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Resources for Different Stages of Your Dog's Life

This month I focused on three stages of a dog's life--puppyhood, adolescence, and old age. You can find information about training your adult dog in any of my other blog posts from this year. Below you'll find some resources for additional information and help with each of these three stages.


I wrote about my favorite puppy book at the beginning of this year: Alexandra Horowitz’s The Year of the Puppy. Horowitz chronicles the first year of her dog Quiddity’s life, covering developmental stages, challenges, and the joys of puppies.

For puppy socialization and training, I recommend three organizations in the Portland Area:

Founded by trainer Brie Blakeman, Noble Woof offers puppy socialization sessions and manners classes at the Noble Woof Canine Education Center in southeast Portland. Puppy guardians also learn about puppy socialization from certified trainers and puppy specialists.

As the name suggests, Wonder Puppy is all about puppies! Founded by puppy expert Casey Newton, Wonder Puppy holds socialization and manners classes at their location in northwest Portland. They are also a great source of education for new puppy parents.

With campuses in both northeast Portland and Salem, the Oregon Humane Society has multiple classes for puppies, including a weekly puppy romp socialization class. They also provide education for puppy guardians.


For a broader view of adolescence in a wide variety of species, check out Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers. I also wrote about this book at the beginning of the year.

When I worked as an adoption counselor at the Oregon Humane Society, I took a webinar about adolescent dogs. Afterward I reached out to the head of the Training and Behavior Department to suggest that new adopters would benefit from that information. She replied by inviting me to write a handout about adolescent dogs.

Any of my blog posts about management and enrichment can also help you with your teenage dog.

Old Dogs:

If you have an old dog who enjoys being touched and live in Portland, I recommend ResQ Animal Massage. Owner Quimby Lombardozzi does in-home sessions for clients and volunteers at Portland area animal shelters. During my time at OHS, I often walked by kennels that housed easily excited or overstimulated dogs, expecting barking and jumping only to find the dog relaxed in a puddle being massaged by Quimby.

Dedicated to helping senior dogs who need a safe place to live out their remaining years, the Old Dog Haven Rescue blog features valuable information about senior dogs, making it an excellent resource for people whose dogs are aging.

Like Old Dog Haven, The Grey Muzzle Organization is also dedicated to helping senior dogs, and their website is a rich resource for learning about old dogs, including topics like instructions for teaching your dog to climb a ramp and food safety for your senior dog.

Each week this month as I drafted the posts, I went to Facebook to request pictures of puppies, teenagers, and old dogs and so many people responded. I can't thank you enough for sharing your lovely photos with me.

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