At what age is the dog considered to be an adult?

The notion of adulthood in dogs is quite subtle because it depends on several factors. It is in any case important for the owner to know if his dog is considered as an adult or is still in the category of puppies, if only to give him a targeted diet that perfectly meets his needs, or even in order to him administer an appropriate treatment without exposing the health of his little companion to risks. Here is everything you need to know to classify your dog in the category that suits him without the risk of making a mistake.

Adulthood in dogs: a question of breed

According to a study carried out in Japan in 2015 on 300,000 dogs all breeds combined, it appears that these animals are living longer and longer due to the fact that they are more regularly monitored by their veterinarian than before and benefit from treatment for the slightest health problem. The table below shows statistical data of course, because the longevity of an animal is also linked to its way of life. These are averages. As for the adulthood of each category, it is also variable from one dog to another, but the ranges nevertheless remain moderate. We can still consider these indications as relatively telling.




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 (weight less than 10 kg)

Between 9 and 12 months

14.2 years

Some notable differences were noted within the same racial category. As for adulthood, it can vary, but only by a few months at most, between siblings from the same litter. Note also that a slight disparity exists between male dogs and the bitches belonging to the same breed, the latter entering adulthood a little earlier than the former. As for the weight, this is obviously the healthy weight. Leanness, overweight or obesity are not taken into account. Size and weight are therefore determined based on standards of each canine breed.

To find out the adult age of a crossbreed dog (which is therefore not purebred), we assess its adulthood according to the size and weight of both parents in order to get an idea.

Changes in adult dogs

The physical maturity of a dog is decisive since the dog is considered to be an adult when his growth is completed. So he reached his final size and we can see the many changes he has undergone over the months in terms of size, weight and muscles for example.

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

Finally, among the metamorphoses that the dog undergoes between his youngest age and his entry into the category of adult dogs, they are also ofbehavioral order. 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 an adult. In fact, the earlier it is socialized, the better it will behave around humans, its congeners, and other pets. Conversely, a dog not taken in hand, more or less left to himself or on the contrary raised too severely and inconsistently has all the chances of having disorders of the socialization and behavior when he is no longer a puppy or an adolescent dog. Moreover, the recovery in hand of a poorly educated adult dog may require the intervention of a dog trainer.

It is very important that in adulthood all the education of the animal is completed, that a complicity could be set up between his master and him but also that a emotional bond has been woven between the animal and other members of the family. This is absolutely fundamental for humans to be able to share their daily life with an adult dog. obedient who does not pose any problem and who is also able to accept people from outside the home without ever showing signs of aggression. In short, the adult dog must feel good about himself and not represent any danger to others.

Knowing the age at which his dog will be considered as an adult is therefore very important for a master, because it allows him to anticipate this period of life and make every effort to ensure that the education of his little companion is completed on time.

As to how old is a dog on a human scale, this is not of much interest, although many owners like to indulge in this little calculation. Man and dog do not develop in the same way at all, and it should also be noted that the life expectancy of a human is unrelated to his adulthood. 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 adulthood and its life expectancy, these two data varying according to the size of the dog, itself being directly linked to the size of the dog. breed of animal.

Moreover, these data are very important for the companies ofanimal health insurance who are very numerous to fix an age limit depending on the breed of the animal beyond which they no longer agree to take out a new contract: it is a question of longevity and therefore, of the extent of the risks …