Dogs are the most popular and omnipresent domestic organisms in the world. These mammals have lived parallely with human beings as hunting buddies for over 12,000 years now. Since dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste, they are great companions for hunting purposes. Overtime, human beings identified these characteristics and created new breeds, based on need and want. Dogs are domestic mammals that fall under the family Canidae and the order Carnivores. The dogs are a subspecies of Canis lupus, also known as gray wolf. Dogs are also related to the species of foxes and jackals. The evolution of dogs from gray wolves gave rise to around 400 species of dogs.
Let’s look at the life cycle of a dog to get a better understanding.
Life Cycle of a Dog
1) The Puppyhood – Stage 1 –
After 63 days of gestation period, a puppy is born. The smaller breed puppies remain puppies for 6 to 18 months and are dependent on their mother and siblings. The large breed puppies enter the adolescent stage late compared to smaller breed puppies. Puppies change from their mother’s milk to consuming other solid food items after 4 weeks. The process of weaning in puppies varies from species to species. They also start teething during this time and bite everything at sight. Usually the puppy has stopped drinking mother’s milk and completely switched to food by the end of 8 weeks. During this stage, in case of domestic puppies, they ought to get all the vaccinations.
2) The Adolescent – Stage 2 –
The smaller breed of dogs enter this stage of adolescence earlier than the large breed of dogs. During this stage, the hormones start to kick in and the dog acts like a cranky teenager. If not neutered, disciplining the dog will be difficult to achieve. The dog sheds it’s puppy fur and develops to adult size. Like humans, the adolescent stage in dogs is an awkward phase, as it is not used to the new adult size.
3) The Adulthood – Stage 3 –
After one or two years, the dog enters the adult stage of his or her life. In this stage, the fully grown adult dog enjoys exercising his/her motor skills. They are physically very active and reach sexual maturity at this point. Dogs are sexually mature after 6 months or after one year; smaller breeds mature faster than bigger breeds. But, dogs are socially mature only after a couple of years. Female dogs experience their first cycle between 6 to 28 months of age. This cycle repeats twice every year after that. During this stage, the dog is trained and practised skills assigned by human beings.
4) The Seniorhood – Stage 4 –
The dog reaches this stage once he has reached the final quarter of his life expectancy. A dog reaches this stage approximately after 6 to 10 years of his life. During this stage, the dog is lazy, eats less and takes several long naps during the day. This is the most inactive stage in a dog’s life. The muzzle of the dog turns grey at this stage, indicating old age. Metabolism of the dog also slows down during this time and it tends to gain weight.
Dogs are one of two most omnipresent domesticated animals after cats across the globe. Dog species are widely known for guarding ever since hunting societies began to use them to protect themselves from predators. Because of this ability, dogs today are utilised for blind people and police investigation work. As human beings have developed a fond connection with dogs, they are used as therapy dogs in hospitals and other medical centres. Dog therapy aids in making the recovery process faster.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Dog Life Cycle
Why do dogs wag their tail?
Most dog lovers and others think dogs wag their tails when they’re happy but that is not the case. Dogs wag their tails to convey their emotions to humans or other animals.
Why do dogs lick humans?
Mother dogs licks their babies in order to communicate and other dogs lick their owners or other humans as a sign of affection. Sometimes dogs lick to discover the taste of their owner’s skin. For dogs, licking releases endorphins and decreases stress.
Why is chocolate bad for dogs?
Chocolate contains toxic elements called theobromine. Dogs process theobromine very slowly, which builds up to higher toxic levels in their systems.