When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

When Do Puppies Stop Growing Golden Retriever Puppy Labrador Retriever

When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

Understanding your puppy and how it grows is imperative when you become a pet parent. Dogs of different breeds grow at different rates and reach different eventual adult sizes. While the breed is the number one indicator of final size for a dog, some other factors all have a part to play in how fast your puppy grows, when it grows the most, and when it stops growing. Read on to find out when your dog stops being a puppy and when do puppies stop growing.

When Do Puppies Stop Growing Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever Retrieverplanet

Puppies and Growth

Dogs have a varying growth rate based on their breed. Smaller breeds of dogs will generally take between 6 to 8 months to be fully grown. Slightly bigger breeds will grow for a bit longer, reaching their full size at about 12 months. Larger dogs have a lot more bone to grow. Bigger breeds may keep growing well beyond the year mark, generally growing until 12 and 18 months. Extra-large breeds will continue to grow even beyond this to the 24-month mark. 

Most often, the breed and genetic indicators passed on from the parents will be a good representation of a dog’s final size. But it is not unheard of for a pair of larger sized dogs to produce a slightly smaller puppy. If your dog is a mix of different breeds, some guesswork will help figure out the eventual size. This estimation can be easy enough if the parents are known. If there is no information about the dog’s genetic line, then a vet may help spot familiar traits. 

Another critical aspect of a puppy’s growth is the food it eats. A puppy needs to be fed a well thought out and balanced diet that fulfills all its nutritional requirements. A nutritious diet will help a puppy reach its full potential in terms of size and meet growth and developmental milestones. The quality of the food and quantity will make a significant impact on how your puppy grows. 

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Stages of A Puppy’s Physical Growth

Whatever breed your dog is, the first year of its life will be full of growth milestones and developments. It is an exciting time in your puppy’s life, and being aware of what to expect can allow you to worry less and enjoy more. 

The First Month 

During the first month, puppies are very vulnerable and delicate. Their eyes have not yet opened, hearing is not developed, and they are completely dependent on their mother for warmth, protection, and sustenance. From day seven onward, their weight will increase rapidly and almost double in the first two weeks. 

Stages Of a Puppys Physical growth the first month labrador retriever golden retriever retrieverplanet flat coated retriever nova scotia duck tolling retriever chesapeake bay retriever

1 to 3 Months 

At this point, your puppy will have grown teeth, but the jaw will still be weak. Puppies may exponentially put on weight during this time. As they begin to wean, nutritionally balanced food appropriate for their age needs to be slowly introduced. Since puppies will stop taking mother’s milk gradually at this point, keep an eye out for potential illness as their immune system undergoes a shift and develops independently.   

3 to 6 Months  

For both smaller breed dogs and larger ones, this period of their life will see them grow at a rapid pace. At approximately five months, larger breeds of dogs will have an adult dog’s skeleton and will reach almost half their full-grown weight. At this age, they require a lot of food to fuel this time of intense growth. Puppies also need to exercise their jaws and develop good dental hygiene by eating food that needs to be chewed instead of just soft food. 

Stages Of a Puppys Physical growth labrador retriever golden retriever retrieverplanet flat coated retriever nova scotia duck tolling retriever chesapeake bay retriever

6 to 12 Months and Beyond 

Smaller breeds of dogs will begin to reach their full weight at this point. Larger breeds will keep growing at a steady pace. Smaller breeds reach a smaller eventual size but grow rapidly. Larger ones have a bigger target to get to, but they do so much more slowly. Rather than bulk, the significant growth for larger breeds at this stage is in their skeleton and organs. 

At 18 months or so, a larger breed will reach full maturity. At this point, the dog will add muscle and bulk up. They will also grow into their paws and look more balanced and proportionate. The appearance will become that of an adult dog. 

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Spaying and Neutering and Growth 

The right time for spaying or neutering a dog may be a cause for concern as a pet owner. There are myths around this, with some people believing that early spaying or neutering will stunt a puppy’s growth. The opposite is usually true. The loss of hormones from these procedures may lead to the dog growing a bit more slowly as growth plates in bones take longer to close up. But the eventual size of the dog may end up being slightly bigger instead of smaller. 

For larger dog breeds, growing bigger may lead to potential joint problems. It is a good idea to discuss the right time for spaying or neutering with your vet. 

Mental and Sexual Maturity

Apart from physical growth, it is essential to understand when the dog matures sexually and when it stops being a puppy mentally. 

Sexual Maturity  

Puppies can mature sexually in the second half of their first year. At this point, the still-growing female dog can have puppies herself while a male will go in search of a female. Healthwise, this is not good for the dogs. So if you choose to spay or neuter, later on, you will need to keep a sharp eye on your dogs to prevent this from happening. 

Mental and Growth 

Your dog may be full-grown physically but still have the mind of a puppy. Dogs continue to grow mentally for almost two years. A puppy often has certain silliness and excitability that older dogs usually grow out of. In this regard, a dog’s second birthday could be an important milestone for when they stop being a puppy in all aspects. 

This mental immaturity does not, however, mean that a dog cannot be trained. Puppies can begin training in their first year with no difficulty. 

When Do Puppies Stop Growing Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever Retrieverplanet Flat Coated Chesapeake Bay Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Keeping a Growing Puppy Safe

During the initial stages of a puppy’s growth, the primary focus will be on bones and the skeleton’s development. Later on, once the skeleton is at its maximum growth, the bulk will be added as muscles grown and develop. 

It is important to keep puppies protected during the process of bone growth as they are more delicate and prone to injury. Puppy bones grow from growth plates. These are found at both ends of each bone. The growth plate is a thinner area of cartilage where new tissue is generated. During growth, these plates are softer and more flexible, making them more prone to injury. 

Keep a Growing Puppy Safe Labrador Retriever Golden Retriever Chesapeake Bay Retriever Retrieverplanet Flat Coated Retriever

It is crucial to be mindful of the type and extent of exercise your puppy receives during bone growth. Some caution will help keep bones safe and healthy. Puppies are playful and energetic, but activity needs to stay moderate. Stop your puppy from jumping on or off heights, even seemingly small ones like a sofa. Avoid taking them on a long run or walk outdoors. Instead, take a shorter walk for exercise if needed and keep to softer surfaces like grass or soft sand. Any strict or strenuous training should also be left for a later time.  

Growth Charts 

There are several types of online puppy growth charts and weight calculators available online. While these can help get an estimate, ultimately, no chart is foolproof. Online charts are using guestimates based on the information you have provided. Every dog will follow its unique growth pattern. Factors such as breed, adequate nutrition, activity level, general health, and spaying and neutering will all have a role to play in your puppy’s eventual adult size. An experienced vet can also help determine the final size of a puppy. 

Example of a Growth Chart for a Golden Retriever Male Puppy:

AgeSmallestLargestAverage
7 Weeks4 lb – 1,81 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg9 lb – 4,08 kg
8 Weeks5 lb – 2,26 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg10 lb – 4,53 kg
9 Weeks8 lb – 3,62 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg12 lb – 5,44 kg
10 Weeks10 lb – 4,53 kg22 lb – 9,97 kg15 lb – 6,80 kg
11 Weeks12 lb – 5,44 kg25 lb – 11,33 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg
3 Months16 lb – 7,25 kg43 lb – 19,50 kg22 lb -9,97 kg
4 Months25 lb – 11,33 kg44 lb – 19,95 kg30 lb – 13,60 kg
5 Months27 lb – 12,24 kg57 lb – 25,85 kg40 lb – 18,14 kg
6 Months29 lb – 13,15 kg72 lb – 32,65 kg44 lb – 19,95 kg
7 Months32 lb – 14,51 kg77 lb – 34,92 kg48 lb – 21,77 kg
8 Months40 lb – 18,14 kg85 lb- 38,55 kg55 lb – 24,94 kg

Example of a Growth Chart for a Golden Retriever Female Puppy:

AgeSmallestLargestAverage
7 Weeks4 lb – 1,81 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg9 lb – 4,08 kg
8 Weeks5 lb – 2,26 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg10 lb – 4,53 kg
9 Weeks8 lb – 3,62 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg12 lb – 5,44 kg
10 Weeks10 lb – 4,53 kg22 lb – 9,97 kg15 lb – 6,80 kg
11 Weeks12 lb – 5,44 kg25 lb – 11,33 kg17 lb – 7,71 kg
3 Months16 lb – 7,25 kg33 lb – 14,96 kg22 lb – 9,97 kg
4 Months22 lb – 9,97 kg44 lb – 19,95 kg30 lb – 13,60 kg
5 Months25 lb – 11,33 kg52 lb – 23,58 kg40 lb – 18,14 kg
6 Months27 lb – 12,24 kg61 lb – 27,66 kg43 lb – 19,50 kg
7 Months31 lb – 14,06 kg67 lb – 30,39 kg45 lb – 20,41 kg
8 Months40 lb – 18,14 kg70 lb – 31,75 kg52 lb – 23,58 kg

Conclusion

Knowing what to expect in terms of your dog’s growth and maturity can help you plan for your puppy. Providing the right food and care at the right time can make a world of difference to your puppy’s long term health and happiness. 

Disclaimer

All content on this site is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be nor can it be considered actionable professional advice. It must not be used as an alternative for seeking professional advice from a veterinarian or other certified professional. Retrieverplanet.com assumes no responsibility or liability for the use or misuse of what’s written on this site. Please consult a professional before taking any course of action with any medical, health or behavioral related issues.

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About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.

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