Your 1-year-old puppy has reached a huge milestone – congratulations! But it may surprise you to learn that he’s still developing into an adult. Learn what to expect with your 12-month old puppy in terms of behavior and development and what you need to know as a Doodle parent.
Your Doodle is 1 year old!
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Puppy…happy birthday to you!
Do you know what that also means? You survived the first year of Doodle parenthood! (Congrats! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through some challenges.)
Now, I’m not going to promise that it’s going to be high flying from here on out, but after all the trials and tribulations of your puppy’s first year, I know you’re going to pull through the rest of his adolescence phase like it’s a drop in the bucket.
And did I mention that you’ve still got a good 6 to 18 months left to go before the “teenage years” are over?!
At least I can say with full confidence that the worst of the puppy period is over. So, here I hand the leash over to you and wish you and your puppy many years of love and wonderful memories together!
And I thought it might interest you to learn what to expect this month with your pup, both developmentally and as a Doodle puppy parent…one last time.
Your 1-Year-Old Puppy’s First Yearly Checkup
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to schedule your dog’s first annual vet exam. Your vet will visually check your Dood over from the top of his head to the tip of his tail, go over his vaccination records, and evaluate his diet and growth.
If you have any questions, this would be a great time to ask them. Consider asking these if you don’t already know the answers:
- What adult food should I feed, and when should I begin transitioning from puppy food to dog food?
- How do I begin preventing fleas and ticks?
- Will my pup need more vaccinations?
Take some time to set the tone for a GREAT visit by being upbeat and encouraging… and bringing lots of treats! It’ll take a little extra work this time but pay itself back in spades with future visits.
Switching From Feeding Puppy Food To Adult Food
Now that your Doodle is a full-year-old, it’s time to start thinking about and planning your switch from feeding him puppy food to feeding him adult food.
Puppy food is chock full of extra calories to support puppies who are going through crazy amounts of growth and development. However, now that your pup is nearly fully grown, those extra calories can quickly become unwanted extra pounds.
Talk with your vet to develop a plan specifically for your 1-year-old puppy.
1-Year-Old Puppy Growth: Physical And Behavioral Development
While the changes that your Dood is experiencing aren’t nearly as astonishing as they were a few months ago, he is still changing. Here’s what you can expect as your puppy turns 1 year old.
12-Month Old Puppy Physical Development
- Your pup has reached sexual maturity by now. If he’s not spayed/neutered, discuss this with your vet at his annual visit.
- If your Doodle isn’t already spayed/neutered, he is likely demonstrating sexual behavior, including roaming, marking through urination, and humping.
- Your puppy is most likely fully grown unless he’s a large breed. In that case, he’s still growing at his own individual rate. However, be sure to keep track of his growth with our Doodle Puppy Growth Tracker!
- Now is the time to evaluate and discuss with your vet whether you should still be feeding puppy food and how much of it to give.
- Your Dood likely has his adult coat by now. However, if the process isn’t fully finished, continue to brush him every day to avoid matting as he sheds his puppy coat.
- Trim his nails weekly and brush his teeth regularly.
12-Month Old Puppy Behavior Development
- Your Dood is still a full-fledged adolescent, and he is likely still demonstrating testing behaviors reminiscent of human teenagers. Expect to continue to see (for a few more months):
- A rebellious side as he tests his limits.
- Puppy ignoring cues that he previously knew or acting like he “forgot” his training from time to time.
- Destructive behavior, which is often caused by boredom due to an increase in energy and confidence.
- Puppy asserts himself to you more as he explores his dominance and his role within his pack.
What To Expect As A Doodle Parent
- While behavioral issues are likely better and easier with your Dood than they have been, things may continue to be difficult from time to time while he’s still in adolescence. Instead of expecting model behavior, remind him of his training and be consistent. It’ll pay off!
- Continue to provide safe opportunities for vigorous play and exercise to limit destructive behavior.
- Celebrate his new big milestone and how far you’ve come together!
- Housetraining should be complete by now. If your pup is still having significant issues with house training, reach out to your vet for advice. There may be a medical issue going on that can be treated.
- Be sure that your Dood is safely confined to the house and yard, as he may go to great lengths to escape.
- As your puppy continues to mature, new behavior issues might pop up. Instead of assuming that he’ll grow out of it (which likely won’t happen since they’ll merely become new habits), address the issues through training. If you can’t correct or manage them on your own, consider hiring a dog trainer or behaviorist.
- During your Doodle’s occasional lapses of obedience, avoid situations that could have harmful results, such as off-leash work in an unsecured area.
- Do an evaluation once a week on how much you’re feeding your puppy to see if the amount (or type of food) needs to be adjusted.
- Avoid punishing your puppy and use redirection and training to help manage any bad behavior.
Celebrate Your 1-Year-Old Puppy
While things may not have changed very much from last month, your Dood has changed in one major way: he’s now a dog instead of a puppy. Continue to provide the opportunity to get plenty of exercise, help him learn good habits and behavior through training, and soak up tons of snuggles and belly rubs.
Now, where’s that birthday present of his favorite toy?