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What is 'Puppy License' - and has your young dog run out of it?

In dog-dog relationships, every puppy is granted a ‘puppy license’. It’s basically the right to be a complete and utter pest around other dogs. This may look like annoying behaviours such as grabbing older dogs around the neck to play, jumping on them, knocking into them etc.

Most adult dogs will brush off such behaviours and let them slide but only for a certain amount of time before younger dogs are expected to behave in a more ‘adult’ manner. This can be anywhere from 5-8 months of age – prime time adolescence when hormones are skyrocketing!

Try telling young PC pup Breeze that she is now on her provisional license 😬 She is 7 months old and weighs almost as much as the 2 adult dogs she lives with, so when she knocks into them it isn’t funny anymore. She really isn’t ‘reading the room’ so well 😄

You will see stronger reactions from adult dogs attempting to communicate that certain behaviours are not on and aren’t tolerated as well.

Older dogs may be quite subtle in their loss of patience so be sure to read body language signals such as lip licking, head turns and freezing. You may notice play go from happy and relaxed to more vocal and intense, and that is a good time to interrupt and redirect all dogs for a short time until things calm down.

Multidog households are certainly a challenge, but keep training, be calm and you will make progress!

If you need any help with multi dog households or dog training and behaviour in general, please get in touch!

Happy training!