When does my puppy become an adult dog?

Many people with hyper puppies will often wonder how long this stage lasts!  How long does the whirling dervish, chewing, pooping in the house stage go on for you might ask!?  Holidays4Dogs looks into this and will hopefully provide a bit of reassurance for puppy owners.

dog sitting, pet sittingDespite how it may feel at the time, puppies grow up quickly!  However, they do tend to mature at different rates depending on their breed and temperament – variations can even occur between litter mates, so if you are comparing your rambunctious pup with a calmer version of one of his litter-mates, don’t worry; he will catch up!

The development of puppies follows a fairly structured timeline for each individual, but broadly speaking puppies mature into adult dogs between the ages of one and two years of age.  That said, most dog will reach sexual maturity at around the age of six months, which means they are able to reproduce.  This does not mean to say however, that they are all grown up in other ways.  At six months a puppy could be displaying teenage type behaviours that can drive even the most laid back owner to distraction!

dog sitting, pet sittingSome breeds can also appear physically mature in terms of their height and stature, but smaller breeds tend to reach this state more quickly than larger breeds – larger breeds can take up to two years to complete their growth into an adult dog.  This can sometimes be even more frustrating for owners of puppies that have grown into a 50lb dog, but still run around and bounce off the walls with their never ending energy.

When a puppy becomes emotionally mature, if you like, you will being to notice him acting with rather more decorum that you would expect of an adult dog and the personality that he will carry with him for life, will begin to emerge and settle down.  You will find around 1 ½ to 2 years of age that your puppy is more responsive to training and for instance, that he more readily settles down and you will also notice that he responds to other dogs as fellow adults, with less inclination to be pushy or ‘rude’.

Making sure your puppy is well socialised, exercised and fed the correct diet will ensure he will grow into a well adjusted dog.  Like human children, puppies don’t stay puppies for very long; so enjoy those exciting few weeks and months – they will soon be a distant memory!