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What to Expect from Your 12-month-old Puppy

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Your puppy is entering adulthood, and by most is now considered a "dog"! Some 12-month-old dogs still act like adolescents and others are more mature. They should understand their rank and place in the family. The trial-and-error learning phase is over and they should be outgrowing their impulse to take everything in their mouth and chew on it. Most 12 month olds are still playful and curious and needs to have plenty of opportunity for exercise. Your dog should be housebroken and sleep through the night.

The following list will help you know what to expect from your dog at 12 months of age.

  • How Big? - Most 1-year-old dogs are very close to their adult size and weight. Some large or giant breed dogs are slower to develop and may continue to mature up to 24 months of age.

  • Teething – By this age, 12-month-old dogs will have all of their permanent teeth which include 42 teeth. Take care of them with daily brushing.

  • Senses – 1-year-old dogs have senses very close to their fully mature adult senses. Their sense of smell is their most refined sense. Adult dogs do not have a real sense of taste as we know it and gains most of their information about food from their sense of smell. They have a mature sense of vision, however their color vision is limited and colors may appear muted to them. Their ability to see detail is limited, however they see well in dim light are very sensitive to movement. The dog's ability to hear is incredibly acute. Touch is the first sense the dog develops and remains a important sense. The most sensitive nerve endings are along the spine and towards the tail, and dogs show great enthusiasm in pats or extended rolls and slides on the grass.

  • Ability to Hold Urine - 12-month-old dogs can generally hold their urine for about 7 to 8 hours. Some can hold it longer but you should give your dog the opportunity to go out at least every 7 to 8 hours if you expect them to not have an accident.

  • Intelligence – Some-12 month-old puppies still act like adolescences and others are more mature as they enter "adulthood". Most are still playful and curious and need plenty of exercise.

  • Agility – Most puppies that are 12 months old very strong and coordinated with at least 90% of their adult coordination and development. They can play with excellent accuracy.

  • Sleep – Puppies that are 1 year old have very close to adult sleeping habits and may sleep 14 – 18 hours per day. Dogs sleep more than us, but they wake more frequently than we do. How much and when they sleep depends on the level of activity in their environment. A dog living as a pet in the home is likely to sleep more than a dog that works for a living, like a search and rescue dog or a dog working on a farm.

  • Physical Appearance & Hair Coat – By this age, most dogs have their adult coat. They will continue shedding and benefit from being brushed. Your dog will look very much like an adult at this age.

  • Puberty – Your 1 year old dog is sexually mature if not "fixed" and is cable producing babies. If your pet is not fixed and you do not plan to breed him or her, please discuss this with your veterinarian.

    Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 12-month-old Old Puppy

  • Keep crate training
  • Groom daily
  • Brush teeth daily
  • Feed once to twice daily
  • Make sure he gets plenty of exercise!
  • Provide free choice access to fresh water!
  • Switch toys
  • Don't overfed, prevent obesity!
  • Give positive reinforcement for work well done
  • Take him out at least every 8 hours
  • Make sure his collar is not too tight
  • Update ID tag if worn out
  • Schedule your puppies year-old visit with your vet

    Read about What your 12-month-old Puppy Needs to Stay Healthy!


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