When do dogs stop growing? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. Several factors play into this equation, so let’s find out how old your dog needs to be before he stops growing.
First, we’ll cover the basics of what controls dog growth, how old your dog should be before you notice he has stopped growing, and how to measure growth in your dog.
How Large Can They Get?
Depending on their breed, your dog could reach anywhere from 10 to 120 pounds. Some dogs can weigh more than 150 pounds, but that’s rare.
As a general rule of thumb, large breeds like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are most likely to top out around 100 pounds.
As adults, medium-sized breeds like Beagles and Chihuahuas usually stay between 30 and 60 pounds. Smaller dogs like Pomeranians and Yorkshire Terriers rarely exceed 15 pounds in adulthood. Regardless of size, all dogs will stop growing at some point.
So when do dogs stop growing? Read on for answers to some common questions about when dogs stop growing.
If you want to see how much your pup might grow in adulthood, check with his breeder or ask your veterinarian what weight is typical for his specific breed.
If he’s neutered, he won’t continue to grow taller once he reaches his full adult height. On average, dogs stop growing at around one year old—though that varies by breed.
Some dogs can keep growing until they’re two years old, while others have stopped by six months. As a general rule of thumb, large breeds like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are most likely to top out around 100 pounds. As adults, medium-sized breeds like Beagles and Chihuahuas usually stay between 30 and 60 pounds.
Small and Yorkshire Terriers rarely exceed 15 pounds in adulthood. However, regardless of size, all dogs will stop growing.
So how do you know when your pup has reached maturity? Read on for answers to some common questions about when dogs stop growing.
How Long Do They Live, on Average?
A dog’s life span depends on many factors, including breed, size, sex, and health.
For example, smaller dogs live shorter lives than larger breeds; female dogs tend to live longer than males, and dogs that are neutered early in life might live a little longer than those who remain intact.
When do dogs stop growing? Most small breeds of dogs can be expected to live between 13 and 16 years.
Medium-sized dogs have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, while large-breed dogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
Giant breeds typically live 8 to 10 years; on the other hand, toy breeds typically have short lifespans: they only live 6 or 7 years. In general, medium-to-large-sized dogs live longer than smaller breeds.
In some cases, smaller dogs may outlive their larger counterparts because they often receive better medical care and consistent veterinary attention. In addition, large breeds generally live longer than small ones do.
When looking at specific breeds, however, it’s important to consider other characteristics besides size when considering longevity.
For example, Doberman Pinschers tend to live for about 11 years on average—but so do Shih Tzus, another relatively large breed with a long lifespan.
How Much Should They Eat?
After figuring out the answer to the question, “when do dogs stop growing?” Next is to figure out how much your dog weighs.
There are a few ways to measure your dog’s weight, but be sure you use whatever method is appropriate for your breed of dog.
A few examples: If you have a toy dog, like a Jack Russell Terrier or Miniature Schnauzer, weigh him on an inexpensive kitchen scale.
Use a tape measure and get his girth at his widest point, usually around his chest or behind his front legs.
Then, consult these charts: Toy breeds should eat between 2 and 3 cups of food per day; small breeds should eat between 3 and 4 cups; medium breeds should eat between 4 and 6 cups; large breeds should eat between 6 and 9 cups; giant breeds should consume 9 to 12 cups daily. And don’t forget that puppies eat more than adult dogs.
For example, a 10-pound puppy would need about 1 cup of dry food daily; a 50-pound dog would need 5 cups.
Finally, remember that treats can add up fast—even if they’re healthy—so it might be helpful to keep a journal or spreadsheet tracking what your pup eats during the day. Then, you can adjust accordingly if you notice he’s starting to gain weight (or not lose it).
Why Are There So Many Breeds of Different Sizes?
There’s no doubt about it; some dogs are bigger than others—we all know what a Chihuahua looks like next to an Alaskan Malamute. But why are there such differences between dog breeds in size and weight?
Firsts, look at some interesting facts about puppy development and growth that you might not have known.
The first few weeks of your puppy’s life will be filled with rapid changes, including their growth rate. They can weigh as little as 2 ounces or 4 pounds (1-2 kilograms) at birth.
When do dogs stop growing? As they grow older, their growth rate slows dramatically: after just two months old, a puppy will only gain around half an ounce daily on average.
By six months old, however, a full-grown adult Labrador Retriever is likely to weigh anywhere from 50-80 pounds (22-36 kilograms).
Now let’s put these numbers into perspective: by eight weeks, a puppy should already weigh more than twice its original birth weight; by twelve weeks, it could weigh up to ten times its original weight; by sixteen weeks, fifteen times.
This means that if we were to measure our Labrador at twelve weeks old against his mother—who weighs between 55-75 pounds (25-35 kilograms)—he would still be less than one percent of her body mass!
What is Their Temperament Like as They Get Older?
As they age, it’s common to see major changes in your dog’s temperament. They may be less active when they were puppies or adolescents, but don’t mistake them for being lazy—senior dogs are just fine with naps and snoozes throughout their days.
If you adopt a senior dog, remember that these subtle changes might not immediately appear. Instead, pay attention to how your pup acts as he ages.
He might need more time to adjust to new situations, so take things slowly at first. When do dogs stop growing?
A good way to tell if your dog is getting on in years is by observing his behavior during walks: Does he seem tired after five minutes of strolling around? Does he have trouble keeping up with other dogs? These signs could mean that your puppy is getting on in years.
Be sure to consult a vet if you notice any concerning symptoms like lethargy or loss of appetite. However, don’t worry too much about feeding your aging friend less food; most seniors naturally eat less as they age, so you won’t have to worry about underfeeding him.
Just make sure he gets plenty of exercises every day. Just like humans, dogs can benefit from regular exercise even if they aren’t raring to go all day long.
Are Some Dog Breeds Slower to Mature Than Others?
Suppose you’ve heard about German Shepherds taking longer to mature than other breeds.
Many factors come into play regarding how quickly or slowly dogs grow, including their genetics, overall healing, and exercise level.
A combination of these can make some dog breeds slower to mature than others. For example, smaller dogs tend to have faster growth rates than larger ones, as do younger dogs compared with older ones. But even within a breed, there are differences in maturity rates.
When do dogs stop growing? In general terms, large-breed puppies tend to reach maturity more slowly than small-breed puppies. Males also tend to mature more slowly than females.
However, these differences can vary widely depending on whether your pup has been spayed or neutered (neutered dogs generally reach maturity at an earlier age), if they have had any medical issues that affected their growth rate, and so on.
So what does all of this mean for your puppy? Simply put: don’t worry too much about when your puppy will stop growing—it will happen naturally at some point down the road!
A good rule of thumb is to consider your apartment or home—if you don’t have a lot of space for an adult dog, maybe consider something smaller (like a Corgi or Dachshund) with plenty of energy and can give you tons of love!
And if you have lots of room for a large dog, measure how much room they’ll need to run around and play comfortably.
Now that you’ve gotten the answer to your question, “when do dogs stop growing?” When considering breed sizes, it’s important to look at adults and puppies—some breeds grow faster than others!