Don’t give up on Brian’s social skills simply based on his age! Our Ray started (yes started) learning that not all dogs were a danger to him, and that a canine social etiquette exists, when he was about 2-1/2 and he picked up on the concept quite fast. Now at 5 years old, he is 99% predictable in a social encounter which (to me) = normal.

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    1. I’m definitely not giving up on his social skills πŸ™‚ He loves dogs, cats, snakes and probably most other small animals. He had no contact with humans till he was about 2-3 months old, so I don’t expect him to trust strangers. That’s the only ‘social’ aspect I am going to give up on. But he’s learning not to react with fear to strangers-and in time, he’ll learn to ignore even the ones who try to approach him in the less than perfect way (loud, drunk men are left to be dealt with much later, for instance) πŸ™‚

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    1. I doubt he’s going to be really big, I think he’ll stop somewhere between a border collie and a malinois. At least that’s what the vet assumes πŸ™‚ He’s about 3 stone now, so nearly twice as much as Lily (though it doesn’t look like it in the photos) πŸ™‚

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  2. hello brian its dennis the vizsla dog hay i no how yoo feel having sufferd a lak of erly soshalizayshun myself!!! but it shoor sownds like yore famly wil giv yoo evrything yoo need to grow up to be a verry gud dog!!! tail wags!!! ok bye

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