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101 Dog Myths 06: Dogs will become obedient by themselves once they grow older

Dog Myths 06 - Dogs will become obedient by themselves once they grow older

We have seen many people that advice dog owners that they do not need to worry about their puppy's bad behavior, that this is just part of growing process and will gradually disappear once the dog grows older, now this is not true and we will explain why.

You first need to understand the life stages of a dog and how they react and behave towards certain things, dogs grow and change as time passes so it is never wise to think that your dog will forever be as it is.

Below we will briefly explain the growing stages of a puppy and how certain scenarios can affect them.

When puppies are born, they have no knowledge nor habits, their first instinct is to look for their mother to take care of their needs. Once the puppies are strong enough to walk and have their senses developed at about 3 weeks old, they will start to be curious about things around them, this is also the time when discipline start, the mother will teach these puppies to play, explore, socialize and practice basic manners, by 2 months old they should also have learned how to read their siblings as well as their mother's body language, to know when to play and when to stop - they get to feel what it's like to bite and get bitten, to learn how to control their limits.

At about 2 to 4 months old, growing puppies will also go through a period of time where they learn to be fearful of things rather than being curious, things like loud noises, sudden touch and strange smell are some of the more common things most puppies will be sensitive to, if they are unable to get past certain obstacle, they will most likely be afraid of it for the rest of their lives. (unless the owner work very hard to eliminate them of course)

It is important to understand things from the perspective of people that has experienced dog growth and knows exactly how dog behaves in nature, people that gives shallow opinions like "it's okay, my dog was also like that", or "they will be better when they grow older" are those that do not care about you nor your dog's well being, they just want to say things that make them feel better about themselves. There are many who are so used to their dog's bad behavior that they do not think that it is a problem anymore, rather they try to accept their fate, thinking that all dogs are are supposed to be like that, so once they see other dogs outside that behave the same way, they feel relieved.

What we know is that puppies do actually change in their behaviors as they grow older, some might become better since their energy will deteriorate as they age, just like how an old dog is not able to do certain things due to lack of strength and energy. It is also possible that a once hyperactive dog may seemingly become more calm, thus their behavior will change along with their energy, sometimes for the worst, other times for the better. This however does not mean that the bad behaviors had been eliminated magically, because of the lack of discipline, the stress level of the grown dog will accumulate, therefore even if a particular dog seemed better towards certain behavior/habit, it will still find other ways to vent it's frustration in time to come. One example - Dog xxx grew up to stop barking as much compared to it's puppy stage, however it started to destroy objects around the house after a couple of months.

Puppies bought from pet shop or unethical breeders are usually taken away from their mother as early as 2 months old, thus they have not learned to be disciplined and may have a lot of underlying behavior issues that can surface as they grow, we as the owner should always take responsibility as the mother to train and discipline our own dog. If you were to let your puppy do whatever it wants, thinking that all bad habits will disappear once they grow older, then you might want to think over again. Once a puppy is so used to being pampered with the owner enforcing its bad behaviors, one day if the owner find that things are completely different than what he/she had imagined and want to start teaching their dog, they will find that it will be much harder to correct, the dog will feel very uncertain of their owner, thus challenging them even further, that's when you see people saying that they "had tried correcting their dog but it became worst than before".

Though you may not notice it, stress is always building in a dog when it's mind is not stimulated with leadership and discipline, once the stress level exceeds the limit of a dog (individual dogs have different limit), they go crazy - turning in circles, behavior getting much worst than it is, new habits appearing, unexplainable health problems, pulling during walk, getting aggressive/fearful of other dogs or humans (Read here to learn more about dog depression). This can take months or years to appear, symptoms can be very sudden and can easily traumatize owners, these owners will then become depressed, thus both they and their dog's lives will be affected, which is why some of them would try to accept their dog's behavior as their own fate, feeling that this is the one and only way to be cheerful and love their dog as it "is".

So in our opinion, dogs will NEVER become obedient by themselves magically, what dogs need are proper exercises, love and leadership to be happy and obedient inside out.


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