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Your dog’s personality changes as it gets older, new study finds

Posted at 6:57 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 09:31:22-04

If your dog has been with your family for years, you may have noticed they've changed since you first adopted them, not just physically, but in their behavior. A recent study published in Scientific Reports confirms that.

Researchers say a behavior may stay the same, but the way dogs express it will change.

For instance, if dogs are active and curious when they're younger, they'll still be that way in comparison to other dogs when they get older. However, they may not be as interested in discovering things as they once were.

“We know that dogs can become much more mellow,” said Alex Blutinger, Crical Care and Emergency Specialist at Blue Pearl Veterinary Hospital. “They can become less active, less interested in other animals and other environmental factors around them.”

In comparison to humans, there's less of a need for dogs to change their personality over time.

Dogs only need to meet basic criteria in order to function.

Their prime time for development is between puppy age and 7 years old.

“You could deduce from it that if your dog has good habits, up until the age of 7, they might retain those habits for the rest of their lives because at that point, it hits their maximum maturity level. At the same time, bad habits might stick as well,” said Blutinger.

If you're looking to adopt a puppy, be aware they likely won't be the same dog 10 years down the road. Their personality shouldn't be all that counts.