When you take a little puppy home it’s cute and adorable, just like a human baby. Keep on with the analogy and wait until your baby becomes teenager. The adolescence phase lasts usually 2-4 month an starts between 8 and 12 months. So at 10 month average your dog will hit it’s “butthead” time.
Appearance and Average Size
Technically, he looks more like and adult dog then the puppy, but he will continue growing until almost 1,5 years. Male German Shepherd should weight about 72 lbs. and female 63 lbs. at this age. According to growth chart they reach almost 95 % of their full grown size at this moment. But your pup can be bigger or smaller, genetically or due to feeding style and nutrients he gets. Important things are – he looks grown and healthy.
Character and Behavior
Many people notice that that is the moment in German Shepherd life when they look like complete “goofballs”. They are much more strong and clever than before, but they completely lack agility.
The behavior also starts to change. The dog at this age can behave, well, exactly like teenager. Be crazy, or not wanting to move from his place. Destroying everything, forgetting the skills he seemingly already mastered, eating too much, not eating, becoming too suspicious, biting. Whatever the symptoms are, at 10-month age German Shepherd can be a handful.
What to do with all this? First of all, the dog didn’t forget all this training you’ve done up to this moment. He just tests waters and tries to stretch his borders. Don’t let him! Keep training as usual, even if the puppy largely ignores you, be firm and persistent and one day you’ll get your ideal dog back.
If you stop exercising now or change things according to what the dog wants to do – it will be much harder to fight the stubbornness and lack of obedience later, when the character if fully formed.
There are more complaints about teenage phase in winter than in summer. If your dog seems to be more destructive at home and mischievous, think if your routine schedule changed because of the weather. Do you still take him out as much as you used to? Does he get enough playtime to burn all this crazy energy he has?
If the answer is “no”, then get the warm coat and shoes and make him run outside until all his mental and physical energy is used for the day and then you might find out that this was the root of all your problems.
One thing many dog owners notice at this moment is that the puppy starts limping suddenly, without any sign of trauma. This could be panosteitis or as the forums call it “pano”. This is a bone inflammation that appears without a reason in adolescent dogs. It can bring him quite a lot of pain.
All you can do is to check with the vet, to rule out other possible sicknesses, and then use the painkillers and steroids to help the dog to feel better while this goes away. Usually, there’s nothing else to do as to take care of the pup and wait. Most of the dogs go out of “pano” moment completely healthy.