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Pet Resources - Dog Behavior and Training

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Understanding Dog Adolescence


Many people are very surprised and dismayed to discover that dogs, like people, go through adolescence. Puppies usually make the transition into adulthood around the age of six months or so. However, this estimate, along with the length of time that adolescence can last, varies according to the dog’s breed. Smaller breeds are generally over this phase by the time they become a year old, while larger breeds may take another year or longer. Dog owners need to be aware of the challenges they are about to face once their pets begin the transition from puppyhood into adulthood. Like human teenagers, they are mischievous, highly energetic, and have a strong desire to become independent. While this period lasts, it is important for you to remain consistent, persistent and, above all, extremely patient and understanding.


As puppies enter this new stage of life and their bodies change, their nutritional demands also change. Their bodies will require more nutrients and proteins, and their food must satisfy this need. The exact time when you switch from puppy food to dog food will depend on your dog’s breed and size. Most experts recommend that smaller breeds make the switch when they are about 8 to 9 months old, medium-sized dogs should do this when they are about a year old, and larger dogs should change their food some time between the age of 1 and 2 years of age. Furthermore, it is always advised that for more specific recommendations regarding food, you consult with your veterinarian.