In addition to gender specific behavior, pubescent boy and girl dogs share a variety of new personality traits and behavior, which can include anxiety, insecurity, irritability, jumpiness, an increased independence, as well as a reluctance to come when called. They may also begin to act territorial and protective or even become picky about playmates and fight with other dogs. (There aren't any anti-bullying PR campaigns for dog tweens and teens, yet, but never say never.)
Dog adolescence is also accompanied by an abundance of energy (unlike humans — have you ever tried to get a teenager out of bed in the morning?). This can often lead to chewing (the wrong things), pulling on leashes and digging, if their humans don't give provide positive outlets such as playing, running and going on frequent walks and outings.
In addition to needing healthy avenues for extra energy during this period, experts say it's important that pets are mentally stimulated by playing, exploring new places and learning new tricks. Dogs should be routinely socialized, because along with puberty can come a sudden fear of people or things that haven't been issues in the past. This is a critical time, when early adolescent puppies develop emotionally, gain confidence and decide who they trust.
Sadly, the majority of shelter dogs arrive during a dog's adolescence because people don't realize their pet's sudden bad behavior is a developmental phase that will end.
If you decide to include a four-legged addition to your family, you know the road ahead is not one that is paved entirely with rainbows, treats and squeaky toys. But when Muffin begins to act ornery around six-months, be thankful that she isn't too embarrassed to be seen walking with you.