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AnswerDear Zena,
Our dog Buster is an 8-month-old Chocolate Labrador. Lately he has been going nuts chasing shadows; his shadow and our shadows. Is this a puppy phase? Will he grow out of chasing his shadow?

Thank you.

Worried dog owner (Oklahoma, USA)


Dear worried,

This is not an uncommon behaviour for an 8-month-old dog. It would appear that Buster might be going through adolescence, a troubling time for both human and canine children. The period between 6 and 12 months of age marks canine puberty indicating sexual maturity. During this period, male dogs may try to test the hierarchy by becoming a little pushy. This is a great time to demonstrate your own responsibility to Buster and society by ensuring that he is neutered.

You may also notice that suddenly Buster has lost all sense of intelligence. He may forget commands that earlier he had mastered. He may appear to have a limited attention span, often becoming distracted by his environment or more interesting sights and sounds.

As a parent it is important that you show Buster some patience to ride out the storm. Consistency in training and all round social skills will help and the pay off will be soon appreciated as he settles into his own around the age of one.

Hang in there; Buster is probably as confused as you are.

Hope that helps.

Sincerely Zena & Zippy


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