Owning a dog can be a very satisfying feeling. Being educated about the growth states of dogs can help you to make informed choices regarding their hygienic, dietary and insurance needs. It is also important to understand that you cannot apply any generic formula to determine the maturing phase and growth of puppies. Each dog happens to be different. However, you can use these guidelines to understand the stage of development that your pup is in.
How Quickly Do Dogs Grow?
The growth rate of a dog depends on its breed. Dogs tend to grow at different rates, depending on breed. There is no reason to worry if you feel that your pup is behind its time of growth.
Small breeds generally grow to their full length and height in around 6 to 8 months. They take another 4 to 6 months to bulk up and attain their adult weight.
Those of medium sized breeds can take around 12 – 15 months prior to attaining their full length and height, and around 6 months later they generally attain their full weight.
Dogs of large breeds take slightly longer to grow physically. They get to their full size in about 18 months and 6 more months to get to their adult weight.
When Does a Dog Achieve Sexual Maturity?
Sexual maturity tends to differ across breeds. Dogs that belong to smaller breeds can be generally sexually mature quicker than larger ones. Male dogs are typically able to reproduce at 6 months although they are sexually fully mature when they are around 12 to 15 months in age. Female dogs, similarly, have their first heat season once they are within 6 – 12 months in age.
However, the sexual growth – much like the physical growth – should not be confused as a sign of a dog reaching full adulthood. Sexual maturity is simply a stage of the entire growth process. The socialization and learning processes of dogs can continue properly even after dogs attain their full sexual maturity.
When Do Dogs Become Emotionally Mature?
The emotional maturity is the most elusive and can arrive after dogs attain their sexual and physical maturity. However, emotional maturity begins early and it is essential to help your pet develop social and emotional skills as quickly right from the time you get them home.
For instance, things such as learning to follow commands, picking up simple manners and potty training happen to be part of the emotional maturity process.
You should allow your pet to socialize with other dogs. Ensure that your puppy gets the chance to mix with other dogs, adult dogs as well as puppies, to be able to observe how other dogs act and behave.
If it is possible, you should find a well balanced and well mannered adult dog that can be a ‘play-buddy’ for your puppy. This will significantly help boost the emotional and social growth of your puppy. The puppy can understand the body language of other dogs, sense their limits and play with them.
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