Dog Health Tips: When do Dogs Stop Growing? All you need to know

Watching a furry friend grow and develop is an exciting journey for any dog owner. From their playful puppy days to their majestic adulthood, dogs go through various stages of growth. However, many dog owners wonder, “When do dogs stop growing?”

Let’s explore the factors that influence a dog’s growth and provide insights into when you can expect your four-legged companion to reach their full size.

Dog BreedAverage Age When They Stop GrowingAverage Lifespan
Chihuahua9 – 12 months12 – 20 years
Shih Tzu9 – 12 months10 – 18 years
Beagle12 – 16 months12 – 15 years
Border Collie12 – 16 months12 – 15 years
Golden Retriever12 – 18 months10 – 12 years
Boxer12 – 18 months10 – 12 years
German Shepherd12 – 18 months9 – 13 years
Labrador Retriever12 – 18 months10 – 14 years
Bulldog12 – 18 months8 – 10 years
Dalmatian12 – 18 months10 – 13 years
Great Dane18 – 24 months7 – 10 years
Mastiff18 – 24 months6 – 10 years
Saint Bernard18 – 24 months8 – 10 years
Rottweiler18 – 24 months8 – 10 years
Siberian Husky12 – 16 months12 – 15 years
Poodle (Standard)12 – 18 months12 – 15 years
Yorkshire Terrier9 – 12 months13 – 16 years
French Bulldog12 – 18 months10 – 12 years
Pomeranian9 – 12 months12 – 16 years
Basset Hound12 – 18 months10 – 12 years

Factors Affecting dog Growth

Several factors influence the growth rate and ultimate size of a dog. These include breed, genetics, nutrition, environment, and individual health. Let’s delve into each of these factors to understand their role in a dog’s growth:

Breed: Different dog breeds have distinct growth patterns. Smaller breeds, such as Chihuahuas or Shih Tzus, generally reach their full size more quickly, typically within 9 to 12 months. In contrast, larger breeds, like Great Danes or Saint Bernards, have more prolonged growth periods and may continue growing for up to 18 to 24 months.

Genetics: Genetic factors play a significant role in determining a dog’s growth. Their lineage and inherited traits influence their growth rate and final size. If you’re unsure about your dog’s specific breed or parentage, it may be challenging to determine their growth timeline accurately.

Nutrition: Proper nutrition is crucial for a dog’s healthy growth. Puppies require a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. High-quality puppy food formulated to meet their specific needs can support optimal growth. Consult your veterinarian to ensure you’re providing the right diet for your dog’s growth stage.

Environment: The environment in which a dog grows can influence their overall health and growth. A safe and stimulating environment with ample space for exercise promotes proper musculoskeletal development. Regular physical activity is important for strengthening muscles, bones, and joints.

Individual Health: The overall health of a dog can impact their growth rate. Puppies with underlying health issues or poor immune systems may experience delayed growth. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative care are essential to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.

When Do Dogs Stop Growing?

While there are general timelines, it’s essential to remember that every dog is unique, and growth rates can vary. Below are some rough estimates for when different-sized dogs typically reach their full size:

  1. Small Breeds: Small dog breeds generally stop growing between 9 and 12 months of age. By this time, they have typically reached their full height and weight.
  2. Medium Breeds: Medium-sized breeds, such as Beagles or Border Collies, usually stop growing between 12 and 16 months. They may continue to fill out and gain muscle mass until they are about 2 years old.
  3. Large Breeds: Large dog breeds, like Golden Retrievers or Boxers, typically stop growing between 12 and 18 months. However, it’s not uncommon for them to continue developing until they are 2 years old.
  4. Giant Breeds: Giant dog breeds, such as Great Danes or Mastiffs, have the longest growth periods. They can continue growing for up to 18 to 24 months before reaching their full size.
when do dogs stop growing

How long to dogs grow for?

The duration of a dog’s growth period varies depending on several factors, including breed, genetics, and size. On average, most dogs reach their full height by the time they are around 12 to 18 months old. However, it’s important to note that larger breeds tend to have longer growth periods compared to smaller breeds.

Small dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas or Shih Tzus, typically reach their full size between 9 and 12 months of age. Medium-sized breeds, like Beagles or Border Collies, generally stop growing around 12 to 16 months.

Large breeds, such as Golden Retrievers or Boxers, often reach their full size between 12 and 18 months. Giant breeds like Great Danes or Mastiffs can continue growing for an extended period, with some taking up to 18 to 24 months to reach their adult size.

It’s important to remember that these are average timelines, and individual dogs may have variations. Additionally, while a dog may reach their full height within these timeframes, they may continue to fill out and gain muscle mass until they are about 2 years old.

If you have concerns about your dog’s growth or want a more accurate estimate based on their breed and individual characteristics, consulting with a veterinarian is recommended. They can provide specific guidance based on your dog’s health, breed, and growth patterns.

What to consider when your dog is growing?

when do dogs stop growing

When your dog is going through the growth stage, there are several important factors to consider to ensure their health, development, and well-being. Here are key considerations:

Nutrition: Providing proper nutrition is crucial during your dog’s growth period. Choose a high-quality, age-appropriate puppy food that meets their nutritional requirements.

Puppies have specific needs for proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals to support healthy growth and development. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the right diet and feeding schedule for your growing dog.

Veterinary Care: Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor your dog’s growth and address any potential health concerns. Vaccinations, deworming, and preventative care should be administered according to your veterinarian’s recommendations.

They can also provide guidance on specific issues related to your dog’s breed and size.

Exercise and Physical Activity: Appropriate exercise and physical activity are important for your dog’s musculoskeletal development. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance and avoid excessive exercise that may strain growing joints and bones.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the right amount and type of exercise for your dog’s age, breed, and size.

Socialization and Training: The growth period is an ideal time to focus on socialization and basic training. Introduce your dog to various people, animals, and environments in a positive and controlled manner.

This helps them develop good social skills, adaptability, and confidence. Basic obedience training can also be initiated during this time.

Environmental Factors: Create a safe and stimulating environment for your growing dog. Ensure they have adequate space to move and play, both indoors and outdoors.

Provide them with appropriate toys, mental stimulation, and opportunities for social interaction. Consider the safety of your home and remove any potential hazards that could harm your dog during their exploratory phase.

Monitoring Growth and Development: Keep track of your dog’s growth by regularly measuring their height, weight, and body condition. Note any significant changes or abnormalities and discuss them with your veterinarian.

Monitoring their growth can help identify any potential health issues or growth abnormalities that may require attention.

Spaying or Neutering: If you decide to spay or neuter your dog, consult with your veterinarian regarding the appropriate time. In some cases, it’s recommended to wait until after the growth period to allow for proper development of the reproductive organs and growth plates.

Patience and Time: Remember that each dog grows at their own pace, and it’s important to be patient throughout the process. Growth rates can vary even within the same breed. Provide your dog with love, care, and attention during this critical period of their life.

By considering these factors and providing appropriate care, nutrition, and veterinary attention, you can help ensure that your growing dog develops into a healthy and happy adult.

How to exercise a growing puppy safely?


Exercising a growing puppy safely is important to promote their physical development while avoiding potential injuries. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Consult Your Veterinarian:

Before starting an exercise routine, consult with your veterinarian to ensure your puppy is healthy and ready for physical activity. They can provide specific recommendations based on your puppy’s breed, size, and individual needs.

Age-Appropriate Exercise:

Puppies have different exercise needs compared to adult dogs. Their bones, joints, and muscles are still developing, so it’s important to provide low-impact activities suitable for their age. Avoid high-impact exercises, such as excessive jumping or running on hard surfaces, until their growth plates have closed.

Controlled Playtime:

Engage in controlled play sessions with your puppy. Activities like gentle fetch, short walks, and interactive play with toys are suitable. Pay attention to your puppy’s energy levels and avoid overexertion. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of exercise as they grow.

Avoid Long Leash Walks or Running:

Long walks or extended periods of running on a leash can strain a growing puppy’s joints. Stick to shorter, more frequent walks throughout the day to prevent excessive stress on their developing bones and joints.

Provide Mental Stimulation:

Mental stimulation is as important as physical exercise. Incorporate puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive games to engage your puppy’s mind. Mental exercises can tire them out and provide a balanced form of stimulation.

Off-Leash Play in Safe Areas:

If you have access to safe, enclosed areas like a fenced yard or a designated dog park, allow your puppy to have controlled off-leash playtime. This provides them with the opportunity to explore, run, and socialize with other dogs while minimizing the risk of injuries or accidents.

Avoid Forced Exercise:

Never force your puppy to exercise if they show signs of fatigue or discomfort. Puppies may not understand their limitations and will try to keep up with their owner’s pace. Pay attention to their body language, such as excessive panting, lagging behind, or slowing down, and allow them to rest when needed.


Swimming can be a great low-impact exercise for puppies. If you have access to a safe and supervised swimming area, introduce your puppy to water gradually. Ensure they are comfortable and provide appropriate flotation devices if necessary.

Monitor Weather Conditions:

Be mindful of weather conditions when exercising your puppy. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, can have a significant impact on their well-being. Avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day or in freezing temperatures.

How to feed a growing puppy?

Feeding a growing puppy requires careful attention to their nutritional needs to support their development. Here are some guidelines to help you properly feed your growing puppy:

Choose High-Quality Puppy Food: Select a commercial puppy food that is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of growing dogs. Look for reputable brands that have undergone quality testing. Ideally, choose a food that is appropriate for your puppy’s breed size (small, medium, or large).

Follow Feeding Guidelines: The puppy food packaging usually provides feeding guidelines based on your puppy’s weight and age. Start with the recommended portion size and adjust as needed, considering your puppy’s individual metabolism, activity level, and growth rate. Consult your veterinarian for personalized feeding recommendations.

Consistent Meal Schedule: Establish a regular feeding schedule for your puppy. Puppies generally require three to four small meals a day until they are around 4 to 6 months old. After that, you can gradually transition to two meals a day. Stick to consistent meal times to establish a routine.

Monitor Growth and Adjust Portions: Regularly monitor your puppy’s growth and body condition. A healthy puppy should have a lean, well-proportioned body. If your puppy is gaining too much weight or appears overweight, adjust the portion sizes accordingly. On the other hand, if your puppy is not gaining weight or seems underweight, consult your veterinarian to rule out any health issues.

Avoid Overfeeding: While it may be tempting to provide extra food to support your puppy’s growth, overfeeding can lead to obesity and health problems. Follow the recommended portion sizes and avoid excessive treats or table scraps. Use treats sparingly for training purposes and choose healthy options specifically designed for puppies.

Gradual Food Transition: If you decide to switch your puppy’s food, do it gradually over a period of about a week. Mix the new food with the old food in increasing proportions each day until you completely transition to the new food. This helps prevent digestive upset.

Provide Fresh Water: Always ensure that your growing puppy has access to fresh, clean water. Monitor their water intake and refill the water bowl regularly throughout the day. Proper hydration is crucial for overall health and digestion.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Regular veterinary check-ups are important during your puppy’s growth stage. Your veterinarian can monitor their growth, assess their nutritional needs, and provide any necessary dietary recommendations based on your puppy’s individual requirements.

Your dog’s age, weight, health, and activity level matter when it comes to what they eat. In general, make sure the food you choose has a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials on the label. That means it’s nutritionally “complete and balanced.” Beware of feeding your dog bones, raw meat, or raw eggs. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the CDC, and other groups warn that raw foods can lead to serious health problems for animals, like infection with E. coli and other harmful bacteria. Bones can tear a dog’s stomach or intestines.


How can I make my dog healthy?

Proper nutrition, regular exercise, veterinary care, and love and attention.

How do you check a dog’s health?

Regular veterinary check-ups, monitoring their behavior and appetite, and observing physical signs such as healthy coat, clear eyes, and normal body weight.

What are some common health problems with dogs?

Common health problems in dogs include allergies, dental issues, obesity, arthritis, and skin infections.

How do you cure a sick dog?

The treatment for a sick dog depends on the specific illness or condition. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Which food is good for dogs’ health?

High-quality, balanced dog food that meets their nutritional needs is good for a dog’s health. Consult with your veterinarian to choose the right food for your dog’s age, breed, and specific dietary requirements.

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