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Hello,

We have had our Cooper for 5 weeks now. (13 Weeks Old). He really is doing great with obedience training and socialization. We have definitely had our frustrations and ups and downs, but overall it has been a great experience.

The last few days have been a bit different with Cooper. He is now beginning to become a bit more out of control with jumping up on people and couches, where before he would be more relaxed and respond well to the "off" command. He is not always responding to the basic commands he knows like sit and stay, and is also now barking and howling more than he ever did. He does this when he is told no, or is in his crate.

Obviously this is nothing we are shocked about, just seemed like he flipped a switch and has become different. So...my question is, do they go through a period where they become more aggressive and/or rebellious? I think I read that between 3-6 months they do change a bit as they are now comfortable.

Thanks for any responses.
 

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Kate
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He's coming out of his shell.

Be patient and keep up with the training, socialization, and get into dog classes. :)

They do calm down with a lot of the bratty behavior after they are done teething. But they will still have a trigger happy playmode (meaning jumping, mouthing, barking, ignoring commands, sassing) for the next year or two.
 

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Dogs go through stages in their lives where they will question and push the boundaries, this does not apply solely to puppies although their behaviour is much less in-grained so taught boundaries can easily be ignored.

The key to getting through these stages is absolute consistency and continued reinforcement of what behaviour is desirable and undesirable.

Taking your immediate problems as case in point:

1. Jumping up - tell him no, when he ignores this turn your back on him and ignore him. Believe me his desire to please you will soon drive the message home that when he jumps up he gets ignored. Praise him when he is calm and sitting.

2. On the couch - if he ignores off, ignore him for a few mins. Don't touch him or look at him. Try the off command again. If it doesn't work. Get up and leave the room for a few mins. I will put money on that when you come back in he is off the couch. When he does get off, have you (and family) sit on the floor with him and give him attention. He will understand quickly that when he is on the floor he gets attention and when on sofa he gets ignored.

3. Barking and Howling - First of all make sure the barking and howling is just general attention getting behaviour and not for another reason like he wants to go potty. If it is attention getting then you need to something contradictory.. you need to NOT give him attention but at the same time divert him from the behaviour. The way I can suggest would be to tell him calmly (almost quietly but sharply) NO, then place your finger over your lips and make 'shhhh' sound like you would to a person. He should stop, wait a few moments then praise him. If he persists, leave him in the room and close door. Wait till he is calm then re-enter. This will work if you are patient and consistent.

There is every likelihood that when you 'solve' a problem now it may return in future, even briefly. However the more in-grained the action->reaction becomes the easy it will be to correct.

Anyway, I hope that helps!
 

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I really like this chart that shows the progression of a pups developement.

Developmental Stages

According to the chart in between 10 and 16 weeks a pup starts to realize it is socially independant and will challenge authority.

Continue to be consistent with your training. If something isn't working re-evaluate as your (mechanics of the training) or the criteria that you are asking for may not be consistent enough for the pup to truly understand.
 
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