Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, from tiny Chihuahuas to huge Great Danes and everything in between. And while puppies are undeniably adorable, they seem to grow up so quickly. Going through the puppy stages, they grow rapidly until becoming adults, at which point they no longer increase in size. But when exactly do dogs stop growing? How do we know when a dog is fully grown? And what factors impact how big puppies grow? As it turns out, all dogs stop growing at different rates and reach their full size at different ages. Bigger breeds need longer to reach their full size than small breeds. Here we discuss this in more detail and help you determine how big your puppy will become.
Dog Size Growth FactorsTo answer the question “When do dogs stop growing?”, we need to understand the factors that affect size. These can split into environmental factors and genetic factors, which combine to produce a final height. Below we look at some of these factors in more detail and how each impacts the full size of your dog when it reaches maturity:
- Breed: Breed is always the biggest factor that affects the size of your dog when fully grown. A tiny Pug is never going to reach the size of a Dalmatian, or vice versa. Breeds come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure you think hard about what size dog you want when choosing which breed to adopt.
- Gender: In general, fully-grown male dogs are larger than females. This isn’t a hard rule, and there will be some larger females and some smaller males. However, a great way to more accurately guess how big your dog will get is to look at the parents – males usually grow to the same size as the father, while females usually grow to the same size as the mother.
- Nutrition: All puppies need nutrients to grow and develop, and this comes from the food they eat. Dogs that eat well-balanced diets high in vitamins and minerals will be bigger and stronger when fully grown. On the converse, underfed or malnourished dogs will struggle to reach their full size, often lacking muscle and having smaller bones.
- Genetics: Nutrition and other environmental factors all affect size, but genetics is the largest predetermining factor. All puppies are born with genes that dictate how tall they become which are inherited from both parents. Inherited medical conditions can also negatively impact your dog’s height when an adult.