After about a year, little Bert is now big Bert. He's potty-trained, he's had his basic training, and he's socialized well with pets and people alike. Now that he's technically an adult, you'd think he's outgrown his hyper stage -- yet you come home and find a magazine shredded on the floor. Bert may be essentially full-grown, for all intents and purposes, but being a year old doesn't mean your dog is guaranteed to start to calm down.
As a general rule, dogs mature to full-size around 12 to 18 months, with some large breeds taking up to two years. When a dog matures does factor into when the dog begins to calm down -- but dogs of many breeds don't calm down when they become adults. The Labrador retriever, for instance, is hyperactive for years; then he mellows considerably around age 6. Smaller dogs tend to outgrow juvenile rambunctiousness by the time they've become adults.
Certain breeds are naturally more energetic. Siberian huskies, Boston terriers and pit bulls are a few examples. If these dogs are cooped up all day, they'll need a great deal of exercise. Without a healthy release for their energy, they can chew up more than a magazine -- such dogs are often placed into shelters for this reason, when simply giving the dogs appropriate exercise would have solved the problem. If you don't have the time to devote to an active or working breed, such a breed may not be the best choice for you.
Spaying or neutering your dog can expedite the calming process, especially in males. Consistently producing testosterone makes him more active; neutering eliminates this. There’s also the issue of nature trying to take its course: Twice a year, an intact male or female may become extra rambunctious or disobedient. Left outside, such a pooch will jump the fence or try to escape otherwise. After all, it’s mating season, and love is in the air.
Dogs once spent the majority of their time hunting in the wild, and once domesticated they were trained to help humans. It is their instinct to stay busy. They like having a job. Food puzzle toys are a fun option and are readily available. These hard rubber toys hold a treat that is not easy for your dog to retrieve. He has to spend time working for his prize. If your dog plays well with others, doggie daycare is also a option while you're at work.
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