When Do Dogs Stop Growing: How to Keep Your Dog’s Growth on Track

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 TL;DR - Key takeaways of this article: When Do Dogs Stop Growing

     

      Dogs generally stop growing once they hit one year old.

      For smaller dogs, they stop growing earlier - some as early as 6 months old.

      Bigger dogs can take up to 18 months to fully grow out.

      Other major factors that will influence their growth time are nutrition and their environment.


Like humans, dogs undergo a period of growth and development that eventually leads to them reaching their adult size.

In most cases, dogs reach their full size by the time they are one year old.

However, there are some factors that can affect a dog's rate of growth and when they reach their final size.

In this blog post, we will discuss when do dogs stop growing and how you can keep your dog's growth on track!


So while we generally have made it clear that most dogs stop growing once they hit one year old, there are also a few other factors to look at.


What determines how big a dog will grow


According to research, there is somewhat limited information on the OPTIMAL growth in dogs (source)

BUT, what we DO know is that a dog's size can be generally determined by a few factors, including:


Breed


Different breeds of dogs will grow to different sizes.

Of course for larger dog breeds, they will take a longer time for them to hit their full size, which can be at eighteen months old.


Nutrition


A dog's diet will play a role in their growth.

Similar to humans, when you provide a nutritious, rich diet for your puppy to grow up on, they will hit their full sizes quicker, or exceed what their breed sizes can be!

So if you're wondering how to make your puppy grow bigger, this is it.

In the same vein, can a puppy growth be stunted? Definitely, if it doesn't get enough nutrition growing up.


Genetics


Some dogs are simply born larger or smaller than others.

There is not much you can do about this, except be mindful of the breed you are getting and its standard size.

The size of your puppy's parents would also determine their potential size - if your puppy's parents are larger than the average of it's breed, chances are your puppy might be, as well.


Environment


The temperature and climate can also have an effect on how fast or slow a dog grows.

If they grow up in a relatively active environment full of exercise and running about, they'll develop their bones and muscles quicker than if they were brought to a more lazy, relaxed home.

At the same time, a home filled with love for the dogs will also help their mental growth and become great, well balanced dogs!


Can you tell how big a puppy will get?


When you get a puppy, it's only natural to want to know how big it will grow.

It would be nice if there was an exact formula that can calculate exactly what size your dog will be when they are fully grown.

Unfortunately, this is not possible as there is simply too many factors at play in determining how large a dog may grow!


But here are some obvious ways you can try and guess:


  • Observe your puppy's parents

If the parents of your new puppy are large dogs, then chances are that the puppy might also get pretty big when he or she grows up.

The same goes for smaller breeds of dogs. Small dog puppies tend to stay small even when full-grown adults!

So it's a good idea to take a look at your puppy's parents and see what their sizes were when they stopped growing.

  • Observe the breed

Some breeds of dogs are just naturally larger than others. Labradors, for example, will usually grow quite large, while Yorkshire Terriers tend to be tiny!

So if you're not sure what size your puppy will be when they stop growing, take a look at pictures of adult dogs that belong to the same breed and you might find similarities.


When do most dogs reach their full size


Now that we have answered the question, "when do dogs stop growing?", let's take a look at when most dogs reach their full size.

Again, this will vary depending on a number of factors, but on average, most dogs reach their adult size by the time they are one year old.

For smaller dogs, such as Chihuahuas, they can reach their adult size as early as 6 months old.

For larger dogs, such as Great Danes, it may take up to 18 months for them to fully mature into their adult bodies.


There are some breeds of dog that may continue to grow until they are two or three years old (this could be a genetic factor), but for the most part, one year is when you can expect your pup to be its biggest!


This leads us to the next interesting question...


When do mixed breed dogs stop growing?


Now, this is where things get interesting.

Due to the way the genetics of different breeds interact, it's pretty hard to say when mixed breeds stop growing, outside of the 1 year average we stated above.


There are a number of factors at play that may cause mixed breed dogs to grow larger or smaller than their parents, and it's near impossible to predict what size they'll end up being.


If your dog is a mix of two large breeds, then you can probably expect him or her to be bigger than most other pups you see - but don't be surprised if they stay small too!

If the pup is made up from three different breeds with varied sizes, then there really isn't much point predicting how big he will get for sure because so many variables come into play (such as genes).

Simply put: Mixed Breeds are harder guesses when it comes to size/weight predictions.

But there is one thing we can be sure of - you'll love your mixed breed puppy regardless!


How to help your dog grow to its full potential


If you are wondering how to keep your dog's growth on track, here are a few tips:


Feed them high quality food rich in nutrients


Feeding your puppy a high quality diet with the right balance of protein and fat will help them grow up healthy and strong.

This will also result in them having extremely beautiful coats too, if you maintain them well!


Do not overfeed your puppy


Obesity can stunt growth. It is important that you do not overfeed your pup as it could lead to stunted development or even obesity which may cause health issues later on down the road.


Exercise your dog regularly


Along with a healthy diet, regular exercise is key in helping your pup grow to their full potential. Running and playing outside will help develop their muscles and bones and keep them healthy!


Why it's important to know when a dog has stopped growing


Now that we've answered the question of when dogs stop growing, let's talk about why it is important for you to know this.

Knowing when your pup reaches its adult size can help you plan ahead and prepare accordingly!

For example, if you are planning on getting another dog in a few years time then knowing how big they will be at that point helps with things like choosing housing options.

Or whether they need special equipment such as ramps so they can climb stairs comfortably without hurting themselves.


Conclusion


So, just to recap: most dogs reach their full size at around one year old.

However, depending on the breed of dog, they may not stop growing until they are two years old.

Large and giant breeds often take longer to reach their adult size than small or medium breeds. The final size of a dog is also determined by its genes, environment and nutrition. 


Regardless of how big (or small) your dog will be, what is absolutely important is that you ensure your puppy is properly trained to be the best dog he can be!



about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.


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