6 min read

When Do Puppies Stop Growing?

The answer's as unique as she is 🐶❤️

Do you have an adorable new puppy and you’re wondering when exactly she’s going to stop growing? You’re not alone.

It’s one of the most common questions new dog owners have — and despite what you might have heard, the answer is based on more than just their (super adorable) puppy paw size.

However, as a general rule: “Most dogs reach their full size by 18 months of age,” Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo.

Are there signs of how big a puppy will get?

According to Dr. Satchu, this is a very common question — but it’s also one of the most difficult to answer.

“With purebred dogs, we can estimate based on breed standards and averages of mom and dad,” Dr. Satchu said. “With rescue dogs, it can be more challenging because we don't know what their ancestral history is and often don't know about the size of mom and dad.”

But one trick that Dr. Satchu suggests is jotting down your pup’s 6-month weight and doing a little math. “You may be able to get a general estimate by doubling their weight at 6 months of age and +/- 5 to 10 pounds, but this is still very unreliable,” Dr. Satchu said.

In other words, you might still be surprised!

While it’s not completely accurate, a popular rule of thumb is that larger paws indicate that a puppy will be supporting a taller and heavier build, while smaller paws indicate a shorter body. While this isn’t backed by scientific evidence, it’s still fun to consider when you’re playing the “How Big Will My Puppy Get?” game with your friends.

How many months until a puppy is done growing?

According to Dr. Satchu, most puppies will reach their full adult size between 12 and 18 months.

So if you find that your puppy is STILL GROWING after a year — even though you’d assumed they’d be done by then — you might have a full six months more of potential growth spurts to look forward to.

Other factors that affect puppy growth

How large your puppy will get depends on several factors, like genetics and nutrition. For example, if your dog’s parents are a larger size, there’s a good chance your puppy will be, too.

The quality of your puppy’s food will also play a role. Feeding your dog a high-quality diet will ensure she reaches her maximum growth potential. Otherwise, a dog with poor nutrition might be weaker or smaller than they could otherwise be.

Another thing to note? Your dog’s breed can affect her growth timeline. “Larger breeds tend to take longer than small breeds to reach their adult weight,” Dr. Satchu said.

For example, medium-sized breeds — like Australian shepherds — reach their adult size around the 18-month mark, while giant breeds — like Newfoundlands — can keep growing up to three years.

While it might be fun to try to guesstimate your puppy’s potential adult size, your best bet is to just wait it out and see. She’s one of a kind, after all!

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