At what age is a dog considered adult?

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The notion of adult age in dogs is quite subtle because it depends on several factors. It is important for the owner to know if his dog is considered an adult or still in the puppy category, if only to give him a targeted diet that perfectly meets his needs, or to administer an appropriate treatment without exposing his little companion’s health to risks. Here’s everything you need to know to classify your dog in the right category without risking mistakes.

Adult age in dogs: a question of breed

According to a study conducted in Japan in 2015 on 300,000 dogs of all breeds, it appears that these animals are living longer and longer because they are more regularly monitored by their veterinarian than before and receive treatment for the slightest health problem.
The table below is statistical data of course, because the longevity of an animal is also related to its lifestyle. These are averages. As for the adult age of each category, it is also variable from one dog to another, but the ranges remain nevertheless moderate.
Nevertheless, we can consider these indications as relatively meaningfull

Giant breed (40 kg and +) Between 2 and 3 years 10,6 years
Large breed (20 to 39 kg) 2 years minimum 12,5 years
Medium breed (10 to 19 kg) 12 to 18 months 13.6 years
Small breed (less than 10 kg) 9 to 12 months 14.2 years

There were some notable differences within the same breed category. As for the adult age, it can vary, but only by a few months at most, between siblings from the same litter.
It should also be noted that there is a slight disparity between male and female dogs of the same breed, with the latter entering adulthood a little earlier than the former.
As for the weight, it is obviously the healthy weight. It does not take into account thinness, overweight or obesity.
Height and weight are determined according to the standards of each dog breed.

To know the adult age of a dog from a crossbreed (which is not a pure breed), we evaluate its adult age according to the height and weight of its two parents to get an idea.

Changes in the adult dog

The physical maturity of a dog is decisive since a dog is considered adult when its growth is complete. He has therefore reached his final size and we can see the many changes he has undergone over the months in terms of size, weight and musculature for example.

The adult dog is also sexually mature, this maturity being generally noted before adulthood, for example around 6 months for a small breed dog such as the Chihuahua and around 18 months for giant breed dogs such as the Great Dane.

Finally, among the metamorphoses that the dog undergoes between its youngest age and its entry into the category of adult dogs, they are also of a behavioral nature.
The character and personality of the animal are affirmed, knowing however that the education received has a considerable impact on the behavior of a dog. It is much more difficult to correct a bad education when the dog is adult.
In fact, the earlier a dog is socialized, the better it will behave with humans, other dogs and other pets. On the other hand, a dog that is not taken in hand, more or less left to his own devices or, on the contrary, raised too severely and inconsistently, has every chance of having socialization and behavioral problems when he is no longer a puppy or an adolescent dog.
In fact, a dog that is not properly trained as an adult may require the intervention of a dog trainer.
It is very important that when the animal reaches adulthood, all the education of the animal is completed, that a complicity has been established between its master and him, but also that an emotional bond has been established between the animal and the other members of the family.
This is absolutely fundamental for humans to be able to share their daily life with an obedient adult dog that does not pose any problem and that is also able to accept strangers in the home without ever showing signs of aggression. In short, the adult dog must be comfortable and not represent any danger to others.

Knowing the age at which your dog will be considered an adult is therefore very important for a master, because it allows him to anticipate this period of life and do everything possible to ensure that the education of his little companion is completed in time.

As for knowing the age of a dog on a human scale, it is not very interesting, even if many owners like to do this little calculation.
Humans and dogs do not develop in the same way at all, and it should also be noted that a human’s life expectancy is unrelated to his or her adult age.
A short man is considered an adult at the same age as a tall man. On the other hand, as we have seen previously, in a dog, there is a relationship between its adult age and its life expectancy, both of which vary according to the size of the dog, which is itself directly related to the breed of the animal.
Moreover, these data are very important for pet health insurance companies, many of which set an age limit according to the breed of the animal beyond which they no longer accept to take out a new contract: it is a question of longevity and therefore of the extent of the risks…

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