I have a German Shepherd dog whose name is Alex. He is a male dog and he is approaching 2 years of age in this November and have not desexed him. The dog has never been mated with another dog. Now, Alex has been quite okay till now.

My brother warned me that dogs can have disruptive outbursts, at times, as they grow into adulthood. Causing them to bark, not pay attention to your instructions and even bite you. Often, I observed, he does not listen to me and plays obstinate. But he fears me if I intimidate him.

So is there any reality behind my brother's claim and that's why he is acting strange sometimes? Or I have been affected by his advice deeply? Is there a connection between this behaviour and whether or not our dog mates with other dogs?

  • 1
    The changes in behaviour sound like they could be in accord with sexual maturation, it is not from a lack of sexual activity, but hormonal changes, in part, being produced by the testicles. Neutering the dog may help calm the behaviour, but it may make no difference at this stage.
    – user6796
    Oct 9 '13 at 16:26
  • They also call it the Terrible Twos :) Much like a human teenager, a dog will start exploring its boundaries. If you want your dog to have a good relationship with you, I'd refrain from intimidating him, as it won't make him more likely to follow your directions
    – ThomasH
    Oct 10 '13 at 13:39
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    Also, there's a related question on the effects of neutering on behaviour that you might be interested in
    – ThomasH
    Oct 10 '13 at 13:43

Provide him with enough physical and mental challenges and focus on reinforcing behaviours you like him to have.

Do not take it personally when he's behaving a bit "out of control", and do not use punishments to try to correct his behaviours.

Then you should try to see if that's just temporary (2 years old dogs can be like human teenagers -> neutering is not a solve-everything method) or if these bad behaviours can be addressed with training.

  • Not sure how this addresses the question "What is causing behaviour changes in our young adult dog?" Jan 26 '14 at 12:20
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    @JamesJ - It is there, "2 years old dogs can be like human teenagers" while also expressing the possibility of other reasons. Also in my opinion the "teenage" phase is the strongest nominee for explaining the change in behaviour. So +1 from me. Jan 30 '14 at 5:25

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