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When is a Puppy Considered a Dog

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
When is a Puppy Considered a Dog

Wondering when your puppy is considered a dog is a normal question, not only because you want to be aware of the growth and maturity of your pet, but because this information is essential to determine the type of food to give them when they become adults. If you want to know the answer to this common question, OneHowTo.com is here to help.

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Steps to follow:


First we need to realise that dogs mature at different speeds depending on breed and size, so there is no universal age when the dog is no longer a puppy, but rather it depends on the type of dog you have.


If your dog is small breed like a Chihuahua, Poodle or Bulldog, or a medium breed like a Basset, Cocker Spaniel or Beagle, your dog is no longer a puppy between 10 and 12 months.

When is a Puppy Considered a Dog - Step 2

For large breed dogs like Golden Retrievers, Greyhounds or Huskies, and giant breeds like Great Danes, Neapolitan Mastiffs or St. Bernard are no longer puppies around 18 months, so big dogs are generally more childlike and playful than small ones.

When is a Puppy Considered a Dog - Step 3

As you may know, dogs go through several different stages when transitioning from puppy to fully grown dog. No matter the breed, it is said that a dog reaches adult age after it's passed the last of these steps which include typical adolescent behaviour.

To be more specific, dogs in adolescence will have a challenging behaviour, will be highly curious, playful and will show signs of sexual behaviour. If your dog has been spayed or neutered, you may not notice any sign of sexual awakening.

Therefore, once your puppy is over this stage, it can be considered a dog.

You will notice your dog will usually assume a more dominant role, this is another indication that your puppy has reached maturity. Your dog will also shed it's adolescent coat of fur and will grow it's adult fur.


Though puppies may be considered dogs, some may continue growing and some will have grown to their full size without having reached adulthood. If you want to know when your dog will stop growing it's important to know that the final size of your dog can be told when the dog has not increased in size for 2 to 3 months.


However these are approximations that may vary depending on the dog and its environment, so it is important that before changing from puppy to adult food, have your dog checked by your veterinarian, who will have the final say on the right time to make the change.

If you want to read similar articles to When is a Puppy Considered a Dog, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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When is a Puppy Considered a Dog