Turning two for dogs is similar to turning 18 for humans in one big way: you've both entered into the young adult phase of your lives. At the age of two, dogs have physically, mentally and emotionally matured to a point where they no longer act or look like puppies. Of course they'll still have quite a bit of energy and youthfulness, but dogs at this age have gone through some significant changes. Here's a general idea of what to expect when your dog turns two:
By the time most dogs turn two, they have typically reached physical maturity (large dogs, like Great Danes, sometimes need an extra year). This means that their bodies have finished developing and, more specifically, that they have:
- Reached their adult height and weight (and need less food to maintain a healthy weight).
- Permanent, larger adult teeth (replacing the sharp, little puppy teeth).
- Adult coat, which they'll have for the rest of their life (replacing the fuzzy, puppy fur).
- "Closed" growth plates in their legs (meaning the calcium and minerals around their bones have hardened).
Mentally & Emotionally Mature
Dogs also become more mentally and emotionally mature by the time they turn two years old. This means that they've grown out a lot of their old puppy behaviors. You'll likely see:
- Less chewing things they shouldn't.
- Less getting into things they shouldn't.
- Less likely to be rambunctious.
- Easier and more reliable to train (especially for training that requires more focus, concentration, attentiveness and self-control).
- More obedient and better at listening to commands.
So while we all love puppies and how irresistibly adorable they are, the next phase of their life is an exciting one, filled with lots of growth and learning!