Training a puppy teenager

Has your puppy stopped listening to you? If they are around six months old, you are probably entering the puppy “teenage years”…

You’ve made it through the early months and have survived puppy biting and toilet training, so what has happened to your relatively cooperative puppy? The answer is that your puppy is now entering the next stage of development and changing to becoming an adult.

Time to explore

Just like humans, this is a time of significant hormonal change. Not only this, but your puppy will be starting to have a lot more energy. These factors combined will mean that your puppy has the desire to explore anything and everything – other dogs and all those interesting smells!

High-value treats

If you find your puppy is becoming easily distracted while out, it can be worth using a training line attached to their harness to help give you peace of mind while practicing recall. It’s also worth trying some extra-tasty treats that you keep just for when you are out and really need your dog to listen. If they know that you have a special treat for them, you will be worth more attention than whatever they’ve found to investigate!


Keep practicing, and don’t worry if you need to take a few steps back to reinforce the training. You will come out the other side of the teenage years with all the foundations laid for a happy adult dog.

There's a lot of choice when it comes to high-value treats - from homecooked delicious liver morsels or chicken, to pre-made delights! Our friends at Natures Menu have a great selection of treats for your tearaway teenager - you can find them here!

Thank you to Natures Menu for contributing to this article. To find out more about their puppy and dog food, click here.

With a Kennel Club Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.