When Do Dogs Stop Growing?
The answer to the question when do dogs stop growing is difficult. It really depends on the breed of dog you have and the actual dog himself.
I have always wondered when do dog’s stop growing because I feel like Bunk is still a puppy. Some people tell me pugs stop growing at the age of two and they should be fully mature and at their full body size. I then look at other black pugs, and my Bunk who is turning two in a little less than 2 months, and I think about how that just does not seem to be true!
When we are looking at adorable puppies, there is a part of us that wishes that they would stay the same size forever. They are so fluffy, everyone is all over them and you just can’t get enough of them! As you watch them grow, every month you wonder when they will stop growing! This blog has helped me a lot while I have watched Bunk the Pug grow from being an eight-pound, poop-eating, peeing-on-the-carpet pug to becoming a sixteen-pound pug who is somewhat house-trained.
It takes different breeds different periods of time to grow to their full potential. It also depends on the size of the dog to begin with. The general rule of thumb seems to be that the smaller the dog is, the sooner they will reach their full-grown size.
A good example would be that of a Pomeranian. If a Pomeranian is supposed to be eight-pounds, he or she will most likely reach his or her full size by ten or twelve months of age. In fact, there are actual standards on how large a Pomeranian is supposed to be. On the other hand, a large Labrador, might be still growing until he is about a year and a half other. Another example would be of the largest dogs, such as Newfoundlands, who often take two full-years to reach their adult size.
For medium-sized breeds like Toy Poodles, the time period is fairly extended as they become fully mature during 12 to 15 months. However as far as weight of these breeds is concerned, they take extra 3 to 6 months to gain proper weight i.e. in 18 months.
There are few gigantic breeds that take the maximum time period to mature and become fully grown like Saint Bernards, Catahoulas, Great Pyrenees or Mastiffs. Even though they take almost 18 months to get fully big, yet such breeds may also extend to almost 36 months to gain their required weight and complete body mass.
Some people also say female dogs mature faster than the male dogs. Apparently, in some breeds, the female dog becomes mature six months earlier than a male dog. Often times, even when the dog has fully grown, they will continue to fill in their rib and collar bone areas until another year or two.
As mentioned, it is really a general rule and does not apply to all dogs. Bunk sometimes seems like he is still growing. For a pug, at 1.75 years he qualifies as an adult dog but with the way his weight fluctuates and when I see other full-sized pugs, I find myself wondering whether he will be growing bigger still. It seems like there is still some of that boxy figure that he is missing.
How can I tell if my dog will still keep growing?
There are some ways in which you can when your dog will stop growing. You can look at your dog and see whether he has more growing left to do. One way to gauge how much growing your dog has left to do would be by looking at his paws. Big dogs are born with large paws, which look strange (and adorable!) on them as puppies! As they grow older, they will be growing into their paws, so that their paws look more proportionate to their body size. If the puppy’s body looks like he is still grown into his paw size, he might still have some growing to do!
In many ways, dogs are kind of like human children. Often times, you will notice that they will stop growing for a while. Just when you are feeling like they have stopped growing and that they have reached their full potential, they will suddenly look much larger than you seem to have remembered! Dogs can have growing spurts, just like human kids do sometimes. Some ways in which you can look out for a growth spurt is when you notice that the dog suddenly has a bigger appetite and is taking more naps. The appetite and sleepiness means a growth spurt is about to happen.
The third way to tell if the dog still has some growing left to do is kind of tricky. Sometimes, dogs will continue to act like a puppy if they are not done growing. His body isn’t yet fully mature and neither is his behavior. This isn’t foolproof as many breeds continue to be high energy and act silly until well into adulthood. Compare your dog’s behavior to adults of his breed or type to see if he’s acting like a puppy or an adult. Now, here is the problem. Who is to say that dogs that are completely done growing cannot act like puppies as well?
In the initial stages, a canine tries to snoop around for almost everything that comes in his way and also bite off toys lying around him. However this is quite uncommon for a full-grown canine since he is less likely to be nosy and not often he tries to explore anything. For example, when Bunk was first brought home we did all sorts of things to keep him from nipping. He would always nip at our fingers, and even though he was a small pug, the sharp puppy teeth would hurt! Now, even if I were to put my finger in his mouth, he still would not nip at me just because he knows not to.
A puppy, which has not yet attained maturity, tends to be energetic and bubbly in his behavior. That’s why an immature canine seeks more concentration from his master than the adult dog. As the dog grows older, he will not be as attention seeking and might instead choose to sit down beside you, snuggle, and maybe even lay down and do his thing in an area near you. As mentioned before, this stage is very hard to understand because a lot of times dogs (like Bunk!) will continue to display puppy behavior well into their adulthood.
How long did it take your dog to stop growing? Were there any signs you noticed that helped you understand that they had stopped growing? Let us know below!