Going through puberty can be bad enough for human teens, but new research indicates it’s not very fun for their canine companions either. According to a study published in Biology Letters, dogs may exhibit some adolescent-phase behavior during puberty, reports Nicola Davis for the Guardian.
Researchers from the Newcastle University and the Universities of Nottingham and Edinburgh studied a group of 285 Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, German shepherds and cross breeds of the three canines from ages five to eight months, per a Newcastle University statement. These breeds roughly go through puberty from about six to nine months old, so researchers caught them before and during this key transition period, per the Guardian.
As many pet-owners and enthusiasts are aware, dogs can have distinct personalities and complicated emotional lives. A study published in March surveyed nearly 14,000 dogs and found that nearly 75 percent of them demonstrated at least one anxiety-related behavior. “There is abundant folk knowledge … that the behavior of adolescents differs from younger or older dogs,” Barbara Smuts, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, who was not involved in the study, says in an interview with Science. However, until now, little evidence to support that claim has been found, she says.
Read the full article at Smithsonian Magazine.