Whether you have the perfect dog or an incorrigible young pup you might be interested to know that yes, your dog's personality will likely change as they get older.
Similar to humans, a dogs personality changes as they age and exposed to different experiences over the course of their life. Personality change most prominently occurs until the end of middle age (~ 6 years of age) and then slows down as dogs become seniors.
Why does a dog's personality change?
Some researchers believe that personality development is genetic, while others think personality changes in response to the dog owners lifestyle and beliefs. For example owners actively shape their dogs’ behavior via training, especially at a young age. They may expect or tolerate certain behaviors from puppies or adolescent dogs than from adults or aged dogs. A dogs routine can also change with age. Older dogs generally receive less training, off-leash activity and play. All of these factors can cause personality changes as they age.
Because of this it's important to keep an eye on personality changes as they are unique to each dog. Observing the changes, can be helpful in understanding your dog's experience and how to best support them. Plus sometimes they reveal underlying health issues
A few things to remember:
Learn more about your dog's personality and cognition by joining our Dog Cognition Meetups! It's a great opportunity to play some fun games, understand your dog's abilities and personality, and meet other pet parents like you.