Dog Ages & Dog Stages
From bouncing baby pup to elderly matriarch, your dog will express different needs — and tender a range of rewards — at each stage of her life. Puppies are demanding and energetic, adolescents unpredictable. Adult dogs are eager and self-assured, and by the time they're seniors, they will have slowed to a comfortably lazy pace.
On average, smaller dogs mature faster and live longer than larger breeds; bigger dogs mature later and generally know shorter spans of adulthood and senior citizenship. That said, every dog develops and ages at her own rate. The following is a rough breakdown of the stages of canine life:
• Puppyhood ends between six and 18 months of age.
• Adolescence starts between six and 18 months of age.
• Adulthood starts between 12 months and three years of age.
• The senior years begin between six and 10 years of age.
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