Dr. Ian Kupkee from Sabal Chase Animal Clinic has explained to NBC 6 the pros and cons of teenage puppies.
"There’s a popular meme that often circulates on social media. It depicts the three stages of canine development," Dr. Kupkee said. "Stage 1: birth to four months - puppy! Stage 2: four to twenty-four months - velociraptor! Stage 3: 24 months and up, adult."
The general age range of shelter dogs is five months to three years, which is right in the middle of that velociraptor stage, otherwise known as adolescence. And just like human teenagers, adolescent dogs can drive us to the brink.
Most 'people' parents know adolescence is coming, but canine adolescence isn’t really talked about much so a lot of new dog owners are completely blindsided by it.
Teenaged puppies exhibit a lot of the same qualities as their human counterparts.
Like the velociraptors testing the electric fences in Jurassic Park, they push and prod to see what they can get away with. It can feel like all that early training was for nothing. There is also a 'second' chewing phase that kicks in at about seven to ten months. It is understandable why a novice puppy owner might get frustrated.
This is the age group that is the most overrepresented in shelters. These dogs are not unadoptable. In fact, there are a lot of upsides to adolescent dogs.
They are already potty trained, they are past the stage of crying all night, they are usually already spayed or neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. They’re a bargain!
If you have an active household, especially one that includes kids, think about an adolescent dog.
Young puppies can be too fragile or easily overwhelmed. Sometimes older kids get bored with them and they are a lot of tedious work, but agility, frisbee, road trips are right up a teenaged dog’s alley.
Adopters who know what to expect of that age group are already way ahead of the game. Be patient, consistent, and ready to redirect that youthful energy into fun, challenging activities, and you might find an equally great match.