Lately, a number of stories have cropped up on social media feeds about small puppies turning into giant dogs.
“The shelter told me this dog would be no bigger than 15 pounds!” One woman posted as she stood beside what can only be described as a small pony.
It’s not uncommon for shelters (and even some breeders) to completely mis-judge the ultimate size of your puppy.
The good news is that you don’t soley have to rely on the source from which you obtained your puppy to get a good idea of just how big your puppy will be.
And that’s where we come in. Today, we’re taking a look at the puppy growth chart and discussing how quickly puppies grow depending on their breed or mix. We will also discuss how you can help aid in your puppy’s overall development during puppyhood.
Let’s get started.
Puppy Growth Chart – Does Size Really Matter?
A puppy’s growth chart depends on a dog’s breed or genetics.
It’s important to be prepared before you obtain a puppy, but preparation means you need to know a few key details about this puppy in order to be the best pet parent possible.
So in this case, size does matter. Knowing the size of your puppy will help you determine the type of diet that puppy should be on, his overall exercise needs, the type of bedding or crate you should invest in, and so on and so forth.
To estimate your puppy’s eventual size on a puppy growth chart, you must first ask yourself a few questions:
- What is your puppy’s breed or mix?
- How big are your puppy’s parent dogs?
- Is your puppy a male or female? (Males typically grow larger than females)
The answers to these questions will play an important role in determining how big your puppy will grow to be, as your puppy’s size will depend a great deal on his genetics.
Unfortunately, if you don’t know much about your dog’s lineage, it can be difficult to estimate his overall size on a basic puppy growth chart.
Still, even if you don’t know exactly what your dog is, you should be able to apply your dog to one of the five groups below:
- Toy Dogs – Under 12 Pounds
- Small Dogs – 12 to 25 Pounds
- Medium Dogs – 25 to 50 Pounds
- Large Dogs – 50 to 100 Pounds
- And Giant Dogs – Over 100 Pounds
Once you’ve determined which of the above groups your puppy belongs in, it will be easier to determine just how big he’ll grow up to be on a puppy growth chart.
With that noted, let’s take a closer look at the above five groups.
Toy dogs include purebreds like Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Toy Poodles. As adults, these dogs characteristically don’t exceed 12 pounds.
Generally, adult toy dogs range in weight from 4 to 12 pounds and have a delicate bone structure.
Small dogs range in weight from 12 to 25 pounds. Purebreds in this group include dogs like the French Bulldog, the Beagle, the Jack Russell Terrier and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Medium dog breeds like the Border Collie, Cocker Spaniel, Whippet or Bulldog range in weight from 25 to 50 pounds once they reach maturity. These dogs can vary in height and bone structure, and are sometimes lumped into the large dog category.
A large dog is a dog that weighs between 50 to 100 pounds. These dogs can range in size and body shape, and a few good examples of large breed dogs include the Standard Poodle, the Golden Retriever, the Husky, and the Rottweiler.
Giant breed dogs are dogs that weigh over 100 pounds.
Many of you are familiar with Great Danes. This breed is the epitome of a giant dog as he is considered the largest dog in the canine kingdom. However, there are other giant breeds that include the Mastiff, The Irish Wolfhound, the Saint Bernard and the Newfloundland.
How Does A Puppy Growth Chart Correlate With The 6 Stages Of Puppyhood?
Regardless of which group your puppy falls into, he’ll still follow the same six stages as his other puppy counterparts.
It probably seems like your puppy is growing up before your very eyes. And while puppies do develop much more quickly than human children, there are important stages that take place as they climb their puppy growth chart.
Furthermore, it’s estimated that regardless of your dog’s breed or mix, puppies don’t reach full maturity until they are around two years old. But maturity is different than size, especially when considering a puppy growth chart.
So, how old are dogs when they stop physically growing?
Experts say that most puppies won’t reach their official adult size until they are around 18 months old. However, some puppies can stop growing at 8 months while others continue developing until they’re around 24 months.
When considering where your puppy falls on a puppy growth chart, you should also consider the stages that happen during puppyhood. These stages are not only detrimental to your puppy’s physical well-being as he develops, but also his mental health.
Stage 1 – The Neonatal Period (0 to 2 Weeks)
The neonatal period of puppyhood is the first stage you’ll see on a puppy growth chart, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. It’s the newborn stage of puppyhood when the puppy is solely dependent on his mother (or surrogate) for food, socialization, warmth and hygiene.
Stage 2 – The Transitional Period (2 to 4 Weeks)
This stage of a puppy growth chart is when a puppy begins to finally open his eyes. He’s gaining strength and learning to walk, and he’s also starting to sprout a bit in size. In fact, it’s estimated that puppies grow about 5 to 10% each day during these weeks of life and up until they are about 8 weeks old.
Also around this time, the puppy will be developing a few social skills from his mother and littermates. These skills will help to shape his behavior and personality once he reaches adulthood.
Stage 3 – The Socialization Period (4 to 12 Weeks)
The socialization period is one of the most important periods on the puppy growth chart. Not only is the puppy looking less like a furry potato and more like a dog, but he’s also starting to develop fundamental ideas about the world.
It is during this stage you’ll also likely meet your new puppy, (once he is seven weeks or older, of course), and it will be up to you to properly socialize him further.
Stage 4 – The Ranking Period (3 to 6 Months)
Your puppy is really sprouting during this time both physically and mentally. He’s in his “pre teen” years, and he’ll be heavily influenced by his environment. If you have another dog in the home, your puppy will start to emulate certain behaviors of his canine sibling.
He’ll also be heavily influenced by his human family, meaning training and socialization are very important during this time.
Stage 5 – The Adolescence Period (6 to 18 Months)
Like human teenagers, puppies will push your buttons during this time. Sadly, most dogs surrendered to shelters are in their adolescent stage on a puppy growth chart.
This is likely because this is the age at which they act out most and are often most overwhelming for owners.
Your puppy’s adolescent stage can be annoying, but it’s another pivotal time for your puppy’s growth. He is entering the end of his development on his puppy growth chart and will soon reach his adult size.
That said, during this time your puppy is also mentally and emotionally influenced by…well..everything.
This means that adolescent puppies are more easily distracted, more prone to testing boundaries, and less interested in following rules.
Getting your puppy spayed or neutered around this time can help curb wild behaviors, as can consistent training, positive reinforcement, and lots of patience. And soon, your puppy growth chart will peak and that pup will be a full-blown adult.
So just hang in there.
Stage 6 – Adulthood (18 Months On)
Reaching this stage means you’ve survived the teen phase and have moved on to adulthood. Dogs over the age of two will have finally reached their full size and weight, and they are likely going to be much more calm, relaxed, and predictable.
But before your dog reaches stage 6 on his puppy growth chart, he’ll undergo a lot of developmental changes. These developmental changes will vary depending on where your dog falls when it comes to being a toy all the way up to a giant breed.
With that noted, it’s time to talk about how your dog grows based on the group he belongs to. Let’s start with Toy dogs and work our way up.
Toy Dog Puppy Growth Chart
Toy puppies like the Yorkshire Terrier are going to grow more slowly.
Average Toy Dog Height: 6 to 15 Inches
Average Toy Dog Weight: 4 to 12 Pounds
Average Toy Dog Age of Maturity: 8 and 9 Months
Toy Puppy Growth Chart Overview:
Toy dogs and mixes tend to grow much more quickly than large breed dogs. In fact, most toy breeds will have reached their adult size by the time they are between 8 and 9 months, with the majority of their growth occurring between zero and 11 weeks.
Toy puppies gain around 1 to 5 ounces of weight each week until maturity, so you can estimate your toy puppy’s eventual size by doing some simple math.
Consider your puppy’s weight at six weeks old and multiply that weight by two. Then multiply that number by two once more. The answer is the average weight your toy puppy will be once mature.
An Example of Toy Puppy Growth Estimate:
2 pounds at 6 weeks old.
2 pounds X 2 = 4.
4 X 2 = 8
This toy puppy will weigh around 8 pounds once he reaches adulthood.
Canidae Pure Petite Raw Coated Puppy Food
Diet is one of the most important parts of a puppy’s healthy development. Investing in a quality dog food that is specified for your puppy’s size and weight is going to ensure his bones, muscles, joints and brain develop at the rate they should.
For small breed puppies who develop much more quickly than large breed puppies, we recommend a small breed puppy food by Canidae. This dog food is grain free and is loaded with all the nutrients a toy puppy needs in order to grow up healthy and happy.
It includes antioxidants for your puppy’s immune system, fatty acids for brain development, and probiotics for healthy digestion.
Small Dog Puppy Growth Chart
Like toy breeds, small breed puppies tend to grow at a more consistent rate than their larger breed counterparts.
Average Small Dog Height: 10 to 20 Inches
Average Small Dog Weight: 12 to 25 Pounds
Average Small Dog Age of Maturity: 8 to 11 Weeks
Small Dog Puppy Growth Chart Overview:
Small dog breeds and mixes grow similarly to toy breeds. They have a more rapid development between the ages of zero and 11 weeks, at which time they gain 5 to 8 ounces a week.
To estimate your small puppy’s eventual adult weight, you can use the same mathematical formula we used for a toy dog.
Example of Small Puppy Growth Estimate:
5.5 pounds at 6 weeks old.
5.5 pounds X 2 = 11.
11 X 2 = 22
This small breed or mix puppy will be around 22 pounds once he reaches adulthood.
Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Puppy Food
You can usually get by with a quality small breed puppy food for both toy and small breeds. This is because small breed dog food, in general, is designed for those smaller mouths and tinier teeth.
We like the Wellness brand for small breed and mix puppies because it is made with quality ingredients and is designed to support your puppy’s development. It includes high levels of DHA to support a healthy brain and antioxidants to increase immune system health.
You can also choose different recipes if your puppy has sensitivities. And since this is a hard food kibble, you can mix it with water or wet food to help your puppy chew and digest easier.
Medium Dog Puppy Growth Chart
Medium sized dogs like Border Collies require a dog food specified for medium sized dog breeds in order to aid in healthy development.
Average Medium Dog Height: 10 to 20 Inches
Average Medium Dog Weight: 25 to 50 Pounds
Average Medium Dog Age of Maturity: 9 and 12 Months
Medium Dog Puppy Growth Chart Overview:
Medium sized dogs like Collies, Whippets and Bull Terriers mature more slowly than their small dog counterparts. The majority of their physical development takes place between the ages of zero and 16 weeks, but will continue until they are up to one year old.
During this time, your medium dog will also be developing muscle, so he may continue to look like a puppy even though he is at his full height. His final weight comes later, usually by the time he is 12 to 18 months.
To estimate your medium dog’s weight, double his weight at 14 weeks. Then add that number to half of what your dog’s current weight at 14 weeks is. This will give you a good idea of how much your medium dog will weigh once he reaches adulthood.
An Example of A Medium Puppy Growth Estimate:
14 pounds at 14 weeks old
14 pounds X 2 = 28
Then take his current weight (14 pounds), divide it by 2 (7) and add it as shown below.
28 + 7 = 35
This medium breed or mix puppy will be around 35 pounds once he reaches adulthood.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy Food
Blue Buffalo has long been a trusted and healthy dog food brand for dogs of all ages and in all life stages. We like this particular chicken and brown rice recipe for medium breed puppies on our puppy growth chart because it is packed with all things puppies this size need.
It includes quality ingredients like real meat protein, fatty acids, antioxidants, DHA, and more. It also helps reduce digestive problems and supports healthy brain function.
If your medium sized puppy does have sensitivities, you can forgo the chicken recipe and choose lamb.
Large Dog Puppy Growth Chart
Large breed puppies include dogs like Huskies, Labradors, and German Shepherds.
Average Large Dog Height: 20 to 25 Inches
Average Large Dog Weight: 50 to 100 Pounds
Average Large Dog Age of Maturity: 12 to 18 Months
Large Dog Puppy Growth Chart Overview:
Large breed dogs take even longer than medium sized dogs to fully mature, with their adult weight not occurring until they are at least 18 month old.
However, large dog breeds or mixes grow most quickly between the ages of zero and 20 weeks, and then slow down while slowly putting on muscle and fat.
You can calculate your large dog’s weight by dividing his weight at 20 weeks with his current age. So, take your dog’s weight ÷ 20 weeks and then multiply that answer by 52. (52 is the number of weeks in a year, and a year is the average amount of time a large breed dog takes to fully develop).
Otherwise, you can wait until your dog reaches six months of age and multiply his weight at six months by 2.
An Example of a Large Puppy Growth Estimate:
- Estimating Your Large Puppy’s Adult Weight at 20 Weeks:
30 Pounds ÷ 20 = 1.5
1.5 X 52 = 78
This large breed puppy will be around 78 pounds once he reaches adulthood
- Estimating Your Large Puppy’s Adult Weight at 6 Months:
39 Pounds at 6 Months
39 Pounds X 2 = 78
Again, this large breed puppy will weigh around 78 pounds once mature.
Diamond Naturals Dry Puppy Food For Large Breeds
Large breed puppies need a bit of extra support when it comes to bone, joint and muscle development. While they may grow more slowly than smaller breeds when compared on the puppy growth chart, they still develop quickly in the scheme of things.
This means they can be prone to developing chronic bone and joint issues early on if they are not on the proper diet as puppies.
The above puppy food by Diamond Naturales is a dog food specifically designed for large breed puppies and their unique development. It includes a lamb and rice recipe we love for dogs with sensitivities and is made with real meat protein for healthy bones and muscles, fatty acids, antioxidants, and DAS for healthy eye and brain function.
Giant Dog Puppy Growth Chart
Giant breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs grow quickly, and sometimes this rapid growth can lead to health issues if precautions are not taken during puppyhood.
Average Giant Dog Height: 24 + Inches
Average Giant Dog Weight: 100 + Pounds
Average Giant Dog Age of Maturity: 12 to 24 Months
Giant Dog Puppy Growth Chart Overview:
Most giant dogs grow at the same rate as large breed dogs, though some can take as long as 24 months to reach their mature weight and height.
They grow most rapidly between the ages of zero and 25 weeks, and you can estimate the average size of your giant breed or mix puppy by following the same mathematical formula we used for large breed dogs.
An Example of A Giant Puppy Growth Estimate:
- Estimating A Large Puppy’s Adult Weight at 20 Weeks:
50 Pounds ÷ 20 = 2.5
2.25 X 52 = 130
This giant breed puppy will be around 130 pounds once he reaches his adult age
- Estimating A giant Puppy’s Adult Weight at 6 Months:
65 Pounds at 6 Months
65 Pounds X 2 = 130
Once mature, this giant breed puppy will weigh about 130 pounds
Holistic Select Natural Giant Breed Puppy Food
Giant breeds are especially susceptible to joint and bone issues as they grow, and without the proper diet or exercise while they are young they can develop painful and expensive issues. To prevent these problems, it’s important to keep your giant puppy on the proper diet that specifically targets safe and healthy development of giant breed or mix dogs.
We are big fans of Holistic Select for giant breed puppies as it is specified for dogs that grow quite large quite quickly. It includes live yogurt cultures, probiotics and digestive enzymes for healthy digestion as well as healthy fatty acids for skin, coat, and brain development.
Most importantly, it contains real meat protein for joint and bone health, as well as taurine for heart health.
How To Use A Puppy Growth Chart If You Don’t Know What Your Puppy Is
If you’re not sure about just how big your dog will get, considering a DNA test to find out his origin can help you estimate his adult size.
If your puppy is a rescue or mutt, it can be tough to know just how big he’ll get when comparing him to an average puppy growth chart.
This is because mutts and mixes can have different types of dogs in their DNA and a combination of different dog sizes ranging from toy to giant.
So, if you’re not sure about your dog’s genetics, there are a few tips we recommend following to get a better idea of his eventual size on a puppy growth chart.
Reach Out To The Source From Which You Got Your Puppy
Most shelters or rescues will have staff that are pretty well-versed in canine genetics. Many of them may even be able to look at a dog and tell simply by the dog’s characteristics which types of breeds are in his DNA.
If you’re not sure which type of dog you’ve adopted from the shelter, reach out and ask them what they think. They may be able to point you in a direction that allows you to use a puppy growth chart to estimate your dog’s eventual size and weight.
If You Went Through A Breeder, Ask To See The Parent Dogs
If your puppy is a purebred or a crossbreed (a dog with two different purebred parents), then there’s a good chance he won’t get much bigger than his mom and dad. To get a better idea of what your puppy will look like in adulthood, ask your breeder to meet the parent dogs or to at least see some pictures for size comparison.
Consider A Doggy DNA Test
Sometimes even the most experienced dog experts cannot tell you what kind of dog you have. This is especially true if your dog is a mutt and has a variety of different dogs in his DNA.
Enter doggy DNA tests! These handy-dandy tests will not only help you identify the different breeds in your dog’s bloodline, but they can also give you a better idea of your dog’s susceptibility to certain health issues.
Best of all, a DNA test can give you a good idea of what to look for on a puppy growth chart to estimate his size.
Consider Your Dog And Use the Appropriate Mathematical Formula Above
Once you are able to determine which type of dog you have, you can go ahead and use the above mathematical formulas provided in each group to estimate your dog’s size.
If your dog has a variety of breeds in his lineage, a DNA test should be able to give you a good idea of the majority of his DNA. This means you can use that breed type to go off of when choosing the appropriate formula in a puppy growth chart.
If All Else Fails, Look At Your Dog’s Paw Size
Yes, your dog’s paws are amazing in many ways, but did you know they can also help you determine your puppy’s eventual size?
No, it’s not a myth – your dog’s paws are a pretty good indication of if he is going to be a smaller or more large adult.
Dogs with especially large paws during puppyhood are much more likely to be massive dogs. Great Dane puppies, for example, are often born with feet that look far too big for their bodies.
Of course, using your dog’s paws as a stand-in for a puppy growth chart is certainly not a scientific method, so don’t be shocked if your dog outgrows your expectations or stays smaller than you anticipated if you only use his paws as an indicator.
So, now that you know more about the puppy growth chart and how to estimate your puppy’s average size, what do you think? Is your dog going to be bigger than expected or is your pup right on track?
Tell us what you think in the comment section below.