When is a puppy fully grown?" That question is probably not foremost in your thoughts when you bring a new puppy into your life. That adorable little face, those huge soulful eyes, and that cute wiggle when he walks are what come to mind when thinking about your new pup.
But gradually, as your puppy gets older and perhaps a bit destructive, you may find yourself wishing that he would grow out of some of those youthful traits and begin acting more like an adult dog. By the time he's chewed your third pair of shoes you will probably begin to wonder...
"When will this puppy be fully grown?"
Although there are some similarities between early development stages of canine babies and human babies, the development process is much quicker for dogs.
Newborn puppies go through many changes during their first three weeks . They open their eyes, start to walk, and begin to act like a little dog. During this early stage they are not aware of much of the world beyond "mom" and their siblings.
Somewhere between the third and fourth week of your puppy's life, his senses of sight, smell, and hearing develop quickly. Suddenly, you will see that he has discovered that there is much more to the world than just his canine family. His relationship with his new human family will begin to take shape. This is a critical period in the development of your puppy's personality and behavior. As much as possible, try to avoid stressful or traumatic experiences as they may have a major impact on how your dog will behave as he approaches adulthood.
Your puppy will begin learning proper pack "etiquette" during the fifth through seventh weeks. If he begins to bite too hard or play too rough, his canine "mom" will correct him. These early lessons allow him to develop some of the social skills he will put to use as he interacts with humans and other dogs.
For the first three months of his life your puppy will experience many new things. Whenever possible, try to make these learning experiences positive. In doing so you are much more likely to avoid behavioral problems as he enters adulthood.
After about three months your puppy enters his "toddler" stage of development. He gains more independence and explores his world as he sees fit, not at the prompting of his mother or his human family. Shoes, furniture, books, and just about anything within reach will fascinate him. He will also learn what they taste like when he begins teething. This is a good time to begin very basic obedience training and establish yourself as pack leader.
Your puppy enters adolescence at around six to eight months, well on his way toward becoming an adult. The change from adolescent to adult varies, depending on the breed (or mix of breeds), you can be pretty sure that he has reached adulthood by the time he reaches his second birthday.