Mature Adulthood (1 – 4 Years)

During this period your dog may again become aggressive and assertive. For instance, he may become more turf–protective, by barking when someone comes to the door. Temper his protective behaviors by teaching him how to accept strangers into your home. His friendly play with other dogs may escalate to fighting with other dogs. Teach you dog to ignore other dogs that he sees if he can’t be friendly towards them. Take him to places where there will be a few dogs at first and train him there. Then, train him in areas with more and more dogs. Next, allow him to interact with non threatening dogs. Puppies and female adult dogs are good choices,if he is a male. Always praise his positive efforts to interact or if he displays no reaction.

Also, be alert to the posturing of aggressive behaviors. Watch for circling behaviors, walking on toes, stiff tail wags, and tense facial expressions.

Adulthood is also a time that your dog may again test your position as pack leader. If he does, handle him firmly, suspend any rough play that may be giving him the idea that he can dominate you, and continue with training. Proceed with training in a matter–of–fact, no nonsense manner and your dog will become a reasonably obedient dog. Give him lots of positive attention for his efforts!