When Do Puppies Stop Growing?
There aren’t many better things in life than watching your puppy grow up and develop into an adult, well-behaved dog. It seems like they are fully developed in a matter of months, but the truth is, some puppies can grow until they are 2 years old. The different development rate puppies can have, makes it completely logical many dog owners ask the question, “When do dogs stop growing?” Here is what you should know about puppies growing.
As you probably imagined, not all dog breeds grow equally fast. Larger breeds will need a longer time for their bones to reach their full size. Bones of smaller breeds, like the Cairn Terrier or a Chihuahua, can fully develop in 6 months, but larger puppies, like the Great Dane or St. Bernard, can grow for 24 months.
The puppy’s skeletal development will determine the height the puppy will reach in their adulthood. As soon as the skeletal development is done, the dog is considered fully grown. However, their overall development is not complete. Puppies, or at that point, adult dogs, will still develop muscle and fat, just like humans do.
There are many different small breeds, from Terriers to companion breeds like the Maltese. They all have specific growth spurts, but what they all have in common is that they all finish their growing process between 6 - 8 months. These breeds simply have less to grow. Their smaller stature allows them to complete their skeletal development twice as fast as their larger cousins.
Medium-sized dogs have slightly more growing to do, and their skeletal growth will naturally take more time. Like the Australian Shepherd or Golden Retriever, most medium-sized breeds are fully grown by the time they are 12 months old.
Larger breed puppies have the most development to do, and their growing process will take the longest. Like the Bernese Mountain Dog, your average large breed will take about 14 - 18 months to reach their full height. However, giant breeds, like the Mastiffs, will take around 24 months to finish growing.
Generally speaking, breeds over 70 pounds (when they are fully grown) take the longest to grow, and they are considered large dogs. These dogs will need some time to reach their full potential, and you should make sure they get all the necessary nutrients and support a developing puppy needs.
The main issue with guessing how fast a crossbreed puppy will grow is that we don’t know which breeds they are a cross of. It is a lot easier to know when it comes to known crossbreeds and designer dogs, like Labradoodles or Goldendoodles. Both their parent breeds are medium-sized dogs, and there is no reason we should expect them to grow for longer than 12 months.
When a puppy’s parents are from different, unknown breeds, it is impossible to know precisely how long they will be growing. However, if they are a cross between two small breeds, we expect them to be fully developed with 6 to 8 months. The same goes for crossbreeds between medium-sized breeds and large-sized breeds.
The breed is not the only thing that influences how fast a puppy will grow. Other factors need to be considered, and the two most important factors are genetic predispositions and nutrition.
Genetic predisposition will have a considerable influence when it comes to mixed breeds. It is impossible to know how fast will they develop exactly. However, all dogs are unique, and they inherit a unique set of genetic material. The genes they inherit will play a role in determining how fast they will grow. Sometimes, smaller puppies will take a longer time to develop, and larger puppies will develop sooner than expected.
Poor diet and nutrition will prevent the puppy from successfully converting nutrients into tissue. It will also prevent them from developing in large, strapping canines they can be. Puppies should have specialized diets that are rich in nutrients that will allow them to properly develop. The best puppy dog food should be rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, and all of these nutrients should come from high-quality sources. Check out this article for some high-quality puppy food suggestions - The best food for puppies.
Training is essential for all dogs and puppies, but developing and growing puppies should be careful. In fact, their owners should be careful not to overexercise them. You should avoid prolonged jogging or hiking until your dog fully develops; it doesn’t matter if it is 6-8 months or 24 months. You should wait for their bones to fully develop, and only then can you start jogging with your dog on hard surfaces. In the meantime, you can take them for walks and play on soft surfaces like grass.
World Dog Finder team