When deciding what breed of dog to bring into your family, many people suddenly come across a photo of a baby-eyed ball of fluff on a breeder’s website and fall instantly in love. And while we don’t want to be the ones to cast judgment, this certainly isn’t the recommended way for dog owners who are tight on space to decide on what type of dog they want to raise.
Whether you’re keen to pre-order a dog crate that will see your dog through their growth, need to know if you have enough space for the puppy you have your eyes on, or are just feeling curious, our overview of the potential growth depending on your prospective puppy’s breed is here to help.
Variables That Influence a Dog’s Size
Before we start estimating what adult size your puppy will become, it’s important to note that these numbers are known as predicated and not proven figures for a reason. There exist an array of other variables that determine how big any dog breed will get, and we’ve detailed a few of them below:
- Gender: Exactly like humans, male dogs tend to end up larger than female dogs. Although female dogs reach their adult weight faster than their male counterparts, males usually grow to be much larger.
- Early spaying and neutering: Fascinatingly enough, conclusive research showed that if dogs are spayed or neutered as pups, this can actually alter their overall growth. As early spaying and neutering extend the length of time bones can grow, a dog usually grows to be taller.
- Breed: Evidently, dog breeds differ in size. Yet what is particularly fascinating about different breeds is that members of toy and small dog breeds reach full growth faster than larger breeds.
How Big Will My Puppy Get in Terms of Height?
In order to answer this question, it’s important to work out what type of dog your puppy is so you can figure out their different growth states. We’ve broken down the principal growth states for different types of dogs below:
- Toy dogs
Adorable toy breeds are dogs like Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas that often boast playful and curious personalities. They don’t tend to enjoy much growth and usually stop between six and eight months – although it’s rare to see a toy breed grow substantially more after the six month mark.
- Small and medium dogs
Typically, small and medium dogs will reach maturity at the end of their full year. A few examples of small and medium sized breeds are Foxhounds and Malamutes. At around nine months, most small and medium dogs won’t grow much larger.
- Large dogs
This subset comprises of breeds like the Golden Retriever and German Shepherd. It takes far longer for large dogs to reach their full adult size. Loveable large dogs will only be fully grown between a year and a half to two years. However, most members of large breeds will be around their full height around a year.
- Giant dogs
Giant breeds are dogs like Great Danes who often reach the height of small children. And although these gentle giants don’t boast a long lifespan, their growth period is the exact opposite. The fact that some members of giant breeds will grow for up to three years is astounding, given that some giant dogs possess a lifespan of eight years. That’s nearly half their lifespan spent growing!
Thankfully, all breeds can be measured by the same growth calculation to find a dog’s final height. To obtain an accurate height measurement, avert from measuring from the ground to the top of a dog’s head, as is the recommended way for humans. Instead, you must measure a dog’s height from the floor to their shoulder, given that a dog’s head isn’t vertically aligned with their spinal column.
Once you’ve obtained this figure, multiply it by 100 and then divide this figure by 75. This calculation rests on the basis that a puppy is 75% of their adult height at six months. If you don’t have a calculator lying around your home, there are several sources online that do this calculation for you.
Should I Trust Paw Size as an Indicator?
If you own a puppy, we’re sure that you’ve often heard doting strangers remark “well, you can tell they’re going to be big with those massive paws!”. However, is measuring your dog’s paws a legitimate way to figure out their eventual height or simply a cute urban myth?
On one hand, it certainly stands to reason that a puppy who boasts large paws will eventually grow to become a larger dog. After all, a dog requires a strong foundation to support a heavier and taller build. However, this way of guessing how big your puppy will become is much more reliable for small dog breeds than medium sized and larger breeds. Why so? Well, as we discovered above, the growth curve or large and giant breeds runs over years, so this measurement really isn’t that accurate.
Likewise, it’s important to acknowledge that a smattering of breeds are genetically prone to having large paws. Collies, for example, are renowned for having small, oval-shaped paws, even though many turn out to be quite large dogs. On a similar note, English Bulldogs have extremely large paws, although these large paws are to support their large heads and chests rather than a tall stature.
How Much Will My Dog Weigh When They’re an Adult?
Dog owners tend to consider how big their pups grow in height over their puppy’s adult weight. However, in order to control the pet obesity epidemic, we all should be monitoring our dog’s weight so they don’t join the 65% of other dogs who are overweight across America.
Toy and Small Dogs:
For predictions into a toy dog’s adult weight, you must weigh them when they reach six weeks of age. The maths isn’t at all complicated to work out their adult dog weight – all you’ve got to do is double their weight, and then double it again.
For reference, a Chihuahua’s adult weight won’t exceed six pounds for either males or females of this breed. Regarding the weight of a stereotypical small dog, a Miniature Schnauzer of any sex weighs anywhere between eleven to twenty pounds. Therefore, if you measure your toy dog to find they weigh twenty pounds, they’re either desperately needing to lose some weight or your scales are wonky!
Medium and Large Dogs:
Patience is key when waiting to weigh medium or large breeds. Unlike their smaller friends, dog owners should wait until their puppy is fourteen weeks old before weighing them. Once you have obtained said figure, double it and then add on half the fourteen week weight to generate the weight they should be when they stop growing.
So you know that your figures are accurate, male American Staffordshire Terriers as medium dog breeds weigh between fifty-five and seventy pounds, in comparison with females whose adult weight sits in between forty to fifty-five pounds. On a similar note, Labrador Retrievers as the stereotypical large breed are heavier. Males of this breed weigh between sixty-five to eighty pounds, with female’s adult weight between fifty-five to seventy pounds.
Given the astoundingly long amount of time a giant dog is able to grow for, it’s more than likely that the above calculations used to determine the final weight for small to large pups won’t be accurate. Consulting your veterinarian may be the best approach for giant, especially as owners will also be able to learn more about the downsides of rapid growth like hip dysplasia.
Nevertheless, if you’re still keen to try and measure what weight your giant dog will be manually, the American Kennel Club’s weight chart specifies that a male Great Dane’s average final weight will be between 140-175 pounds, Females are a little lighter at approximately 110 to 140 pounds, but this is still heavy when compared to other breeds.
Still a Little Confused?
If calculations are not your strong suit, there are thankfully other resources to help you calculate your puppy’s adult weight and height. One trustworthy resource is the American Kennel Club’s Breed Weight Chart. Although it isn’t geared towards your particular pup’s adult weight, it’s handy for prospective owners to know what weight their desired breed could become. The weight chart is even split up into male and female breeds to provide further clarity. Plus, as the American Kennel Club is a reputable source, you know the statistics are reliable.
The problem with the American Kennel Club’s dog weight estimator, however, is that it does not cater towards mixed-breed dogs in comparison to purebreds. The task to reliably figure out what height or weight your designer dog will end up is even more of a struggle, given the American Kennel Club’s refusal to recognize these dogs as breeds.
Finally, the same problem exists for those owners who have adopted a dog from a shelter and don’t know their specific breed makeup. Especially as our puppy weight calculator for small dogs requires owners to own their pups from six weeks of age – the majority of dog lovers who choose to adopt don’t own their dogs at this period in their lives. Thankfully, owners in this position have the option to carry out a dog DNA test to discover their adopted pup’s DNA makeup. Many of these tests can be bought online too. For a wider selection of choices, check out our DNA tests for dogs guide.
Our Final Thoughts
We wouldn’t think too much about your dog’s eventual height as an adult if you don’t have the worry of crate-training and own a big yard. Honestly, whether your dog turns out to have a good-natured and loving personality matters so much more than their adult weight and height. Just enjoy this time together and watching them grow into a dog you can be proud of.