Are dogs aware of the length of time

How long is a puppy a puppy? Or: The puppy era goes by faster than some people think.

About the fact how long a puppy is a puppy, i.e. how long the puppy time lasts and from when one speaks of a young dog, seems to be unclear again and again.

Our dog school regularly receives inquiries about the puppy meeting or puppy training in general. In a phone call it often turns out that the so-called puppy is already a young dog or even an adult dog.

How long is the puppy time now?

There is of course no “day X” when everything changes overnight according to the motto “a puppy yesterday evening, a young dog this morning”, but the puppy period generally lasts until around 16 weeks of age. A little longer (up to the 18th week of life) than a little bit shorter.

Small breeds tend to develop faster than large breeds physically and mentally. Nevertheless, the development always depends on the individual himself. However, this does not mean that there are also “eight-month-old puppies”. At the latest when they reach the 18th week of life one speaks of a young dog.

Mental and physical development as a guide

The mental development of the respective individual - measured among other things by social behavior elements and behavior patterns - is sometimes also used as a point of reference for the end of the puppy period.

Occasionally, the physical development, more precisely the change of teeth, which takes place from the fourth month of life, is referred to as a clue for the end of the puppy period.

Nevertheless, the following applies: the puppy is a young dog by the time it is 18 weeks old.

Why should you know when the puppy season is over?

It is an advantage if a puppy owner knows how long their dog has been a puppy. With the end of the puppy period, the so-called imprint-like phase also ends. Even if opinions differ here, whether this time ends with the 16th or 18th week of the dog's life, the dog owner should use this time very consciously to prepare his dog as well as possible for the rest of his life. In addition to building bonds with caregivers, general contact with people and inanimate objects and noises, this also includes learning the rules of living together.

If you assume that a dog has been a puppy for much longer, you may miss out on the above points in depth because you think you have a lot more time for this. In the sensitive phase up to the 16th to 18th week of life, learning all these things is still very easy for the dog and is particularly good.