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Study Says Dogs Also Go Through Puberty

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91736 study says dogs also go through puberty

How does the physical maturity of dogs compare to that of human adolescents?

Dogs Also Go Through Puberty

It turns out that dogs may have another commonality with teenagers, they also go through puberty. According to a study recently published in the journal Developmental Psychobiology, most dogs experience significant physiological, behavior and neurobiological changes during the time they transition from puppyhood to adulthood.

Changes During Puberty

At puberty, dogs changes their behavior, which usually results in becoming more independent and also more active. They may also exhibit impulsive behavior that can be different from their normal traits, such as becoming more aggressive and/or excited around food. Some dogs may also show sign of restlessness, pick fights more often, or be less obedient than before.

Not all change is behavioral, some physiological changes to occur during puberty as well. This includes a change in metabolism, an increase in body temperature, changes in the pituitary gland, an increase in vaginal cells, and noticeable changes in hormones, such as testosterone.

Importance of Early Spay/Neuter

Due to the changes that occur during puberty, it is important to spay or neuter your pet before they reach that stage. Early spay/neuter allows dogs to avoid the health risks associated with going through the maturity process, such as testicular cancer, breast cancer, and uterine infections. Spaying and neutering your dog can also help reduce their chances of developing behavior problems.

Signs of Puberty in Your Dog

• Increased energy levels

• Hair growth in unexpected places

• Abnormal nervousness or aggression

• More frequent urination

• Changes in social behavior

It’s important to pay attention to these changes in your pet as they can be markers for when puberty is about to start.


Dogs do indeed go through puberty, just like any other mammal. While this can be a difficult time for both your pet and you, it is important to know the signs of puberty in order to provide your dog with the needed care and protection. Early spay/neuter of your pet is key in avoiding the health risks associated with the onset of maturity. As with any other times of life changes, going through these transitions with your pet will help you both navigate these changes.

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