Lifestage mascot

How old is your dog?

Pre-Puppy preview image


What’s better than puppies? That’s right: your own puppy. So, what do you need to know before you take the plunge into pet parenthood?

0-2 months
0-2 months preview image

0-2 months

Welcome to the world little one. It’s all grow-grow-grow for your puppy right now, so there’s many things to prepare.

2-3 months
2-3 months preview image

2-3 months

Your puppy is ready to come home and turn your world upside down. It’s time to put your preparation into practice – and remember to take it all in!

3-6 months
3-6 months preview image

3-6 months

You’re entering a period of immense growth, lots of learning and new adventures. Bring on the play date with the big wide world!

6-12 months
6-12 months preview image

6-12 months

Your fur-baby is nearing adulthood. Can you see their grown self coming through? Sigh…they grow up so fast, don’t they?

12-18 months
12-18 months preview image

12-18 months

Your puppy has turned one and they might not be so little anymore. Make sure to book their first annual check-up.

18 months - 3 years
18 months - 3 years preview image

18 months - 3 years

Your dog is one an established family member now. Enjoy who they have become and the bond you now share at this special stage.

3 - 8 years
3 - 8 years preview image

3 - 8 years

Your dog is a full-grown adult now. They understand where their place is in your home and the wider world.

8+ years
8+ years preview image

8+ years

Just like many senior citizens, senior dogs have some extra needs. Learn to look after your best friend and support their health as they grow older.

Is my dog an Introvert or Extrovert

Dr Kate Mornement - Pet Behaviourist profile picture

Dr Kate Mornement - Pet Behaviourist

PhD in Companion Animal Behaviour, BSc(Hons) in Zoology

Dr Kate Mornement is an Applied Animal Behaviourist, Consultant and Educator to pet parents, industry, government and media. She has a PhD which focused on companion animal behaviour from Monash University and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Zoology (Animal Behaviour) from La Trobe University.

Dogs vary considerably in terms of their temperament and personality. Dog personality is typically assessed using a modified version of a human personality assessment which measures The Big Five personality traits. These traits include extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Each trait is measured on a continuum and individuals can fall anywhere on these continuums. The Big Five are believed to stay relatively stable throughout an individual’s life.

Where your dog falls on the Extroversion continuum can have a strong influence on their behaviour.

So what do introverted and extroverted mean and how can you tell where your dog falls on the scale?

What does introverted and extroverted mean?

In people, introversion refers to a tendency to feel more comfortable focusing on their inner thoughts, ideas and imagination, rather than what's happening externally. Introverts prefer to spend time with just one or two people, rather than large groups or crowds. Whereas extroverted people tend to enjoy and focus more on the outside world. Extroverts are known to be warm, positive, gregarious and enjoy excitement and socialising.

Is my dog an introvert or extrovert?

To identify if your dog is an introvert or extrovert, observe their behaviour in a variety of situations.

Signs of introversion in dogs include easily becoming overwhelmed and anxious in new situations or following a change in routine and prefer to watch other dogs from a distance rather than joining in the play.

Introverted dogs enjoy a quiet life and consistent routine and are best matched to owners who are calm and can help their shy dogs feel safe.

Whereas signs of extroversion in dogs could be: wanting to be the centre of attention, greeting visitors and strangers enthusiastically, loving trips to the dog park to play with other dogs as well as visiting new places and having new experiences.

Extroverted dogs make a great match for social and active owners.

It’s important to acknowledge that dogs can display traits of both extroversion (e.g. enjoyment of play), and introversion (e.g. guarding resources such as their food or favourite bed). This change in trait can be context specific meaning a dog may exhibit introverted behaviour in certain situations despite its extroversion, and vice versa.

Taking care of an introverted dog

Given the traits of an introverted dog and their tendency to experience anxiety more often and acutely, how best can you take care of your introverted dog? Recognising when your introverted dog is no longer calm and relaxed in a situation and removing them from that situation can help ease anxiety, as can some reassurance. Provide your introverted dog with some quiet time every day and avoid forcing them to interact with other dogs or people if that’s something they don’t enjoy or a situation that causes them anxiety.

Taking care of an extroverted dog

If you have an extroverted dog, taking care of them should involve having boundaries in place and a consistent routine. Extroverted dogs often push the boundaries and can become overexuberant and overstimulated more easily. Training is essential for canine extroverts so they learn appropriate behaviour when interacting with people and other dogs.

Extroverted dogs also enjoy lots of exercise and mental stimulation as they can become bored easily. Providing enrichment for your extroverted dog can help ensure they don’t find ways to entertain themselves, such as digging up the backyard, barking at passers-by or chewing things they shouldn’t.

Can you identify whether your dog is introverted, extroverted, or perhaps a bit of both depending on the situation?

Pet Paw-Trol

Promotion preview

Free Puppy Training Guide

Your puppy training guidebook.

Get yours now.

Promotion preview

Pet of the Month

Will your pet win a VitaPet Gift Pack?

Enter your Pet Now