A Quick guide to Understand Puppy Growth
One of the best ways to show love for our pets is by gathering knowledge on them and understanding everything we need concerning their life cycle. Their growth is one of the most important parts of it. When it comes to dogs, their age is a deciding factor as well as their breed.
The growth of a puppy is directly related to their weight. When the growth cycle is finished an average adult dog usually weighs around twice the original weight it had at four months of age. Larger breeds typically double the numbers they reach at five months of life.
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Several studies across various countries place the average growth time rate of a medium-sized dog between nine to ten months overall. Larger breeds take longer (from twelve to eighteen months). The only ones with a non-measurable growth rate are truly gigantic dogs such as Mastiffs, Grand Danes, and Rottweiler who can keep growing well until they are three years old.
The following questions have been designed with the purpose of offering guidance on every aspect related to the growth of your puppy and how to manage the process properly on your end. While attention is essential on the owners’ side, it is important to keep contact with a veterinary to assist us in all matter related to it.
How big will my puppy be?
Quick fact: all puppies grow incredibly fast. Being prepared for the moment, your puppy becomes into a full-fledged dog is pretty significant because you need to be ready with adequate space for him as well as all the equipment he will need when he reaches his set size. Your vet can give you some insight on their habits given their breed
Just like any animal out there, different dogs have different needs given their size and breed. A German Sheppard does not require the same things as a Corgi, so there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to provide for them. We do need to handle a few calculations to estimate the growth size of our puppy.
As we mentioned in our intro, there is a basic procedure for this: an adult dog will double the weight they have at four months of age. This is closely related to his eating habits, their height also reaches a top after that time, and their breed determines it.
To put it in layman terms: if your 4-month old puppy weighs four pounds, he will weigh about eight pounds when he reaches adulthood, and this weight will be evenly distributed on his body.
One week after being born, your puppy should weigh twice what he weighed at the moment he was born; he should also have double its size by then. Average dogs increase their weight by five ounces a week, and their growth rate goes accordingly to this development. Larger breeds experience this process more quickly since their weight gain is of 2.5 pounds a week.
How Can I tell you how big my mixed puppy will get?
This is a frequent question for people who adopt their dogs from shelters, given the fact that most of them are a mixed breed. The process can be a tad difficult and a little expensive, but if you just need to know you can always ask your vet to run a DNA test to get the exact information for you.
The test consists merely of a thorough study of a blood sample of your puppy for all the traces that can pinpoint to their breed of origin. The analysis usually takes two weeks, but given the fast rate of growth of puppies, this is certainly pointless unless your dog is prone to have a medical condition.
If such a complex test takes too long, there are other things you can notice about your new friend that can give you a hint at how big he will be, such as:
Many grandmothers used to predict the height of their grandkids just by taking a look at their feet. You can apply that method with your puppy too! A small-sized paw means that your dog will be average-sized. The indicator tends to expand as the puppy display larger paws. The only way this doesn’t work is when the genetic heritage of the dog comes into play.
If you catch a glimpse of loose skin in the body of your puppy, it’s probably because he will grow into it in the future. Large saggy skin bags are signs of future growth. Small loose skin bags indicate the presence of smaller breeds. Again this can also be affected by the DNA of the puppy to some extent.
The Height of the Puppy’s Parents
This one is pretty uncommon, but not impossible to check, especially if you live in the country and your puppy is given to you by a farmer or a local shelter. You can always ask the person giving out the dog for adoption about the height of the parents to determine the adult height of the one you have. Bear in mind that the mother usually carries the dominant genes, and they are generally larger than the dad. Again, some DNA structure might influence the outcome of this mean of prediction.
What Age is a Dog no Longer a Puppy?
If we consider the scientific input, most studies show that a dog is viewed as a puppy from the moment he’s born to the year of age or 365 full days. They go through several stages of development very quickly, but they still need human assistance if they are under their care. Newborn puppies don’t look the part too much when they come to this earth, but they undergo a drastic transformation in the span of a year.
How long does it take for a Puppy to be Full Grown?
As we stated previously, there is a particular correlation between the height of a dog and their weight. While in most dogs this process is evenly distributed, the final results will need a brief time of adjustments to settle completely.
A few puppies reach their full height before their full weight. An average puppy that is four months old usually shows 60% of their full height and has 30% of their total weight. This certainly makes for an awkward look that is especially noticeable in larger breeds.
Even with these acknowledge figures out there, your puppy might reach a full height at a different moment. Breed and age play a significant role in these occurrences. This is how it usually plays for some of the most well-known breeds out there:
- Small breeds, also known as toy-like dogs due to their size, reach their full size in no less than ten months, and no more than one year.
- Medium-sized breed puppies, like Corgi or Beagles, stop growing at fifteen months, and their ideal weight is reached after eighteen.
- Large breed like German Shepherds, Doberman or Golden Retrievers, reach a full height at sixteen months. They can also gain more weight for up to two years, anything beyond that it’s considered unhealthy.
There are some particular giant breeds, like San Bernard, Mastiffs or Great Danes that can reach their full height after eighteen months. Their ideal weight is fully reached after three years.
When do Puppies Grow the Most?
Science again can provide an easy answer for this one. The quick answer is that most of the growth and body development on puppies happens from the moment they are born to their six months of age. The average periods where the most rapid growth rate occurs has been measured as it follows:
- Small breeds: 0 to 11 weeks
- Medium breeds: 0 to 16 weeks
- Large breeds: 0 to 20 weeks
- Giant Breeds: 0 to 25 weeks
Small breeds are the ones that develop faster. They also reach maturity earliest.
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Large and giant breeds’ development is prolonged; their maturity is likewise.
When your puppy reaches at least 65% of his height, his growth rate will decline, and it will be hard for you to tell if he grows any larger. Another important thing to have in mind, advises the Crazy Pet Guy, is that the growth of your puppy depends on his diet, and not every puppy has the same nutrition needs.
Can I Check the Height of my puppy using a Weight Calculator?
Although the math to handle the weight of your puppy, it’s not that hard. It can get very tiring, very quickly. You may need to keep checking this information periodically for health reasons, or because you are simply conscious about the state of your puppy’s development. If handling the calculus takes a toll on you, it’s possible to try computer-generated options out of the many that can be found online. The most accessible one seems to be the one provided:
The usual information required by these weight estimator tools is listed below:
- Breed of the puppy
- Date of birth of the pup
- Last, weigh date of the puppy
- Current weight in pounds
What Age does Small Breed Puppies Stop Growing?
We have already a few facts about puppies regarding their weight and size, for a quick recap of this question we can list a few facts:
- Small breeds finish growing before larger breeds.
- They reach maturity their larger cousins. This makes them better behaved if you inculcate proper habits on them.
- Proper nutrition is easy to provide for them and also less costly than larger breeds.
If you take all of these into account, it is easy to notice why a small-breed puppy is finished growing after eleven months, or one year tops. There are also other factors that can affect these results, such as:
The pup’s gender
Most of the figures we are providing in this guide are based on average sized dogs, but there is a lot more to consider, being gender one of the most deciding traits. Science has already proven that female pups are heavier and bigger than their male companions. This becomes relatively noticeable in larger breeds.
Neutering the pup
Neutering can affect the size of your puppy as he reaches adulthood. This happens because sex hormones regulate their growth. A neutered dog can grow a little bit larger than others specimens of his own breed. They can also be prone to pack more weight.
While we have established that most dogs reach maturity after a year, most vets recommend waiting two or three years until the body of the dog is sufficiently developed to perform the surgery.
How Your Puppy Will Develop From Birth to Twelve Weeks?
It’s not so complicated to keep track of your puppy’s development if you are well informed in the matter, the great thing about the internet is that it can help you get a glimpse of the things that vets can explain more thoroughly.
When it comes to puppies, there are five stages of development we need to keep track of as we care for him, depending on their breed this can get pretty easy if we work alongside our vets to give them the proper care they need during this tenure.
Let’s take a look at the proposed stages:
Neonatal Period – Age: newborn to two weeks
- At this stage, most puppies can feel touch and taste everything, but not much else. During this time they are mostly stimulated by the mother or the surrogate taking care of them.
- They also begin to learn basic social skills and they get their first perceived notions of coordination on their surroundings.
- Most of what puppies do during this time is drink milk every two hours, so if you are playing surrogate be ready to feed them following that schedule.
Transition Period – Age: two to four weeks
- After two weeks being properly nurtured most puppies open their eyes for the first time.
- Most breeds try to stand and take a walk for the first time, their sense of smell and hearing gets enhanced very quickly so their perception is increased and they act upon it.
- They also start to wag their tails, and teeth begin to appear in their mouths. Some of them try their barks for the first time.
- After the four weeks are passed, they will understand the concept of relieving themselves.
- They will also be able to see correctly.
Social Period – Age: Four to Twelve weeks
- This is the moment when they can begin to interact with other people and other dogs.
- They will be able to understand the concept of running around, and they will undoubtedly get joy out of their surroundings, so this is the best moment to teach them how to play with certain toys.
- Most of his behavior is determined by the stuff they learn during this precise period.
- Some vets recommend leaving them with their mothers up until the eight weeks to understand certain concepts such as biting and interaction with littermates.
- After week eight is the best moment to begin housetraining to your puppy. He will experience some fear for a few days with every new challenge he has to face, but by week twelve he should be good, with a load of social skills set in place to get along with humans and littermates alike.
Rank Period – Age: Three to Six Months
- This is the period of absorption to your puppy, as he will learn everything that defines his traits here. You can get him to learn basic notions of submission and dominance to establish his relationship with everything surrounding him.
- Most of his curiosity will be satisfied by biting and chewing everything, is up to you to make him learn what he can and can’t bite.
- Don’t be afraid to show him by example. Dogs are pretty conscious of the patterns they follow when imitated by humans.
Adolescence – Age: Six to Eighteen months
- During this time your puppy is now able to understand his place in the pack (your family) His behavior will be affected by everything happening in his surroundings.
- He can learn voice commands now, but he will also be more prone to explore more everything that happens around him.
- Beware though: he will also challenge authority to explore the boundaries of his dominance, so this stage is also the best moment to correct undesired behaviors.
- If your puppy is not spayed or neutered, they will also show their first signs of sexual attraction at this stage, usually within the seventh and ninth month.
After reading most of this information, we are pretty sure you can have a good idea of what you will have to deal with your puppy. You can be prepared now and deal with everything that comes. Make sure always to have your vet one phone call away to make sure you are doing everything as you should.