I think when I adopted Jack I was prepared to bring a dog into my life. I drove around for weeks with puppy supplies in my car. I discussed daily routines, pet training, and vet hospital bills with boy to figure out a plan. I considered all the places and things I wouldn’t be able to do until Jack became acclimated to a new environment. I accepted the fact that most of my belongings could possibly get destroyed by chewing or indoor accidents and that I would not get mad or angry over this. But this latest one, I didn’t expect this.
Jack has officially hit puberty.
Yup, who knew that a neutered male would hit puberty at 1 1/2 yrs. How do I know he’s hit puberty? First, his bark changed. A few weeks ago in the car he belted out this woof that made me turn around and smile. I actually looked at boy and said “did you hear that? that’s a man’s bark, that’s not a puppy bark.” And boy agreed with me on this one instead of rolling his eyes.
Then, the attitude. He still won’t run. It has become a morning comedy act of me trying to coax my dog who is stubbornly sitting in place to run around the lake. I thought it was maybe fear, so I talked him through it, was very patient. Heat isn’t an issue, we go early in the morning. Energy isn’t an issue, he still loves his Frisbee. So when we went on a hike a friend turned to me and said “he’s changed.” She took a while to think about it before saying “he’s cocky.” And it’s true. He tests his boundaries off-leash. He does it at home too, pushing himself slowly onto the couch when there’s food around. He’s a little feistier when growling at whoever is trying to push him to the end of the bed.
Then, the humping. While he hasn’t hit full public displays of humping yet, he’s started that preliminary scratching at whatever makes him excitable. I refuse to do what some people do and get him a hump toy. That’s just gross. And if he starts going after the pillows, it’s back to the kitchen during the daytime for him.
I’m kind of appalled by this adolescence stage and hope he goes through it quickly. I kind of miss my puppy who just wants to make everyone happy and clumsily runs into trash cans while running. But as long as he gets through this fast, he can stick around for a while…