When Do Dogs Stop Growing? How Big Will My Puppy Be? The Stages Of Growth

When do dogs stop growing? 12 - 18 months. This all depends on the breed of dog and other contributing factors.
As a dog owner myself, I always like to remember the day I picked up my golden retriever pup - a small and cute ball of fluff. A year on, and he’s ten times the size! I must admit, it got to the stage where I asked myself; is he ever going to stop growing? I can assure you, he certainly did.
Pups, especially those that belong to a larger breed, sometimes have specific dietary and exercise requirements. Therefore it is vital to know when they’re fully grown as you will have to buy them their essential dog supplies in the correct size. This can become an inconvenience or costly if you buy the goods too soon without knowing when your puppy is fully grown.
Busy? Get Your Hands Paws On The Answers Quickly…

What Are The Stages Of Puppy Growth?


A newborn pup doesn’t look much like a dog because it doesn’t develop its major dog-like characteristics until 12 weeks. Dogs are considered a puppy until they’re one year old. However, smaller dog breeds mature much earlier and are fully grown before one year. Larger dog breeds carry on growing after the one year and are sometimes not fully grown until they turn two.
Stage 1 - The Neonatal Period (0 - 2 weeks)
During this period, puppies are very much relying on their mother. They spend a lot of their time during the first two weeks of sleeping and eating. Pups are born without being able to hear and see. However, they are able to smell and touch. Puppies begin to open their eyes around the 10 - 14-day mark but are unable to pick up movement until they are approximately three weeks old. The puppy will rely on their mother to clean, feed and keep them warm during the Neonatal period
Stage 2 -The Transitional Period (2 - 3 weeks)
This is the period in which you will see the most noticeable changes in your puppy. They begin showing some adult characteristics such as wagging their tail and making low pitched barking and growling noises. Their eyes begin to respond to light and moving objects as well as their ears responding to sound. The pup will begin to eat 50% soluble foods as well as lapping water from a bowl.
Stage 3 - The Socialization Period (3 - 12 weeks)
This is arguably the most important and influential stage of your puppies life. Anything you want your pup to do later in life has to start t be incorporated at the stage i.e., being left alone for short periods of times, meeting people, visiting the local vets, traveling in a car.
Your puppies first lot of vaccinations will be given during the socialization period (approx after six weeks). Although it’s not essential, it’s a good idea to start taking your dog out to meet people, hear and see cars, etc. If you’re doing this before their vaccination, your pup will have to be carried throughout.
Stage 4 - The Juvenile Period (12 weeks - Adolescence)
By the time your pup reaches 12 weeks, it would have fully developed all of its sensory organs. Although they have developed a lot, and their growth starts to slow down, your puppy should continue to eat puppy food until adulthood. It is vital that a training program is incorporated at this stage. Your training should be fun and quick as dogs attention span is limited. Finally, at this stage, it is worth considering whether dog neutering will be an option. If so, you should speak to your local vets.
Stage 5 - Adolescence
Puppies mature very quickly, and most smaller breeds will reach the adolescence stage by five months. Larger dog breeds will reach the adolescence stage at around nine and a half months. It is quite common to hear story’s about your dog miss-behaving once they become a teenager. This can be true in some cases.
When a dog reaches the adolescence stage, you may notice your dog becoming slightly aggressive, reduced socialization skills, disobedience, wandering off when walking,and consistent mounting behavior (males). Because of this change in behavior, it is a good idea to intensify training. Ensure you use consistent praise, reward, and positive reinforcement throughout this stage. Remember, they won’t be a teenager forever!

How Big Will My Puppy Get?
(Top 10 US Most Popular Dogs)

Dog Breed
Age Fully Grown

Labrador Retriever

Male: 57-62cm
Female: 55-60cm

 Male: 29-36kg
Female: 25-32kg


German Shepherd

Male: 60-65cm
Female: 55-60cm

Male: 30-40kg
Female: 22-32kg


Golden Retriever

Male: 58-60cm
Female: 55-57cm

Male: 30-35kg
Female: 25-30kg


French Bulldogs

Male: 28-30cm
Female: 28-30cm

 Male: 9-13kg
Female: 7-11kg



Male: 31-40cm
Female: 31-40cm

Male: 23-25kg
Female: 18-23kg



Male: 36-41cm
Female: 33-38cm

Male: 10-11kg
Female: 9-10kg


Standard Poodles

Male: 38cm-56cm
Female: 38cm-56cm

Male: 20.5-32kg
Female: 20.5-27kg



Male: 61-69cm
Female: 56-63cm

Male: 50-60kg
Female: 35-48kg


German Shorthaired Pointers

Male: 58-64cm
Female: 53-59cm

Male: 25-32kg
Female: 20-27kg


Yorkshire terriers

Male: 20-22cm
   Female: 20-22cm

Male: 1.8-3.2kg
Female: 1.8-3.2kg



What Factors Impact Puppy Growth?


Other than your dogs' breed, there are other contributing factors that can determine the size of your dog. The two main contributing factors are:
The average size of your dogs' breed can give you an idea of how big your dog will approximately be - but don’t forget. It’s only an estimation. Your dogs own genetics will determine the rate of its growth and, of course, its maximum height and weight.
As a previous puppy owner (on many occasions), it’s highly recommended that you meet the puppies parents and grandparents to gain an understanding whether their family members are average height and weight for that particular breed. If your pups family members are sightly above or below average, it will help you understand at what age your pup will be fully grown.
It is important to note that although puppies from larger parents are likely to grow quicker and bigger than the average dog, these puppies will in fact sometimes be smaller and grow at a slower rate.
As a responsible dog owner, you should want your dog to grow to it’s full potential over time. The one thing that an inhibit that? Nutrition.
It is vital your puppy is given the correct amount of food to ensure they receive all the important nutrients, minerals, and vitamins in order to grow. On the flip side, if your puppy is over-fed, this can have serious implications on your puppies development and growth. If they become too heavy, it can cause their joints and muscles to be put under stress, thus resulting in long and short term injuries.
To avoid any of these complications, ensure your puppy is given the nutrients they need in through high-quality food, appropriate for their specific age.

Does Spaying or Neutering A Dog Affect Its Growth?


If you have your puppy neutered before its fully grown, it can impact its growth. Research suggests that if a dog is neutered before its fully grown, you may end up with a dog that grows bigger, then it was expected to.
What is the science behind this? Dogs' sex hormones are responsible for monitoring their growth and send signals to a dog's body once they reach their maximum height and weight. The removal of these hormones too early will stop these signals being sent and therefore a dog can grow above its ideal maximum capacity. You may ask, why’s this a problem? Some dogs will develop joint and hip problems later on in life.



Can you tell how big a puppy will get?
No. Although your vet will be able to make an estimation.
How long can puppies walk?
On average, most dog owners walk their puppies twice a day. The amount of time they walk for depends on your dogs age. A good rule of thumb is multiplying your dogs age by five. For example; a dog aged 4 months will walk for 20 minutes twice a day.
Is it cruel to leave a dog alone all day?
Not recommended. Of course, the majority of dog owners live busy lives and therefore may have to leave their dogs alone. It is recommended that dogs are only left alone for intervals of 4 hours as this can have psychological implications such as happiness, quality of life and in some cases separation anxiety.
Should I leave the TV on for my dog?
Yes you can. Although it’s not vital to leave the TV on for your dog it’s nice for them to listen to human voices. If you do not want to do this, you should leave a light on instead.



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Disclaimer: Each dog is different, and every circumstance is different. All efforts have been made to provide accurate information. However, it is not provided by a qualified Veterinarian, Veterinarian Surgeon, or Behaviorist. The information provided is purely educational. The information should not be used as an alternative or substitute for medical care. If you have any health or medical concerns, contact a qualified Veterinary Surgeon or Veterinarian immediately.


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