I often get asked when puppies stop being puppies. While there is no definitive answer, we generally consider dogs become adult at around one year of age but all dogs are different and here, Anna Stewart helps us understand more about canine growth…
This is a common question amongst puppy owners. Getting an accurate answer as to when their puppy will stop growing helps dog owners to invest in the right harness, dog collars, and other dog accessories.
In addition, they are able to know whether their dog is developing normally in every aspect, and what diet to feed them. However, this question does not have a standard answer for all dogs, since different breeds stop growing at different ages.
In the past, people thought that all dogs stopped growing when they reached the age of one year. However, this is a misconception. Not all puppies stop growing when they reach the age of one year. Various factors determine when a puppy will stop growing.
What determines the age a dog stops growing?
The primary determinant of when your dog will stop growing is its breed. Different breeds grow at different rates. A good example is the Chihuahua and the Great Dane.
The Chihuahua is a small dog breed. This dog remains relatively small throughout its lifetime, unlike the Great Dane, which grows to be gigantic. Hence, the Chihuahua will take a shorter time to stop growing, and the Great Dane will take a longer time to develop fully.
For the mixed breed dogs, knowing when they will stop growing can be tricky. You can determine this factor by looking at its parents. In case you are not sure of the dog’s breed, a veterinarian will help you get accurate answers.
The other thing that determines the age a dog stops growing is its nutrition and living circumstances. Even dogs of the same breed may grow at a slightly different rate from members of its breed or litter.
Dog breeds and the age they stop growing
Dog breeds are categorized into three main groups;
- Small Dogs
- Medium Dogs
- Large Dogs
A good example of the small dog breed includes;
- Yorkshire Terriers
These dogs reach their adulthood by age one. At this age, most small breed dogs will multiply their birth weight by 20, shed their puppy fur, grow their adult coats, and reach their full height and weight. They will also mature sexually and emotionally sooner than their bigger Cousins. However, for the stockier breeds such as the Shih Tzu and Chinese Pug, the will stop growing a couple of months after they have reached one, to allow for their weight to catch up to their frame size.
The medium sized dog breeds include;
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Poodles and much more
Typically, these dogs stop growing anywhere between 12 and 15 months. Hence, it is important that you supply them with a balanced diet and visit their veterinary doctors to ensure they are growing up well. Medium sized dogs that have stockier bodies may take as long as 18 months before they stop growing. A good example is a Whippet and Clumber spaniel. Both dogs are classified under medium sized dogs, but they have completely different body types that represent both ends of the spectrum.
The large dogs include;
- The Great Danes
- Saint Bernard
The larger the dog breed, the longer time it takes to reach its full size. Unlike the other breeds which weigh anywhere between 4-25 Kgs (10 to 50 pounds), a fully-grown large breed dog can range in weight from over 25 to 50+ Kgs (50 pounds to about 100 pounds). These dogs take anywhere between 24 months -for the medium-large dog breeds – and 36 months – for the giant dog breeds – to reach their full weight and height. Large dogs that are lean, such as the Irish wolfhound, stop growing at 24 months. Large dogs that have a lot of body density and musculature, such as the Mastiff stop growing at 36 months. These dogs require special attention to their diet since rapid growth may damage its health.
As you can see, it is rather difficult to pinpoint an exact age where dogs stop growing due to the various factors outlined above. The best way to know when your puppy will stop growing is to consult with a veterinary or a knowledgeable breeder. Once your puppy reaches the age of one, regardless of breed, it is important that you consider giving it the best joint supplement for dogs. These supplements will help prevent your dog from suffering from joint distress.
A message from the Author
Hi. I’m Anna Stewart. I’m the founder of Puphow.com. I grew up with dogs around me and pets have always been my passion. My blog is built to share all of my useful tips regarding dog’s health, dog food and dog training which are useful for pet lovers.