Adulthood

The adult stage of a dog’s life cycle begins at about 18 months for smaller breeds and up to 3 years for larger breeds.

Dogs become easier to manage, as their earlier training pays off, although they still enjoy walks, play and mental stimulation.

During the adult years, your dog will:

  • Settle into their size and personality. The height and weight of adult dogs should level off, as your pup is fully grown. Their basic temperament is well established by now, too.
  • Mellow out. Your dog’s constant, urgent need to play will probably lessen a little. Your dog isn’t going to curl up with a good book (unless they’re chewing on it) any time soon, but they may not protest if you shorten their fetch session by a toss or two.
  • Continue to mature mentally. Although, the signs of this may be more subtle. At this stage, there won’t be huge jumps in your dog’s development, but it’s still important to provide plenty of learning and training opportunities.

It is a great time to find activities that you and your dog can enjoy together, such as agility classes or hill walking.