When is a dog considered an adult? - Place for pets (2023)


  1. At what age is a dog an adult?
  2. How does height and weight affect maturity?
  3. 8 signs of canine maturity
  4. Meeting your dog's changing needs
  5. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about when a dog becomes an adult

A question many pet parents ask is, “Ahow old is onePuppyis no longer considered a dog?”

There are no hard and fast rules for dog adulthood. Becoming an adult dog depends on each dog's size, breed, and genetic lineage. All puppies have their own needs and this can affect when they grow up. In this article, we'll look at the various factors that affect maturity and when a dog's diet should be switched from puppy food to adult food.

At what age is a dog an adult?

The 1 year mark is usually when most dogs transition from puppyhood to adulthood. However, there are also some subtle variations based on breed and size. Even dogs from the same litter can grow at different rates. In general, small breeds mature faster than large breeds. Toy dogs or small breed dogs can be considered adults at 9 months, while large breeds are generally not considered adults until 18 months. Some giant dog breeds will continue bone development until almost 2 years of age.

How does height and weight affect maturity?

In general, many believe that dogs are "adult" when they reach 80-90% of their adult weight. But how do you know your dog's combined adult weight if it's a mixed breed? One way to assess development is to assess signs of maturity.

8 signs of canine maturity

Signs of maturity in dogs include:

loss of milk teeth

The normal growth and development of the dog includes obtaining 28 milk teeth (milk teeth) at about 6 weeks of age. Baby teeth start to fall out around 16 weeks of age and adult teeth appear around 6 months of age.

relaxed demeanor

Puppies are energetic and love to play.. For example, dogs will chew on your shoes, end up in the trash, collect and carry sticks in the backyard, and play with just about anything around the house. With physical and emotional maturity, dogs tend to become more focused on certain toys and generally calm down.

eat less

Puppies are very fond of food and tend to overeat. As dogs age, they generally crave mealtime less (although it depends on the individual dog) and eat a little less.

Less destructive behavior

Puppies explore the world with their mouths and can be very destructive. They also chew more during teething, which occurs between 6 weeks and 6 months.

Development of the adult mantle

The adult coat begins to shed at 6 months, with a mature coat developing between 9 and 18 months. This can vary by breed or mix of breeds.

sexual maturity

Most dogs reach sexual maturity around 6 months of age. Females have their first heat between the ages of 6 and 8 months and males also start to show an interest in females at this time.Playback is also possible at this time.

end of growth

Dogs develop mostly in the first 6 months. Maturity depends on the size of the dog, with many small and small breed dogs reaching adult size between 9 and 12 months, and large and giant breeds reaching adulthood between 12 and 24 months.

Fewer accidents

It is estimated that puppies can retain urine for one hour per month of life, plus one hour. For example, a 2 month old puppy can hold urine for about 3 hours and a 3 month old puppy can usually hold urine for 4 hours. As dogs mature, they are able to hold urine longer and have fewer accidents.

Meeting your dog's changing needs

Diet, exercise, and veterinary care requirements change as the puppy reaches adulthood. Some examples are:


Switching from puppy food to adult dog food depends on the size and breed. Small breed dogs switch from puppy to adult food between 9 and 12 months and large breed dogs closer to 12 months or later.

a practice

Young dogs have a lot of energy, which makes playtime crucial for their physical and mental health. Puppies generally need at least 1 hour or more of exercise a day, depending on the dog. Older dogs generally need less exercise, especially as they approach old age.

dog accessories

Supply needs change based on behavior, size, and growth rate. Dogs can outgrow their collars, clothes, toys and beds. Durable chew toys are important for aggressive chewers and should be a size that cannot be swallowed. Bigger dogs need bigger toys. The collar should be loose enough to fit two or three fingers between the collar and the neck. Large breed dogs may need new supplies sometimes as they grow.

veterinary care

For normal, healthy dogs, most costs are incurred in the first year, including the puppy's vaccination course, deworming medication, and spaying or neutering surgery. Vaccines are required every 3 to 4 weeks until age 20 weeks, after which annual vaccinations are required.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about when a dog becomes an adult

When do you change a dog's diet from puppy to adult?

Generally, you switch from puppy food to adult food when a dog is close (between 85-90%) of its full adult weight.

When is a dog fully grown?

Large breed dogs reach maturity between 12 and 24 months and smaller breed dogs weighing less than 50 pounds reach maturity at 1 year of age.

At what age does a puppy become a dog?

This happens between 12 and 24 months.

At what age does a puppy start to behave like an adult dog?

This is an interesting question because physical and mental maturity are very different. Some dogs can behave like an adult dog at 9 months, while others are never emotionally mature.

When does a dog stop growing?

Small breed dogs stop growing around 9 to 12 months, large breed dogs between 12 and 18 months and giant breed dogs between 14 months and 2 years.

Puppy Maturity Table

It's helpful to know what to expect from your growing pup at various milestones. Here is a list of links to help you as your pup grows:

What to expect from your dog in…

  • 8 weeks
  • 12 weeks
  • 16 weeks
  • 6 fun
  • 9 fun
  • 12 fun

When does the "puppy energy" go away?

When a puppy starts to act like an adult and settle down is up to the dog. There are some 6 month old dogs that are very reserved, while other dogs can carry this "puppy energy" into old age.

When do dogs mature and settle down?

Emotional maturity depends on each dog. Using a human analogy, there are some 18-year-olds who are very mature and some 40-year-olds who are struggling to grow up. Dogs can be the same. Some mature quickly and others very late or never. In general, most dogs begin to settle down between 12 and 18 months.

Is a 2 year old dog still a puppy?

A 2 year old dog is considered a young adult dog.

At what age does a dog become an adult?

Most dogs weighing less than 50 pounds reach adult size within 1 year, while large or giant dogs reach adulthood between 18 months and 2 years.

How long is a dog considered a puppy?

Most dogs are considered puppies within the first year of life, although they may act like puppies for longer.

What is considered mature for a dog?

The word "mature" means "fully developed physically; fully grown." Physically, this occurs between 9 and 12 months in small breed dogs and between 12 and 24 months in large and giant breed dogs. Emotionally, this may happen sooner or later, depending on the dog's personality. Small breed dogs are considered at 11 years of age as senior dogs and large and giant breeds at 7 to 8 years of age.

How old is my dog ​​compared to me?

Comparing the ages of dogs and humans has been a topic of conversation. Find out moreHere.

How much does it cost to have a dog?

Aside from the cost of the pup itself, the first year of care and attention can easily range from $800 to $2,000 with no unexpected problems. Costs include vet checkups, vaccinations, deworming medication, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and pet supplies such as bowls, food, bedding, collars, leashes, spay and neuter surgeries, and more.

CliqueHereto see the full list of Ask Dr. Show Deborah!

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At what age is a dog considered an adult? ›

Although all puppies are officially considered adult dogs once they reach one year old, puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months. Their skeletal growth is what determines how tall they will become as adults.

How do you classify a dog's age? ›

There are six stages of aging:
  1. Puppy (birth until 6-7 months of age) ...
  2. Junior(reproductively mature but still growing, typically until 1-2 years of age) ...
  3. Adult (finished growing physically, socially mature) ...
  4. Mature (from the middle to three-quarters of a dogs' life span, which is based on breed/size)

How long is a dog considered a puppy for food? ›

“Growth” foods necessary at the puppy stage have higher protein levels and calorie counts to meet your pup's developmental needs. But once your pup is six to 12 months old those needs change. That's usually when your puppy is nearing his adult height and can transition to adult food.

What are dogs considered to be? ›

A dog is a domestic mammal of the family Canidae and the order Carnivora. Its scientific name is Canis lupus familiaris. Dogs are a subspecies of the gray wolf, and they are also related to foxes and jackals. Dogs are one of the two most ubiquitous and most popular domestic animals in the world.

Is a dog a puppy at 1 years old? ›

Your pup's first birthday is an important milestone in their life, as they start to transition from puppyhood to adulthood. While every dog is unique, most dogs reach adulthood between the ages of 1-to-2 years old. As your dog grows, you can expect some changes to occur both behaviorally and physically.

Is a 5 year old dog a puppy? ›

There is huge individual and breed variation in life expectancy, but your 5-year-old dog is generally considered to be approaching middle age. During this stage, pay close attention to your dog's signals. Early intervention for many medical conditions is key to ensuring a long, happy life with you.

What is the hardest puppy age? ›

Approximately 35% of owners and trainers voted 8-9 months as the toughest age citing new challenging behaviors associated with their puppy's now larger size such as pulling on the leash or counter-surfing.

At what age do dogs calm down? ›

When do puppies start to calm down? Most puppies start to calm down as they approach their maturity age, which is usually around 12 months, but for larger breeds it can be more likely to occur between 18 months and 2 years.

How old is 7 years in dog years? ›

Dog Years to Human Years Chart
Age of Dog (dog's age according to the calendar)Dog's Age in Human Years (dog's age in equivalent human years, based on stage of breed size)
13 more rows

What happens if a puppy eats adult dog food? ›

If your puppy eats adult dog food, it may not receive the nutrients and caloric intake they need to support its development. For example, your puppy may suffer from allergies, slow wound healing, or persistent infections due to a low-protein diet during puppyhood.

Can puppies eat adult dog food? ›

Generally, puppies begin to transition to adult food when they have reached maturity for their breed size. But this varies widely. It's important to not rush to feed a puppy adult food since he is building the bones, teeth, organs, etc.

Can a 2 year old dog eat puppy food? ›

While it may seem harmless, feeding a diet for puppies to an adult dog can actually lead to some health concerns. Adult dogs have very different nutritional needs when compared to puppies, and their metabolisms typically are slower. Therefore, it is not advisable.

What is the smartest dog? ›

1. Border collie. According to The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks 131 dog breeds in terms of their relative intelligence, the border collie is the smartest dog breed known to man.

What is the cutest dog in the world? ›

Cutest Dog Breeds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. ...
  • Pug. ...
  • Pomeranian. ...
  • English Bulldog. ...
  • Bichon Frise. ...
  • Siberian Husky. ...
  • American Eskimo. ...
  • Cairn Terrier. The spirited little Cairn Terrier has a compact body and broad head with a bushy topknot and eyebrows.

Is a dog not considered a puppy? ›

A dog is no longer a puppy between 12 to 18 months with some variation based on breed, size and personality. Smaller breeds tend to develop and reach maturity sooner, both physically and emotionally versus large to giant breeds that can take up to almost 24 months before reaching adulthood.

Which is better male or female dogs? ›

Female dogs tend to be easier to housebreak, easier to train, and more connected with their owners—but in certain circumstances they can be more demanding of attention. Aggression can be a problem in any dog of any breed, however it is usually more apparent in non-neutered males.

How do you know if an old dog is happy? ›

There are some really clear signs you'll see in your dog showing they are happy:
  • A high and waggy tail. This is probably the most well-known sign your dog is a happy pooch.
  • Floppy ears. ...
  • Their body's relaxed. ...
  • They're playful. ...
  • They lean in to you.

How long can 1 year old dog hold pee? ›

Adult dogs that are one year or older should be able to hold their pee in for up to 6-8 hours. However, 8 hours is a bit of a stretch, and ideally, you should not expect your dog to hold their urine for longer than 6 hours.

Why does my dog bury his head in pillows? ›

If they sense that you're not entirely happy, they may bury their head in you as a way to offer comfort and support. Think of it like your dog is trying to hug you to make you feel better. Sometimes, your dog will only bury their head in you when they're afraid, and they want to feel safe.

Do small dogs live longer? ›

Smaller dogs have an average lifespan of many years longer than larger dogs, with Chihuahuas living between 15 and 17 years, and Great Danes only lasting between 8 and 10 years, according to the American Kennel Club.

Do dogs change at 2 years old? ›

Dog behavior changes with age, but it is a gradual process. For example, a 2 year old dog behavior change is a common milestone, which is the age many dogs reach adulthood. Later on, some senior dogs may display irritability due to things like arthritis pain or loss of vision.

What is the naughtiest puppy age? ›

Undesirable behaviours such as barking, chewing, counter surfing, house-soiling and jumping up commonly begin to occur at around 3-6 months of age. Your puppy will not grow out of these behaviours. On the contrary, it is more likely that these behaviours will worsen if not addressed early on.

At what age are puppies not annoying? ›

When Puppies Mature and Settle Down. Puppies typically develop the emotional maturity and temperament of an adult dog between twelve and eighteen months of age, although they may continue to occasionally exhibit puppy behavior like chewing and nipping until they're about two years old.

At what age are dogs most obedient? ›

Growth stage: By one year

By the time they're one year old, dogs should be making progress in learning of all the polite behaviors they will need for the rest of their lives.

What age do dogs become disobedient? ›

Like humans, dogs go through a rebellious “teenager” phase (around 5 months to 18 months). During this time, they'll often test their owners, seeing what they can get away with. Being firm and consistent with your training will help establish boundaries.

At what age do dogs try to dominate? ›

In most cases, dominant behavior occurs when a dog has reached maturity, somewhere between one and three years old. However, it's not uncommon for dominant behavior to occur in older dogs or puppies.

How often should you wash your dog? ›

Generally speaking, a healthy dog with a short, smooth coat and no skin problems doesn't need to be bathed often. In most cases, dog baths are more for the benefit of their pet parents than for the dogs themselves. Even so, it's a good idea to bathe your pooch at least once every two to three months.

How old is a 15 year old dog in human years? ›

How old is a dog in human years?
Dog Size (Average weight for breed)Small (<9.5kg)Large (23kg +)
13 more rows

How old is a 13 year old dog in human years? ›

Medium size dogs: Up to 50 lbs.
Dog AgeHuman Age
14 more rows

Can puppies eat peanut butter? ›

Whether speaking to new or seasoned pet parents, veterinarians are often asked 'can dogs eat peanut butter? ' The good news is that regular peanut butter is safe to give your dog as a treat. Just make sure to avoid peanut butter with Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in lower or sugar-free products.

Can puppies eat bananas? ›

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They're high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog's main diet.

Can puppies eat carrots? ›

Yes, dogs can eat carrots. In fact, not only is this vegetable safe, but it also can serve as a healthy, low-calorie snack for your pup.

Can puppies eat eggs? ›

Eggs are perfectly safe for dogs, Eggs are a great source of nutrition for your canine companion. They are high in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and fatty acids that help support your dog inside and out.

Can puppies eat cheese? ›

Yes, dogs can eat cheese. In fact, cheese is often a great training tool, especially for puppies.

What is the best time to feed a dog? ›

"While there is no best time, with most dogs that eat twice a day, it is best to feed them in the morning as soon as you get up and then again when you get home from work in the afternoon," says Dr. Sara Ochoa, veterinary consultant for doglab.com who practices in Texas.

Is it OK to give a 1 year old dog puppy food? ›

You should feed puppy food until your puppy reaches maturity. Once he has reached maturity, you can switch to adult dog food. Not all breeds reach maturity at the same age, however, so this can make it harder to know when to switch.

What age should a puppy have 2 meals a day? ›

From when you bring your puppy home at eight weeks until they are four months old, it's best to feed them four meals a day. At four months, reduce this to three meals a day and when they turn six months, reduce to two meals. Continue a morning and evening meal for your pup's life.

Can I feed my puppy leftover dog food? ›

Yes, you can give leftovers to your dog – but in moderation, and provided that your dog's diet is balanced. Moreover, this is assuming you have thought about the types of foods are known to not do well for dogs.

What pet is smarter than a dog? ›

Cats can learn tricks, recognize their names, understand basic commands, and have a longer-lasting memory than dogs.

What's the most expensive dog? ›

Most Expensive Dog Breeds to Buy
  • Portuguese Water Dog $2,200.
  • Chow Chow $2,250.
  • Afghan Hound $2,250.
  • Brussels Griffon $2,300.
  • Saluki $2,400.
  • Leonberger $2,400.
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog $2,500.
  • English Bulldog $2,500.
Feb 21, 2023

What is the most least expensive dog? ›

Due to their small size and resilient health, the Chihuahua is the cheapest dog breed to own. Cost of ownership includes food requirements, grooming, veterinarian visits, medication, exercise needs, fencing or crating, price of initial purchase, training, and toys.

What age is a dog an adult? ›

Although all puppies are officially considered adult dogs once they reach one year old, puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

What age is a dog fully grown? ›

Physical Maturity: Physically speaking, dogs are fully grown by the time they're 1 year old, although large breeds may keep growing until they're 2 years old.

Is a 1 year old dog still trainable? ›

While most people associate training with puppies, the reality is that dogs can learn at any age. Adult dogs are often easier to train than young puppies because they have more self-control. It's also important to keep training your dog as it matures.

At what age is a puppy no longer a puppy? ›

If you're anything like us, you'll probably continue referring to your dog as a puppy until they're old and grey! But generally speaking, a puppy is officially considered an adult dog between the ages of 1 - 2 years, once their bones have fully developed and they've reached their final height and size.

What age do dogs calm down? ›

When do puppies start to calm down? Most puppies start to calm down as they approach their maturity age, which is usually around 12 months, but for larger breeds it can be more likely to occur between 18 months and 2 years.

At what age do dogs start slowing down? ›

Most dogs enter their senior years at around 7 years old, a little sooner for larger dog breeds. They begin to slow down, they may gain weight more easily, their senses start to dull. An older dog's behavior will give you plenty of hints as to what he needs, but sometimes it helps to put it in words.


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