“When do puppies stop growing” is one of those questions that pet parents have been asking forever. From dog conventions to the vet’s clinic, people ask it everywhere. And seeing the popularity of this question we couldn’t help but try to answer it.
So, how long do puppies keep on growing?
While most puppies stop growing after 12 to 18 months, no two pups are the same. As unrewarding as the answer may seem, there is nobody on this planet that can accurately predict when will your puppy stop growing.
The age at which puppies stop growing depends a lot on the puppy’s breed, genes, diet, and a whole host of other factors. It is not to say that you can’t make an accurate guess. Tools and techniques exist to help people figure out the age at which the growth of their puppy stops. Read on as we go through everything you need to know about puppy growth.
When Will My Puppy Stop Growing?
The timeline for a puppy’s growth varies from breed to breed. So, no two puppies will stop growing at the same time. For instance, small breeds will reach their full size more quickly than medium-sized breeds. The same holds true for large breeds.
That said, puppies, in general, reach their full size between 12 and 18 months. Smaller breeds tend to lie on the shorter side of this range and larger breed on the, you guessed it, larger.
However, 12 to 18 months is just a general idea. Pups belonging to some breed will see their body parts grow fully before or even after this period. Therefore, take this as a pretty good assumption that can help you plan for your pup’s future. But don’t abuse it. If you stick to it too hard, you may need to throw those extra-large leashes away down the line.
Does Breed Size Impact Your Puppy's Growth?
These questions demonstrate the fact that yes, breed size does impact puppy growth. And so, you can take a look at breed size alone and can predict how long do puppies take to grow.
Small breeds are the fastest growing of the trio. Because these pups will grow to be small, they don’t have to grow a lot. As a result, their body frames will develop fully in about 4-6 months. Once the frames have stopped growing, the pups will start to put on weight. They will continue to put on weight until about 12 months. So, after a year of rapid growth, most small puppies stop growing.
Medium-sized breeds like the Beagles grow rapidly for the first 12 months of their life. During this time their bones grow which, in turn, enlarges their frame. At the end of the 12 months, most of the pups of this breed size have fully formed frames.
After the pups develop full frames, they start to put on weight. This is the time in which they need plenty of nutrition and exercising opportunities.
Finally, they stop putting on weight after 18 months. That said, pups of some breeds may keep growing even after 18 months. So, don’t be surprised if your pup ends up going on a growing spree longer than you expected.
If you haven’t already figured out, there is a pattern to the size of the pup and the time it takes for the pup to fully grow. Large breeds follow this pattern as well.
Although the initial growth of large breed dogs is fast, large breeds such as German Shepherds take quite a while to fully grow up. The initial growth phase lasts for 8-12 weeks. Once this is over, it takes large breed pups 15-18 months to fully form. Even after 18 months, the pups can continue to put on weight for two years.
Owing to their massive bodies, the giant breeds like Mastiff are the slowest to grow.
The initial growth phase for pups of giant breeds lasts for 18-24 months. After the frame has formed fully, the dogs start to put on weight. The weight gain can continue for 2-3 years.
How Can I Estimate My Dog's Size?
A good way to estimate your dog’s size is to look at the size of the grown dogs of a similar breed. Then you can estimate when your puppy may stop growing. But this approach doesn’t always work.
When it comes to mixed breeds, there is no way to accurately predict the size of a pup. In such a case, puppy growth charts and puppy growth calculators come in handy.
Puppy Size Calculators
There are quite a few puppy size calculators online. For instance, this puppy growth calculator uses an algorithm that takes in weight, gender, and age among other things to predict the size of your pup.
The calculator linked above is only one example. There are tens more on the internet. And because no two size calculators are the same, the results can vary. So, a good strategy is to try a bunch of different size calculators and take the average size as a good estimation.
Puppy Weight Charts
If you have a purebred, you can estimate how large your pup will grow by looking up a weight chart.
Puppy weight charts list the possible weight of the dogs of a breed against their age. The charts give the weight estimation by looking at the average size of a healthy dog of the particular breed, at that particular age. As a result, the charts don’t take into account any genetic issues, underlying health issues, and nutrition. Therefore, your pup may end up bigger or smaller than what the chart indicates.
Yet another way to guess the future size of your pup is to look at growth charts. Growth charts list the size of different breeds at different ages. So, you can weigh your pup, and compare the results with the size of other pups of the same age with a growth chart.
For purebreds, the estimation is quite simple. You just look up the average size of the breed against the age. For mixed-breeds, you have to look at the breeds of both parents, their average size, and then make a guess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just like pups, the questions regarding their growth grow even after. While we can’t deal with all of them, here are the answers to some of the burning ones.
Puppy paws don’t determine size, it is just a myth. While there are people who claim that puppy paws can be used as an indicator for size, there is no empirical evidence that supports this. There are too many genetic factors involved when it comes to the size of a puppy.
So, it would be better for you to ignore the paws and look at things like size charts. For purebreds, looking at the parents will give you a good idea about the future size of your pup. For mixed-breeds, especially the ones whose ancestry is not known, nothing is a solid indicator of future growth.
Dogs don’t grow fully in 7 months. Small breeds, which are the fasted growing, take about 6 to 8 months to form a full figure. These breeds need another 6 to 2 months for full growth. Similarly, medium-sized breeds also don’t grow in 7 months as they, too, need 12 to 15 months for a full figure. After their body has formed fully, medium breeds need an additional 6 months to put on full weight.
Moving on, large breeds need 15 to 18 months to form a full figure and about 2 years to put on weight.
Finally, giant breeds like Mastiffs need 18 months to get big, and 2 to 3 years to put on the maximum amount of weight.
There are a few things that you can do to estimate when your 5-month-old puppy will stop growing:
– Take a look at the average size of the full-grown members of its breed. Your pup will likely grow up to be the same size
– Observe the size of your pup’s parents. If your puppy is a pure-breed, it’s size will be the same as his ancestors
– Size charts and puppy growth charts can also help you determine how large your puppy will grow
If you have a mixed-breed puppy, you can determine the size by comparing it with dogs of other breeds.
In the end, all you can do is make an estimate. There is no concrete answer to this question.
Some of the most common reasons as to why your puppy is not growing are:
– The presence of intestinal worms such as hookworms and roundworms. These worms can hijack all the nutrients from your puppy’s body, leaving him undernourished
– Malnourishment can result in slow growth. Although malnourishment doesn’t stunt growth, it can slow it down considerably. But beware. Overfeeding is not a solution to this problem
– The large and giant breeds take a while to fully grow. So, if your pup belongs to those breeds, be patient
Underlying genetic factors can also stunt growth in pups.
All in all, make sure your puppy has regular de-worming sessions with your veterinarian and is getting proper nutrition. Do this and your puppy will grow up fine.
The age that a puppy grows fully depends on the breed. For instance, small breed puppies stop growing in about a year. While large breeds take 2 years to reach their full size.
So, figure out the breed of your dog, and you can figure out the age at which your puppy will be full grown.
Your puppy’s final size and growth rate has a lot of influential factors. Consider their breed size, genetics, gender, and health to find the right answer.