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How to Love & Survive – Our Teenage Dogs

  • Monday, August 17, 2020
  • 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, August 17, 2022
  • 8:00 PM
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Presented by Barbara Hodel



Are you living with or training a young dog? Then you can probably relate to them being spooked by a man with a hat, disappearing in the distance chasing a rabbit, coming home to a loungeroom filled with white fluff or a dug-up back yard. The puppy has become a teenager – and it happened almost overnight – just when you thought all was going well!

As with humans, dogs need to go through the teenage phase to reach the stability of adulthood and there are biological reasons for a lot of the frustrating behaviours we see in teenage dogs. Understanding those reasons will help us in dealing with these challenges. To put it simply, during the adolescent period the brain is still under construction. Different parts of the brain mature at different rates and teenage dogs have a hard time making good decisions, exhibiting self-control, remembering their training and they are hyper-emotional. Overall, the teenage months are a challenging time for most dogs and their humans. It is also a time when some dogs are surrendered because we cannot deal with their emotional responses. Surprisingly, while there are countless articles and books on puppy raising, there is significantly less information available once the cute puppy becomes a ‘stroppy' teenager. It does not need to be like this. With good information on how to deal with the challenging teenage dog we should and can enjoy our teenage dogs.


Learning Objectives 

  • Discuss why teenage dogs do what they do – their brain is still under construction
  • Explain why the relationship matters
  • Introduce the role of critical anthropomorphism for understanding teenage emotions
  • Define best practice training methods for teenage dogs
  • Redefine socialisation and why it is a lifelong process
  • Discuss the new job description for our dogs – Is calm just another behaviour?
  • Learn how to deal with the daily challenges

      About The Presenter


      In 2015 I completed my Diploma in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology at the Companion Animal Sciences Institute in Canada. But I have been involved in dog training for the last 20 years and completed a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services as a Delta-accredited instructor in 2007. I have been running Goodog Positive Dog Training on the Northern Beaches Sydney for the last 13 years, running classes on all levels as well as workshops and agility fun classes. We also do in home consultations for problem behaviours.

      I compete on master level in Agility and Rally O with Shellbe my 8 year old German Shorthaired Pointer. My young dog Chillax is just starting out and has gained his Rally Novice title in 2019 but he is still a real teenager.

      I am the president of the Pet Professional Guild Australia and a registered breeder with Dogs NSW.

      My first book: How to Love – And Survive – Our Teenage Dogs will be published in July 2020

      I had a life before dogs and hold a Master's Degree in Modern European History and Economics from the University of Bern (Switzerland) and a MBA (Master of Business Administration) from Southern Cross University Australia. I have in-depth experience in adult education and training, having taught high school and university students in Bern, college students in Sydney, as well as middle and top management employees of a large public corporation in Switzerland.

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