Wouldn’t it be nice if our little puppies could stay tiny for the remainder of their life? There’s nothing more precious than a little puppy crawling into your lap for a nap.
But just like all living creatures on this earth, puppies have to grow up. When you bring a puppy home, you might be wondering how fast your dog is going to grow. Since there is a wide variety of dog breeds, there’s a wide variety of answers. Each breed grows at a different pace. In some breeds, you’ll notice changes in size almost daily. For other breeds, weeks can go by with minimal change.
However, regardless of the breed, I think we can all agree that our puppies grow too fast! In today’s post, we will go over how fast dogs grow based on their adult size. We will break it up into toy, small, medium, and large breeds.
Remember, each dog is different and will grow at different rates. The growth charts below are there to give you an estimate of what to expect.
When Do Dogs Stop Growing?
To figure out how fast dogs grow, you first need to figure out when they stop growing. Once you know when they stop growing, you can analyze the stages in between.
When a dog stops growing is entirely dependent on the breed. But to simplify things, we will go with averages. On average, toy breeds typically stop growing at 8 months, small breeds stop growing in 10-12 months, medium breeds around 12-15 months, and large breeds around 18 months.
The first thing you need to do is figure out if your dog is considered a toy, small, medium, or large breed to get a rough estimate of when they’ll stop growing. Once you know the approximate time it will take for them to become fully developed, we can fill in the details of how fast they grow during each stage up to that point.
First Two Weeks Puppies Double in Weight
From the time a puppy is born until two weeks of age, they should double in weight. This is true for just about all breeds, from toy breeds to large breeds. After two weeks is when the differences occur. Small breeds will start developing slower while large breeds will continue growing at a rapid rate.
Let’s take a close look at the growth stages for each individual size.
How Fast Do Toy Breeds Grow?
Toy breeds gain about one pound per month, starting from months 2-8. That means the first eight months of their life would look like this:
- Month 2: 2 pounds
- Month 4: 4 Pounds
- Month 6: 5 Pounds
- Month 8: 6 pounds
After eight months, it’s unlikely toy breeds will continue to grow.
How Fast Do Small Breeds Grow?
Small breeds will be fully grown around the 12 month mark. They quickly grow from months 2-6, then after that, you can expect about one pound per month for the final few months.
- Month 2: 3 pounds
- Month 4: 9 Pounds
- Month 6: 13 Pounds
- Month 8: 15 pounds
- Month 10: 16 pounds
- Month 12: 17 pounds
How Fast Do Medium Breeds Grow?
Medium breeds will be fully grown around the 12-15 month mark. Growth will begin slowing down around month 8.
- Month 2: 7 pounds
- Month 4: 20 Pounds
- Month 6: 30 Pounds
- Moth 8: 35 pounds
- Month 10: 37 pounds
- Month 12: 39 pounds
- Month 14: 40 pounds
How Fast Do Large Breeds Grow?
Large breeds grow rapidly for the first 10 months and then slow down for the final 8 months.
- Month 2: 18 pounds
- Month 4: 38 Pounds
- Month 6: 55 Pounds
- Month 8: 62 pounds
- Month 10: 65 pounds
- Month 12: 68 pounds
- Month 14: 71 pounds
- Month 16: 73 pounds
- Month 18: 75 pounds
Of course, all this depends on the breed and individual differences amongst the dogs. Use it for what it is, a simple guide. Trust the advice from your vet when it comes to the growth rate of your dog.
How to Tell If Your Dog Will Be Larger Than Normal
If you’re like most dog owners, you don’t only want to know how fast your puppy will grow, but how big they will be when fully grown. Below are three simple ways to tell if your dog will be smaller than average, average, or bigger than average.
Take a Look at Their Parents
The best way to determine how big your puppy will be is to look at their parents. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but female puppies will be close to the size of their mother, and male puppies will be close to the size of their father.
Use the skin test
Use the chart above to determine when the growth of your dog should start slowing down. For example, if you have a medium sized dog (border collie), you can expect growth to start slowing around the eight month mark.
If they still have a lot of loose skin when the growing is supposed to slow down, it usually means they have a lot of growing left.
Look at Their Paws
Although this isn’t 100% accurate, it’s a good indicator of how big your puppy will be. If they have large paws as a puppy, it usually means they’ll be larger than average for that breed. Smaller paws usually means they’ll be smaller than average for that breed.
The Stages of Puppy Mental Development
Now that you know how fast your dog will physically grow, what about mentally? All dog breeds go through the same mental developmental stages, but some breeds go through it quicker than others.
Six Stages of Mental Development For Puppies
Stage 1: Neonatal Period
The neonatal period lasts from birth to two weeks of age. This is when the puppy will double in weight. They have also begun to develop their sense of smell and touch. At this stage, if they aren’t eating, they’re sleeping. They’ll spend about 90% of their time sleeping. Lucky dogs!
Stage 2: Transitional Period
This period lasts from weeks 2-4. Their eyes begin to open, and they can hear much better as they discover an entirely new world. They also start to discover their vocal cords with little yelps and barks. You might even be lucky enough to hear the world’s cutest little howl.
Around week three, you may see the puppy stand up, and some of them even begin walking at this point. Toward the fourth week, the puppy will start to become independent and learn how to play with each other.
Stage 3: Socialization Period
Between weeks 4-12 is the socialization period. This is a critical stage for relationship development. They’ll quickly begin to form a bond with whoever is around the most, and whoever takes care of them. This is also when the mother’s milk supply will dry up, and the puppies will transfer to puppy food instead of milk.
If you plan to adopt a puppy, it’s best to start visiting around the four week mark. You can’t take them home at this point, but they’ll get to know you and bond with you a few weeks before taking them home. It makes the transition much easier on them, which means it’ll be much easier for you!
Stage 4: Juvenile Period
Weeks 10-16 is the juvenile period. Puppies will start to challenge authority to determine who the pack leader is. Sounds just like a teenager, right?!
They’ll also begin losing their puppy teeth. This is a great time to start teaching your puppy the basics such as sit, stay, and lay. Although they might challenge your authority, teaching them commands during this stage will show them that you are the master.
Stage 5: Adolescence Period
Weeks 16-24 is usually the last stage before your dog hits puberty. They’re beginning to learn basic instincts at this point, including lifting the leg when urinating. Expect your dog to have a lot of energy as they’re getting ready to become sexually mature.
Stage 6: Social Period
This is the last stage before your dog is considered an “adult.” It usually starts around month 7 and lasts until they’re fully grown, generally around months 12-18, depending on the size of the breed. During this time, dogs will go through puberty. Testosterone in male dogs will rapidly increase, and female dogs may begin their cycle.
Enjoy the time you have with your puppy, it won’t last long! Use it wisely, this is an excellent time for you to bond with them and develop a loving relationship that will last years to come.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.