When Is A Dog Full Grown? (Breed Specific Answers!)
Being educated about canine growth stages can help you make more informed choices about your dog's dietary, hygiene, and even insurance requirements. At the same time, it's important to know that there is no generic formula that can be applied to determine the growth and maturing phases of puppies. Every dog is different. Still, there are a few guidelines that can help you figure out where your pup is in his development. Check it out.
So when are dogs no longer puppies?
When are dogs adults? Well, it depends on the breed. Not all dog breeds grow at the same rate, so don’t freak out if you think your pup’s behind.
Typically, small breeds grow to their full height and length in about 6-8 months. They bulk up to their adult weight in another 4-6 months.
For medium sized breeds, it may take up to 12-15 months before they reach their full height and length, and they usually reach their full weight about 6 months later.
For large breed dogs, the physical growth process is quite a bit longer. They take almost 18 months to reach their full size and another 6 months to fill out to their full-grown weight.
To give you an idea of just how fast a dog grows, here's a good video of the first 12 weeks of a pup's life:
When is a dog sexually mature?
Sexual maturity varies from breed to breed. Dogs belonging to smaller breeds will usually be sexually mature sooner than larger breeds. Typically, male dogs are capable of reproducing at six months but attain full sexual maturity when they’re about 12-15 months old. Similarly, female dogs have their first season of heat when they are between 6-12 months old.
Just like physical growth, however, one must not mistake sexual growth as a sign of their dog attaining full adulthood. Sexual maturity is just one stage of the overall growth process. The learning and socialization process of your dog—important cogs in their journey towards full adulthood—continues well after they have attained sexual maturity.
When are dogs emotionally mature?
This is also the most subtle and arrives well after your dog has attained his or her physical and sexual maturity. That said, emotional growth starts early, and it’s important to help your dog develop his emotional and social skills as soon as you bring him home.
For example, things potty training, picking up simple manners, and learning to follow commands are all part of the larger process of emotional maturity.
Another big part your dog's journey towards full emotional maturity is socialization with other dogs. You should make sure your puppy gets the opportunity to mingle with other dogs—both puppies and adult dogs—to learn how to behave and observe basic rules of doggy etiquette.
Here's a good video that explains the ins and outs of socialization:
If possible, find a well-mannered, well-balanced adult dog for you puppy to play with can really boost his social and emotional growth.
For the most part, there’s no one better equipped to teach your puppy important social skills than a down-to-earth adult dogs. Your pup can learn things like when and how it is acceptable to play with other dogs, sensing other dogs’ limits, and understanding dog body language. This is all part of the process that leads to a well-adjusted and emotionally stable dog.
Image credit: Tyler Allen
Sources & Further Reading