New Labrador Retriever parents may wonder when the puppy stage will end, and when they reach the 1-Year mark, they might think they’ve finally hit that milestone.
What do I need to know about my 1-year-old Lab?
A 1-Year-Old Labrador Retriever is nearly grown but still has a few things to develop before it can be called a mature adult dog. Caught between being a puppy and an adult, they can slide back and forth daily as they continue to grow and mature.
While Labradors are close to being fully grown and mature, at 1-Year Old, much is still happening in their bodies. Read along to discover this first-year milestone and all the exciting changes.
1-Year-Old Labrador Retriever – What You Need to Know
By 1-Year-Old, Labrador Retrievers are pushing the limits of their puppy growth by leaps and bounds. Approaching the mature adult phase of life at about 2 Years Old, these puppies are big in size and personality.
When it comes to weight, they can weigh anywhere from 50 pounds to 80 pounds depending on gender and breeding. This isn’t a one size fits all, but many Labrador Retrievers will fit into this size range at this point.
Measuring to the withers, 1-Year-Old Labrador Retrievers will be 21 to 25 inches. At about this age, many Labradors will have reached their full maturity in height. Beyond this point, up until about 2 Years Old, they will continue to put on weight.
At 1-year-old, Labrador Retrievers will be strong, athletic, and muscular and look almost like adult dogs minus a few pounds and some subtle changes. Their teeth, ears, and body parts are grown and will subtly fill in.
Mental Development, Emotions, and Behavior
Physical growth always happens faster than mental, emotional, and behavioral. At 1-year-old, a Labrador Retriever will still be developing much on the inside regarding their mind, behavior, character, and personality.
Highly intelligent, these pets will continue to absorb information about their home and life outside themselves until close to 2 Years Old. While they may be trained, review periods and continual learning will ensure they understand and accept what’s taught.
They will continue to be a pup at heart and, in their mind, with that curious personality that has them testing the boundaries daily. Labrador Retrievers will learn even more if their curious mind is enriched in a loving channeled way.
Since, at 1 Year, they continue to be curious and display puppy behaviors, parents will need to find ways to exhaust their minds, so they are tired and don’t find trouble. Games and toys designed to focus all that intelligence on a particular task can make this more enjoyable for everyone.
At the age of 1-Year-Old it’s a great time for parents to focus their dogs’ energy on other training. If the family would benefit from a therapy or assistance dog, this dog breed is perfect for the task, and it comes naturally to them and can benefit everyone in the household.
Even if this skill isn’t necessary, using their gift of deep connection and attentiveness and channeling it into having a Labrador Retriever help around the house, yard, or with the family enriches their life and mind.
Nearly out of the puppy phase, many of the fears they might have are long gone, provided the parents and family have been attentive to them. While this may be the case, parents should still respond appropriately to issues like separation anxiety.
At this point, a 1-Year-Old Labrador Retriever has reached their reproductive maturity, which can cause changes to its behavior. However, they are still very much a puppy in their mind and behaviorally.
Continuing their training and providing social moments will foster a healthy, intelligent, and well-adjusted dog by the time the 1-year-old moves to 2 Years Old.
Exercise, Diet, and Sleep
At 1-Year-Old, a Labrador Retriever should have at least 1 hour of exercise and playtime daily. The more interesting, engaging, and changeable these activities are, the betters since it fosters higher intelligence.
If they are intensely energetic, they can easily have a bit more exercise daily; anywhere up to 2 hours is good. Some couch potato Labrador Retrievers will try to avoid exercise, and at least a minimum of 1 hour is important.
Including games and activities that engage their mind are best, so the fun is double duty, fostering mental intelligence while tiring out the Labrador Puppy.
Their diet should be nutrient-rich, with frozen fruits and veggies as snacks. Whether wet or dry, dog food should be protein-rich without adding fillers, additives, preservatives, and unnecessary ingredients that don’t add to the dog’s diet.
Their dog food should contain healthy amounts of protein, with approximately 20-25% protein from healthy sources like chicken and lamb. Fat content is also important, with healthy fats making up about 8-9%.
Labrador Retrievers should be fed 2 times per day for good digestive health and to promote good overall health and maintain a healthy weight. Overfeeding a dog at one meal can cause tummy troubles. While their dietary needs have leveled off a bit, they will still need a lot of food.
Labradors at 1-Year-Old will need about 3 cups of food per day. A bit more or less is fine, but it’s a good idea to be consistent at this stage since they are still growing and developing inside. Their size, gender, activity level, and food choice will determine how much food is right.
When it comes to sleep, a 1-year-old Labrador Retriever will need anywhere from 14-18 hours per day. This is just an average as they are not a puppy anymore but not yet a fully grown adult.
Adult dogs need 8-14 hours per day, and puppies need about 18-20 hours per day. Depending on where the 1-Year-Old puppy sits with their development, they might need more or less.
As they are not truly a fully grown adult nor a puppy anymore, their sleep needs can fluctuate from one day to the next depending on their development, activity level, and nutrition.
Parents should promote healthy sleep by providing multiple spots in the home for good-quality rest and naps. In addition, they should continue to provide breaks throughout the day’s activities for rest time, even if the puppy doesn’t sleep.
By 1-Year-Old, a Labrador Retriever can hold their bathroom breaks until they can go outside. They should be able to hold their bladder for at least a few hours, like 5-6 but could go longer.
Bathroom breaks should be over at night unless they haven’t had a good visit to the potty before bed. Still, accidents can happen, but they are rare. With good training and behavior, Labrador Retrievers should be able to communicate with body language when they have to go.
Such actions might include standing at the door they usually go out and giving a bark to remind mom or dad they need to go out.
By 2 Years Old, they are mature and fully grown, it may seem like a long way away, but it won’t be long until they are completely grown!