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Dog Years to Human Years: How Dog Years Work


Dog Years to Human YearsDog Years Compared to Human Years

A dog’s age times (X) seven is the classic formula for calculating how old a dog is in “human years to dog years.” While this formula is generally accepted, it oversimplifies the lifespan of dogs and misleads owners into thinking that all dogs are the same. Dogs are like children—there is no magic formula. Expecting a magic formula is detrimental to the owner’s expectations of his or her dog, as well as the dog’s short term and long term well-being. That is why I do not put much faith in a dog years to human years chart.

Unlike children, however, dogs come in many breeds varying in both shape and size. There are many generalities about the respective breeds, such as illnesses, likes, dislikes, lifespan, and activity that first-time dog adopters use as magic formulas for finding the “perfect breed.” While generalities are generally true, there are always exceptions. There are also life-stages that may prove to be contrary to a breed’s general nature.

Dog Years to Human Years Stages

The puppy phase is usually such a life stage. This is the “terrible twos” of dog years, meaning about the first two human years will be filled with trouble. Dog owners can expect their puppy to have trouble sleeping through the night, multiple accidents, belongings chewed, high-pitch whining and barking, stubbornness, as well as needing frequent trips to the vet. Puppies will grow out of the “puppy phase” as they mature, are trained, and are socialized. Owners can watch as their dog slowly becomes more independent and explorative as long as they take care to peruse the latter two.

The adult phase initiates when a puppy matures into a full-grown dog. This comes at a different time for every dog and is hard to identify a clear-cut start time due to no clear indication (outside of X-ray) to when a dog stops growing until after the fact. This stage typically accounts for the majority of a dog’s lifespan and is when the breed’s characteristics are manifest. Furthermore, this is when a dog’s personality is usually cemented and his or her routines are typically fixed. Poor training and/or poor socialization in the dog’s puppy years may cause persistent problems in this phase.

The senior phase is the latter years of a dog’s life. It is different for every dog, and is typically initiated when a dog shows signs of aging, such as less activity. Any issue not resolved in the beginning to middle of the adult phase will usually remain throughout the rest of the dog’s life without the right training. Some senior dogs might also pick up some strange habits that require a little training. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but to do so requires them to have a patient and persistent trainer.

An owner expecting a dog with dependable traits throughout his or her lifespan will remain disappointed. Dogs, like people, grow, learn, and mature. Each one is different. Expecting otherwise affects how an owner treats his or her dog, which in turn affects the dog’s well-being. A good owner recognizes that each dog has his or her own quirks, but also recognizes that these quirks are what make up his or her dog’s identity.

If you would like a good dog years to human years calculator, I suggest the one from Pedigree.

Sources: NFexec of goldenretrieverforum.com

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