Those small faces and big shiny eyes can be impossible to resist in the first weeks after your dog’s puppies are born. However, as those puppies begin to age and get larger and more destructive you may begin to wish that your puppy would stop being so cute and start being more like an adult dog. That’s when you’ll begin to wonder: “When is a puppy fully grown?”
The Puppy Stages
You can draw some comparisons between the stages in a puppy’s life and those in the development of a human baby. The bright side is puppies are definitely adults long before they reach 18 years of age but that may not help you much when you get into some of the more difficult periods in your puppy’s life.
But let’s not jump ahead.
When your puppy is first born, he will go through a transitional period. He will go through lots of changes during those first three weeks, including being able to walk, to open his eyes, and to act like a small dog. During this early period, he won’t really know there is a world outside of his mother and his siblings.
After about the third week, your puppy will suddenly start realizing there is more to his environment than what he imagined. His senses will rapidly develop and allow him to increase his interactions with his canine family and with his human family. Unfortunately, this is a critical time for the puppy’s future. Bad experiences at this time can actually stay with the puppy and determine the type of adult dog he will become.
Between the fourth and seventh weeks, your puppy will begin learning something new. At this point, his mother and siblings will begin to teach him etiquette. When he begins to play too rough or bite inappropriately, she will correct him. These early corrections can help the dog learn the social skills he will need as he starts interacting with humans and other animals.
Up until about three months of age, your puppy will be having one new experience after another. By ensuring that most, if not all, of those experiences are positive you can create a dog who is less fearful and nervous as an adult. Be careful about your interactions with the puppy as well.
Gaining Independence; Moving Towards Adulthood
After about three months, you will probably really start to look for an answer to that question: “When is a puppy fully grown?”
That’s when your puppy enters the toddler stage of development. He wants to explore the world on his own. He won’t necessarily listen to you either. At this point, you might want to begin introducing some obedience commands and regaining your control in the relationship.
Things will probably get a bit worse before they get better because your dog will start teething and will be irritable. He will also chew on anything he can get his mouth around.
By six months, your puppy will be well on his way to adulthood. The transition from puppy to adult dog varies among different breeds but by the time your little puppy celebrates his second birthday he will officially be no longer a baby.