Golden Retriever

No longer a puppy but not an adult yet either, the canine teenager and adolescent dog often needs a little extra training.

There are breed differences but by the age of 6 months your adorable puppy is approaching puberty. Pup is becoming a canine teenager or awkward adolescent. And just like humans, it’s going to be a while before full adult maturity is reached.

Typical teenage/adolescent dog training issues include:

  • Not coming when called
  • Counter-surfing
  • Pulling on leash
  • Excessive energy
  • Jumping
  • Mouthiness
  • Door darting

Many people sign up for a puppy obedience class when they first bring their new dog home. But over the following months, they focus less and less on training. Suddenly their puppy is an adult-sized dog. Biting and jumping is no longer so cute or easy to ignore. As your pup moves through adolescence it’s time to concentrate on the training more than ever. Mountainside Mutts offers pet parents the opportunity to meet virtually or in-person at a time convenient to your schedule.

Our teenage dog training and behavior change packages are designed for dogs between 6 months and 2 years of age. We will provide you with the knowledge and skills to set your dog up for success. But please don’t expect the use of aversive tools like prong, shock, or choke collars.  We guarantee our training is L.I.M.A* compliant.


  • Includes: 75 minute initial consultation and two 1 hour training sessions.
  • This is the package for you if your dog is generally pretty good and you enjoy training but there are one or two behaviors that need work. The aim of this package is to provide you with the information you need to progress your dog’s training.

Mind Your Manners

  • Includes: 75 minute initial consultation, three 1 hour sessions at our facility, 1 field trip.
  • Does it seem like your puppy has forgotten everything he learned at that training class? This package is designed for people who have done some training but whose dog seems to forget everything the instant you leave the house.

Teenage Delinquent

  • Includes: 75 minute initial consultation, four 1 hour sessions at our facility, 2 training field trips and a 2 Hounds Design Freedom Harness.
  • Your puppy’s jumping is becoming a real issue, he’s still mouthy, doesn’t come when call, pulls on leash, and “stubborn” is his middle name. You’ve not previously done any formal training.

*L.I.M.A – Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive

LIMA is a position statement jointly adopted by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). It establishes an ethical standard for working with dogs, and states that methods should be effective while also minimizing side effects and aversive experiences for the animal. Although LIMA includes and is often associated with the Humane Hierarchy, it involves much more than just the Humane Hierarchy. LIMA also sets a competency standard and states that “trainers/behavior consultants [should] work to increase the use of positive reinforcement and lessen the use of punishment,” that protocols should be “maximally humane,” and that trainers and behavior consultants should achieve and maintain a level of education that allows them to change behavior both effectively and humanely by minimizing any stress or aversive experience to the animal.

What is the Humane Hierarchy?

The Humane Hierarchy is a set of humane and effective practices for working with dogs. It sets up a suggested approach for effectively creating behavior change while also minimizing stress and discomfort to the animal. The Humane Hierarchy is listed below, in order from first line of treatment to least desirable choice.

1. Wellness: Nutritional and physical
2. Antecedent arrangements
3. Positive reinforcement
4. Differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors
5. Extinction, negative reinforcement and negative punishment
6. Positive punishment

Each step in the Humane Hierarchy should only be considered when the previous steps have been implemented to the fullest extent possible, by an individual who has the expertise to implement those methods effectively.

As a Professional Premium Member of the APDT, we are committed to the LIMA approach.

Review APDT’s LIMA Position Statement here.