Has your teenage gundog suddenly become fearful of things, that they were previously comfortable around?

Most people have heard of a puppy first fear phase between 8-12 weeks but no one talks about second fear imprint stages.

Dogs can shift in and out of secondary fear imprint stages from 5-18 months of age. It is more common 8-9 months old when they hit the teenage stage. In large and slow-maturing breeds, it can happen around 12-14 months of age.

During this period, you may notice your young dog becoming suddenly fearful of things, they were previously comfortable around.

Your dog might;

  • freeze and put the brakes on during walks. I remember Finn doing this when we went pass a noisy dust cart.
  • growling and barking at people and dogs
  • sudden fear of certain objects and noises
  • generally more anxious around the house.

It can be a strange time for owners as they are left wondering what the hell has happened.

Often owners are not sure what to do.

If they do the wrong things, it can leave a lasting impression on the dog’s life.

The worst thing, you can do is nothing.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing this with your dog or need guidance of how best to manage your dog during this time, then do get in touch and book one of my tailored 1-2-1 training packages.


‘I was upset and frustrated at Benji’s selective behaviour when meeting other dogs or noisy vehicles. I find you very easy to talk to, you are honest and friendly. You were my 3rd trainer, Harriet, you were the best one.  I feel more relaxed while knowing it’s work in progress. Of course, I would recommend you. That you please keep in touch and contact me if you think there is more I could do.’Janet and Benji

If you would like to know how I can help you , then book a free 15 minute discovery call with me.

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