- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Bratty phase?

February 7th, 2006, 05:44 PM
Hi everyone! My 7.5 month old Golden (Indy) is driving me insane! She was doing so well...and now it's like we are back to square one! I have read on some other posts that this is likely normal behaviour and she is testing me. We are in obedience classes right now and she's doing well...but at home it's enough to drive me crazy! We practice the stuff we learn all the time but just this past week it's like she's gone insane!! We have learned a method of how to stop her from pulling on the leash but it's like she forgets everytime we go out! by the end of the walk she's better...but it always starts the same way! She's gone back to eating everything we encounter on our walks as well. She knows "leave it" very well but seems to have forgotton! We'll be walking and then next thing you know, I'll be on the ground trying to get the mitten/styrofoam/plastic/paper towel/pen cap...whatever out of her mouth!! She's starting trying to bite again...argh!! But, she does the tricks we learned really well! So, I guess my question is...anyone know how long these phases last?? Anyone go through the same type of thing and can let me know that "this too shall pass"? :eek:

February 7th, 2006, 06:13 PM
Welcome to adolescence!:)

This stage is normal and usually lasts a couple of months but unfortunately the behaviours still have to be corrected otherwise they will become habits.

The way I describe this phase is, the time where they appear to know nothing and get into everything phase

February 7th, 2006, 06:21 PM
A couple of months, eh? Oh dear!! We are still keeping up with the training and TRYING not to let her get away with anything but holy's tiring! This being our first dog, we have nothing to compare it to! So, I will take your word for it that our "normal" dog will return and we'll keep it at!!

February 7th, 2006, 07:42 PM
haha i know how you feel. my chihuahua puppy is about the same age and he's teething so he tries to eat everything he sees and i remind myself that he's in pain but he's acting out big time. so i just grab him when he does something bad and cover him in kisses and give him a new dingo bone. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt but i live for the day he's of this stage!!

February 7th, 2006, 07:58 PM
Heehee....reminds me of my lab when she was a pup.....only when I complained to fellow lab owners, I was told they 'settle down'....hmmm, when they're 5-7 yrs old:crazy:

Not too worry, sounds like you're going in the right direction by taking her to obedience classes, and practicing at home. Keep it up & make sure she's corrected when she does something wrong - and *tons* of praise when she does as requested - she will catch on :)

Make sure she gets plenty of exercise - I can't stress how great dog parks can be for this - much better than any walks or runs IMHO, and get her into a routine at home that involves 'quiet time' (ie. her playing by herself w/ a Kong, bone, etc). It helps get the doggie ya-yah's out & may give you some down time to relax :p

As for her obeying her commands in class, but not outside when there's distraction - that's not uncommon...just go to any dog park and watch how many dogs come on the first call.....If she's mastered it in class she knows the command at the basic level (ie. min distractions) - it just takes time & practice to have them respond when something else (the squirrel, cat, debris, etc) looks more exciting than a pat on the head & 'good girl'. Keep practicing, and it will come - just remember, as she gets better at understanding the commands, increase the amount of 'distraction', to further her training.

I eventually came to just accept that for the first few yrs w/ my lab, the first half block of every walk was going to be awful - she was always SOOO excited to get out of the house (despite us doing this 1-3x/day!), she literally pulled me down the block, but she eventually learned once we turned the corner, she had to 'walk nice'...

Good luck

Ohh, one more thing.....I'll ask on behalf of pls :)


jesse's mommy
February 7th, 2006, 08:15 PM
Just so you know my dog is a little over two and she is still a terror! :evil:

February 7th, 2006, 09:00 PM
2 years....egads! I know what you mean about the walks. I, too, take her for good long walks, running around the back yard etc and at night she's given some good chew toys to occupy her time. As for the dog runs, we've gone a couple of times but there was always a' bully" each time we've gone so it wasn't a good experience for her. We try to get to the woods to run around on the weekend but I am not able to get there during the week so we do our "regular" walks during the week. We try to increase the distractions for the training...but that's definitely going to take time! I realize that this will go on for awhile and most of the time it's no problem...but some days (like today!) are just a wee bit harder then others! Then she looks at me with that face and all's forgotton!!
I'll try to get a current picture that will fit!

February 7th, 2006, 09:12 PM
Here she is at Christmas. It was the only photo I could get to fit!

February 7th, 2006, 09:28 PM
How can you not forgive that face!
What a cutie :)

My lab had the 'but I'm cute / sad puppy' eyes routine down to a science for times when she knew she was in trouble.....ohhh...and I fell for it, hook, line & sinker everytime....:D


February 7th, 2006, 10:56 PM
Try fetch or something that is energy consuming for 15 minutes or so before you head out on your walk. If she is not getting enough exercise you may want to consider daycare a couple of times a week to keep up with what she needs. If she is not getting enough exercise for her then unfortunately your bad behaviours may seem to be worse. You will not notice the difference until you go through a week or so when she is getting enough.
The most common phrase I hear is well they do it great at home.
Almost all dogs will do better at home because there are zero distractions. They know everything there, and there is nothing new. You could have 10 kids running around your house but if they live there they are no longer a distraction but a common fixture in the home.
The goal is to have them respond as well everywhere else as they already do at home. They are better at home because they got used to those distractions, now they need to do the same everywhere they go.
Practice your cues atleast half of your training time outside of your own home.
Whatever you do always end with success. If you give up when trying something because you had trouble then you will have an even harder time the next time you try.

February 7th, 2006, 11:32 PM
What a BEAUTY she is.

As for her obeying her commands in class, but not outside when there's distraction - that's not uncommon.

So true.

Unfortunately with these classes, they are done inside.So yes, dogs/pups are not being distracted as they would be if they were outside.These are the distractions that they need to be around considering this is an everyday enviroment for them.Yes they learn the basic commands,which is great,but they need to learn them with distractions like birds,squirrels,cars,sirens,falling leaves,kids ect.

I trained my dogs as pups with distractions.And I am so glad that I did.It does take time and patience,but it definately paid off in the long run....:)

February 8th, 2006, 09:08 AM
When I saw the title to this thread, I said 'yes, I have a brat too!'
Ebony is 6months and for the past few weeks she has been acting so bratty, it is insane!

She asks to go outside, we let her out, then she asks to come in, but she stands there looking at us, not budging, and doesn't come inside. The freezing winter is coming indoors, and she doesn't move. So we close the door, and she asks to come in again, and we open the door, and she stands there! It drives me insane, especially at 2am in the morning, when I could be all snuggled up in bed. :evil:

The other thing she does, is she sniffs everything within nose reach, and then pulls it down, tastes it and sometimes chews it. Paper, pencils, kids crayons, socks, toys, even my scrapbook and photos! I mean this is not food, it doesn't even taste like anything. :mad:

Walking her on a leash is becoming impossible. She pulls the entire way, and if she sees another person or dog, she yelps in excitement and lies on her back. How can I train her to walk nicely next to me like the other dogs?

oh, yeah one other thing she does, is stand at the bottom of the stairs and whine, but not go up. We go to bed, and she is downstairs whining. We have to carry her upstairs. She has had no problem before. I don't think her nails are too long, and I am sure she can see in the dark. We are puzzled :confused:

Anyway, this thread has explained to me the brat stage, which is so funny, because we have been calling her a brat lately.

February 8th, 2006, 09:15 AM
Two things - when a dog is changing teeth at about the 5 month stage they are not really 'teething' and they are not in pain. The adult tooth dissolves the root of the baby tooth and the adult tooth moves right into the same space as the baby tooth (unless they have poor occlusion).
Like an out of control teenager you need to spend more time with them to help ensure they are making good decisions. Sounds like you are doing the right thing by continuing your obedience. I would add that you could start working her brain more (more jobs) as this actually calms her down, you could work her for 10 minutes before you go outside (gets her in the right frame of mind listening to you) and don't feel like you are obligated to go anywhere if she is not behaving. 30 minutes of working her brain and puttting her through her paces is just as tiring as a 30 minute walk and more valuable. If my teenager couldn't handle driving responsibly then we spend lots of time in the driveway or a parking lot reviewing her skills and ensuring she knows how to handle herself.
Your dog gets the freedoms that she earns and right now she isn't earning too much. Not to say that a good game on fetch wouldn't feel good - but you have to know she will come back when you call and if she won't then she is on a long rope for the game which ensures that what you ask of her happens.
Just remember this too shall pass.

February 8th, 2006, 09:18 AM
oh, yeah one other thing she does, is stand at the bottom of the stairs and whine, but not go up. We go to bed, and she is downstairs whining. We have to carry her upstairs. She has had no problem before. I don't think her nails are too long, and I am sure she can see in the dark. We are puzzled :confused:

Everytime you pick her up you are teaching her that whining works. Put her back on the leash and teach her how to do stairs again. She will get it. Right now she is just testing you to see what she can make you do.

February 8th, 2006, 09:53 AM
Aaaah Tracy & Winters; but they both have the "who me"? look "I didn't do anything wrong". :)

Abby now waits at the bottom of the stairs in the evening for me to pick her up and carry her....if I don't, she just doesn't move. She trained me well.


February 8th, 2006, 11:31 AM
OH yes...she has that "sad puppy dog eyes" look where she looks back and forth down pat!! Kills me!! Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I know things will get better and she is a great dog...which is why all these brain farts are just annoying me! Our weather here has made running around outside really difficult. It's icy and dangerous but we do our best! It's hard to work on not pulling the leash when I can't get my footing! C'mon spring and summer!
As for the "working her brain"...we always do some work after the walk but I will try to do it before instead. I willl also do it outside in the backyard so increase the distractions. I have been trying to work with her more in the areas of the house that she doesn't have "freedom" in yet but I'll be sure to up that as well. I was still thinking that she wouldn't have the attention span for more then a few minutes but I will make the sessions longer.

Indy has long since lost all her teeth so that's definitely not a problem.
Stay tuned! ;)

February 8th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Indy is beautiful! I have no advice, but i can relate! My Cami is six months old and quite the brat herself :) . Our biggest problem is her chasing/biting the cats. She knows "leave it", she just chooses to pretend she doesn't the majority of the time.

February 9th, 2006, 07:49 AM
Indy does the same with our cat. Amazing how they suddenly "forget" the leave it command! ;)

February 9th, 2006, 08:12 AM
Ah yes the bratty stage. Oh how I hate it. LOL

If I remember correctly between 6-8 months was the worst. Then he got better for a bit. Then at 10 months we hit yet another bratty stage. And Bubba is now 12 months old and he is STILL bratty at times.

Come, Leave it, and heel were the commands my dog seemed to ignore the most. Just don't let them get away with ignoring you. Keep re-inforcing the commands. Bring out the treats like you did when you were first teaching them. Practice daily. I keep treats in my pocket at all times. lol

And always remember it will get better.. I still say that to myself everyday. LOL

February 9th, 2006, 11:37 AM
LOL! That's just like Hunter, my 5 month old golden. Hunter is my first dog too and I'm having most of the problems mentioned by other members on this post. My dad's friend who's had 3 goldens and now a border collie says it'll take about a year before they calm down and ease out of this bratty phase in their lives...*sigh*...just 7 more months to go...just 7 more months...

However, obedience classes for Hunter begin tonight! So I hope that will help too. So as you can see, I have no advice to offer except to keep your fingers crossed :fingerscr and wait it out :D

February 9th, 2006, 11:58 AM
:sad: And here I've been consoling myself that my brats will be better soon! They're only 3 months, and I really recognize what everyone is saying. Guess I have lots of brattiness to look forward to. I was just telling my neighbour that my pups know leave it, drop it, give it, off, quiet-but they seem to view those commands as suggestions. But just say apple or carrot and, boy, do you have an attentive and well behaved puppy!;)

Sometimes I wonder who is training who around here...and sometimes I know!

February 9th, 2006, 02:50 PM
Oh skyrker! They are too cute! Those faces are dangerous! (meaning that they will be getting away with murder!!) ;)
Hopefully in a couple of months I'll be able to re-inforce that yes, there is an end! In the meantime...I'm going to try to keep laughing....:D

February 9th, 2006, 06:29 PM
Boy, can I relate to all your stories! Our pup is just 8 months and tests us every minute. I had a hard time with the walking thing (when she took me) but finally got a halti. She's a different dog and isn't choking half to death. She doesn't particularly like it but settles down after a few paces.

February 9th, 2006, 09:20 PM
Have you tried the Gentle Leader or did you only the Halti? My Laci uses a Gentle leader and still ends up pulling on the leash and with the snow I am having a hard time with that also.


February 9th, 2006, 10:04 PM
The gentle leader or halti is only a tool, you still have to teach them not to pull.

February 10th, 2006, 08:33 AM
...and how do you teach them not to pull?

February 10th, 2006, 09:11 AM
I'm not a trainer, so my advice is just based on the classes I take w/ my dog, but what we do is...

stop walking if dog is pulling.
walk backwards or change direction to keep the dog focused on you.
Reward dog when he's not pulling.
Keep a good pace (if I walk too slow, my dog starts pulling.)
practice ALOT!!!!

I also use a gentle leader "EASY WALK" harness on my dog - not everytime we walk though, sometimes I use it, sometimes not, either way I try to make sure he's paying attention to me, and not dragging me down the road.

February 10th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Oh skyrker! They are too cute! Those faces are dangerous! (meaning that they will be getting away with murder!!) ;)
Hopefully in a couple of months I'll be able to re-inforce that yes, there is an end! In the meantime...I'm going to try to keep laughing....:D

Oh, they certainly are dangerous! Fingal has a "sad puppy" look that I have to steel myself against. It's heart melting. But I see from your pic that you know it...and this pic is just his slightly worried look-not full on sad puppy.:D

February 11th, 2006, 03:27 AM
You sound like a great mom. I am always reassured by your posts as my pup is about the same age (born June 20, 2005) and seems to be going through the same stages. Unfortunately I have no advice but can only relate to what you are going through! Can't wait until this phase ends!!! I love this place (best advice online IMO) and hope you can find your answers here! :love:

February 12th, 2006, 10:16 AM
I don't know what the Gentle Leader is, but I'm using just the halti and yes, she still pulls a bit but what I like is that she's not choking herself to death like when I attached her leash to her collar. I give it a gentle tug which causes her head to look in my direction and then I say the "heel" command. It seems to work.

February 12th, 2006, 11:45 AM
As you might know we are not advocates of 'halter' type collars. Please be sure that if you are using one that you are being very gentle because dogs are showing up at the vets with neck injuries when their people forget to be gentle.

jesse's mommy
February 12th, 2006, 03:59 PM
This is a dumb question, but by halter do you mean harness?

February 12th, 2006, 04:37 PM
A 'halter' collar goes over his face - putting pressure on either the top of the head or the nose. Like a horse halter.

jesse's mommy
February 12th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Oh thanks. I don't like them either. We use a harness with Jesse so that's why I was asking.