28 Nov, 2022
Your pup has turned 1 year old! Has it really been that long? It feels like we were holding them in our arms for the first time just yesterday. The puppy stage is never easy, and it is in all likelihood that there have been some ups and downs in the first year. Yes, your dog may have chewed up a couple pairs of sneakers, yes, your puppy has likely trashed your apartment, and yes, your puppy has peed so much on the floor that you've become numb to it. But, while challenging, it will all be worth it. This is the age when your dog's personality really starts to shine through, and they begin to develop mentally. Here are some different things that you can expect from your 1-year-old puppy at this stage:
For most dogs, this is around the age your pup has fully matured physically. For some larger dog breeds, physical maturity can take up to 2 years. Dog owners that decide to have their puppy neutered have likely already reached this stage by now. If not, this is also a perfectly acceptable time to have the procedure done. The neutering procedure can prevent certain diseases and aggressive behavior (especially for male dogs). However, we always recommend speaking to your vet to decide what is best for you and your dog. At this age, your doggo should have all 42 of their permanent teeth grown in. If they got into the bad habit of biting or nipping, this is undoubtedly the time to work on it because those playful nips will start to hurt!
Hopefully you have been training your pup a lot up until this point, but this is the stage where it is critical to buckle down on training and break any bad habits. Your dog is developing mentally at this age, and whatever they learn now will likely carry on with them to their adult years. While every dog breed is different, it is crucial to ensure that your pup knows who the leader of the Pack is. Make sure to continue to give them firm and consistent training sessions. Socializing your puppy with other dogs is equally as important, as it will allow them to feel comfortable in the presence of other dogs and humans. The DogPack app is a great way to find a suitable playmate, as it allows you to quickly filter dogs in your area by size, type, and breed!
There is little doubt in my mind that your 1-year-old puppy has so much energy that you mistake them for a roadrunner sometimes. Daily exercise is critical for any puppy, and taking them on a long walk or for a run in the dog park is a great way to burn off any excess energy. If you are bringing your puppy to the dog park, meeting up with suitable playmates is very important. While they may look like they have reached their full size, they have not yet reached their full strength, and there is no reason that a little Chihuahua should be playing with a mature German Shepherd. At this age, your doggo will be curious and will want to explore as much as possible. Allowing them to feel comfortable off-leash is equally as important as on the leash. This can prevent them from running into potential danger in a situation where you may have dropped their leash or it came unhooked. We recommend training your dog off-leash in a secured zone with no breaks in the enclosure.
Raising a puppy is certainly a tough job, and at times it can be quite demanding. However, always remember that no great things come easy, and all the hard work that you are putting in will be well worth it. Your dog knows that you care for them, and as the years go on, they will calm down and understand that bouncing off the walls is not always necessary.