When Do Puppies Stop Growing

Dog Health Resources May 22, 2024
When Do Puppies Stop Growing?
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When Do Puppies Stop Growing

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When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

Even though it can be difficult to accept, all puppies will eventually turn into dogs, although we can look forward to them having a little less energy. You may be asking when and how? There are several factors in determining when your puppy will stop growing like breed, sex and diet.

In this article, we offer a more detailed look at when and why your puppy should stop growing, along with the full scoop on their physical development and what can affect it.

How Dogs Grow

Your puppy grows in phases, taking breaks in between. Epiphyseal/growth plates are present in the long bones of their body, including the humerus, radius, ulna, wrists, and fingers in the front legs and the tibia, fibula, and femur, ankles, and toes in the hind legs. 

A slender cartilage area can be found at each end of the bone. There, the bones receive new, soft, and brittle bone tissue. As a result of its pliable nature, cartilage is prone to breaking. The growth process may be hampered if the growth plate breaks.

These growth plates close once your dog reaches adulthood. In other words, the cartilage turns into bone as it calcifies. When your dog is about a year old, this occurs. The bones of your pup won’t grow any more, but they can still put on muscle and fat.

Small Breed Dogs

When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

Small-breed dogs are those that weigh less than 25 pounds at maturity. The Dachshund, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, Toy Poodle, Chihuahua, and Bichon Frisé are examples of small dog breeds.

Small-breed pups typically begin growing quickly around the age of 4-6 months and reach their full size between the ages of 10 and 12.

Medium-Breed Dogs

Medium-sized dog breeds, or canines that weigh between 22 and 50 pounds as adults, usually reach their growth plateau between the ages of 8 and 12. When fully grown, medium-sized dogs typically weigh between 25 and 50 pounds. Medium breeds include Beagles, Basset Hounds and Miniature Schnauzers.

In the span of 8 to 12 weeks, medium-sized puppies should double in size. Between 12 and 15 months, medium breeds complete their growth. Sometimes, they may grow a little after that.

Large Breed Dogs

Large dog breeds stop growing between the ages of 10 and 16 months, when they can weigh 50 to 100 pounds as adults. Labrador retrievers, Boxers, Pit Bulls, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Collies are examples of large breed dogs, which are typically over 50 pounds.

The size of large-breed pups will also double between 8 and 12 weeks, but after that, the growth slows. Large-breed dogs will typically reach full growth at 18 months.

Giant Breed Dogs

The growth of giant pup breeds, which can weigh up to 200 pounds when fully grown, reaches an end between the ages of 10 and 16 months. The Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Mastiff, and Great Pyrenees are examples of giant-breed dogs. Due to their massive skeletal frames, these dogs require the most time to develop.

They could take up to three years to reach their full weight, but they will be at their maximum growth potential by 18 to 24 months. Until that time, these pups may appear lanky.

Male vs. Female

Male and female puppies of the same breed will grow at similar rates, and they’ll stop growing around the same time. But females will generally end up being smaller than males. Even within the same litter of purebred dogs, individual pups of both sexes will vary somewhat in size. The size discrepancies may be even greater in mixed-breed puppies since they carry the DNA of different breeds.

When Do Purebred Puppies Stop Growing?

If you recently purchased a purebred puppy that is registered with the AKC, the breeder can provide you with information about the size and expected growth rate of your puppy based on their knowledge of other members of the puppy’s family.

Purebred dogs are renowned for their predictability, which includes predictability of size, coat, temperament, and other characteristics. Although there will be variations among individuals of each breed (and each litter), in general, the breed can help predict final size at adulthood.

Signs of Growth in Puppies

By observing your puppy’s teeth, paws, ears, and body, you can determine whether or not they are growing.

  • Teeth – A puppy’s teeth will appear very soon after birth, and they will begin to come through at around 3-4 weeks old. Puppies start off with 28 baby teeth, which are followed by 42 adult teeth. Puppies have 28 baby teeth that are replaced by 42 adult teeth.
  • Paws –  A puppy’s paws will gradually increase in size as they grow, and you’ll notice a big difference at around 4-6 months old. Paws: As a puppy ages, its paws gradually get bigger. At about 4-6 months old, you’ll notice a significant difference.
  • Ears – A puppy’s ears will grow, and the soft velvet on the outside of their ears will gradually disappear.  
  • Weight – In the early stages of life, puppies will gain weight quickly, but you must make sure that they do so in the proper direction. By the time a puppy is six months old, their natural weight gain will be about 60% of their final adult size, and by the time they are 18 months old, it will be 100%.

How to Feed Your Growing Puppy

Your growing puppy will receive all the nutrition they require from foods that adhere to the nutritional standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and are created specifically for all life stages. Additionally, when pups reach adulthood, these foods don’t require a changeover to an adult-specific diet.

All life stages refer to foods that satisfy the needs of both developing and mature animals. There are also dog foods made specifically for puppies that make sure your dog gets all the nutrients she needs, but you should only give those to your dog up until adulthood, which is between 11 and 14 months of age.

Most importantly, make sure to always eat according to the directions on the food package to prevent your puppy from gaining weight. A fit, leaner puppy is preferred to a chubby older puppy because it is known that obesity in puppies can result in a predisposition to future orthopedic issues later in life, such as hip dysplasia.

Why is My Puppy Not Growing?

Many new puppy owners become concerned because their pup isn’t growing as fast as other dogs of the same age. It is best to avoid comparing your puppy’s growth rate to that of other pups.

If your pup is healthy and isn’t gaining weight, he could be underfed or may be infected with parasites.

It is best to visit your vet to ensure that your pup is not suffering from an illness or disease affecting their growth. If your puppy has a fever or a low body temperature, you should be concerned as well. If your puppy has a fever or a low body temperature, you should be concerned as well.

Your puppy can also suffer from a hormone deficiency. Small stature, poor muscle tone, and a lack of energy may be indications. Your pup can be supplemented with growth hormones to ensure they develop and grow correctly.

Final Thoughts

One of the most joyous moments in life is bringing home a new puppy. As your puppy grows, there are lots of milestones along the way, including teething, going to their new home, vaccinations, and neutering. Additionally, there are times when you should see a veterinarian, especially if your puppy is not developing at an expected rate.

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Amy Towry is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and pet lover. She is the proud owner of two rescue cats and a rescue dog and her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care, nutrition, and product reviews.
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