Those raising puppies know just how rapidly they can grow, but if you’re new to having a puppy, this can be a whole new experience. Dogs can seem to grow very fast, but then seem like they don’t grow at all. Before you know it, your puppy is a full-grown dog and you didn’t even notice it happened. If you’re asking yourself, “When do dogs stop growing?” then you’re not the only one. Just like humans, each dog grows differently, so you can never quite predict with pinpoint accuracy, but you may be able to get close.
Factors that Determine When Your Dog Will Stop Growing
When your dog stops growing is determined by a few different factors, only one of which you can really control.
A dog’s genetics play the largest part in when your dog will stop growing. If you know the parents of your puppy, you can get a rough idea of when your dog will stop growing based on when they did and what weight they ended at. This lets you know how big to expect your puppy to get by the time they’re all done growing because they will likely be around the same size as their parents.
Diet is the sole factor you can control when it comes to determining your puppy’s rate of growth. If you make sure to provide your puppy with ample nutritious food, then they will be able to get all the nutrients they need in order to grow quickly and healthily. If you don’t provide your dog with enough food while they’re growing, their growth may be slowed, or even stunted.
Gender doesn’t have too much impact on when your dog will stop growing, but it can help round out the time frame just a little. Female dogs tend to be a little smaller than their male counterparts, so they will naturally stop growing a little bit before a male dog would.
Breed Size and Growth Length
The best way to determine an estimate of when your dog will stop growing is to look at their breed size. Breed sizes have the most impact on your dog’s growth. Larger dogs require more time and nutrients to develop their bones and muscle mass, whereas smaller dogs require less time. Therefore, the larger the breed, the longer it’s going to take for them to finish growing.
Small Breed Size
A small dog breed is classified as any breed under 25 pounds. These dogs, like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers, hit a growth spurt around month 4 or month 6 and tend to be fully grown in 10-12 months, meaning they stop growing fully after 1 year.
Medium Breed Size
Medium dog breeds weigh anywhere between 25-50 pounds like the Australian Shepherd and Bulldogs. Medium dog breeds tend to double their size around weeks 8-12 and then grow steadily from there, finishing their growth somewhere between 12 and 15 months, or just over a year.
Large Breed Size
When it comes to identifying large dog breeds, they’re classified as weighing over 50 pounds. Large dog breeds include breeds like the Labrador Retriever and Pitbull. Like medium dog breeds, they usually double their size during the 8-12 week mark and then continue at a steady growth until around 18 months. It takes roughly a year and a half for large dog breeds to stop growing.
Giant Breed Size
Giant dog breeds weigh in between 100-200 pounds, making them a hefty companion. These dogs are breeds like your Great Dane or Saint Bernard. Giant dog breeds take the longest to finish growing because their skeletal frame is so large and requires an extreme amount of calcium to solidify their bones. On average, it can take giant dog breeds anywhere between 18-24 months to finish growing, but could take as long as 3 years!
When do dogs stop growing is a question every owner finds themselves asking as they buy dog bed after dog bed because their precious pooch keeps outgrowing them. When it comes to answering when dogs stop growing, you need to look at what size breed you have and estimate from there. Knowing your dog’s breed size and parents are going to give you the best time frame for your dog’s growth.