Adolescence is killing me

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/if4hd4/adolescence_is_killing_me/

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My pup just turned 11 months old. He's a pit/cattle dog mix and full of endless energy. Adolescence occurred right at 6 months, so I thought by now things would start to improve and taper off. Nope… every few weeks there still seems to be new issues. The last 5 months have been the toughest on me raising him. Prior to getting him, I had read plenty on adolescence thanks to this sub and other articles, but it still wasn't enough to prepare me for this.

Fear Periods

Intermittent fear periods started right on the dot at 6 months. It was textbook, my super confident and well-socialized puppy who loves all types of people and dogs suddenly became reactive to certain stimuli – inanimate objects, sudden noises, people in the dark, and children. He's gotten a lot better thanks to counter conditioning, but there are relapse moments and I constantly have to be vigilant of what we encounter during walks. I feel like I can never relax when we go on walks.

Crate Training

I crate trained him immediately when I got him at 12 weeks and have constantly utilized it throughout his puppyhood. He would be crated 3-5 hours no problem. Suddenly a few weeks ago he decided to hate it for whatever reason. I come home one day and he completely destroyed his crate bed. There after, he would whine whenever crated and I essentially am re-training him now.

I don't understand how months of training and protocol suddenly went out the window. I understand that happens with other things during adolescence, but never did I imagine the crate. Any time I crate him, I always made sure to do the following:

He gets decent exercise before he goes in He is never forced into his crate and goes in on his own. He also gets a frozen stuffed kong or some kind of high value reward each time he goes in. He sleeps in his crate at night. He has both meals each day inside his crate.

I've had some good progress with re-training him, up until last night. I wanted to spend some time at my girlfriend's and decided I would crate him for a few hours. I monitor him with a camera and of course he non-stop whined for over an hour. Had to cut my plans short fearing getting a noise complaint from a neighbor. Most frustrating part was he was perfectly fine in his crate earlier the day when I was running errands for 2 hours…

Begging for Attention

Also in the past few weeks, he has been demanding constant attention via barks, whines, etc. I realize now that he's a teen, he sleeps less and still contains the same amount of energy, but god is it getting annoying. It's not like I am depriving him of anything. I walk 4-5 miles each day with him, we play multiple times a day, and other times he'll get long hikes, visits to the dog park, and more, and he still needs more attention.

Don't get me wrong; he is my rock and I am never going to give up on him. But between everything compounding, god is this getting frustrating and old. I am very much ready for this to be over any day now…

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