Man’s best friend may be ever more similar to humans than previously believed. According to new research studies from the United Kingdom, dogs reportedly go through an angsty phase when they hit adolescence, proving that the beloved animal is not unlike the average human teenager.
According to Science Alert, the research team looked at 378 canines to see how their behavior shifted as they got older. The team found that there was a marked change in obedience around the eight-month mark, which is when most dogs hit puberty.
The scientists found that the dogs were both more obedient and more responsive to their owners before and after that angsty period. However, the canines tended to remain well-behaved with unfamiliar trainers, despite displaying the more rebellious conduct with their owners — not unlike the way adolescents lash out at their parents more than at other authority figures.
One particular experiment documented how 93 dogs consisting of 8-month-old Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and cross-breeds were “more reluctant” to follow a “sit” command from their owners than they were at 5 months old. The dogs were more obedient, however, when the command was given by someone unfamiliar.
The data was also compounded by a survey completed by dog owners and trainers who evaluated the dogs’ “trainability,” which confirmed the previous findings.
“This is a very important time in a dog’s life,” said animal behavior researcher Lucy Asher in response to the study.
“This is when dogs are often rehomed because they are no longer a cute little puppy and suddenly, their owners find they are more challenging and they can no longer control them or train them,” she added.
“But as with human teenage children, owners need to be aware that their dog is going through a phase and it will pass,” she concluded.
Asher also added that though owners might be tempted to punish their dogs for poor behavior, they should resist the urge.
“It’s very important that owners don’t punish their dogs for disobedience or start to pull away from them emotionally at this time,” Asher warned.
“This would be likely to make any problem behaviour worse, as it does in human teens.”
In other canine-related news, two dogs have been helping a New York company stay afloat during the coronavirus lockdown orders. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Six Harbors Brewing Company in Long Island has vastly improved the delivery experience by sending their two dogs, Barley and Buddy, to make the adorable drop-offs.