When Do Dogs Stop Growing? The Growth of a Dog

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When do dogs stop growing? It’s a very important question for most families.

To many of us, dogs are a vital member of the family, it can be a total surprise just how big our little bundles of fur and teeth can get. When your dog is young you may even wonder when do they actually stop growing.

When do dogs stop growing - young dog

This can be especially true as we notice the food bills rising, along with the mounting piles of poop.

The growth of a dog can depend on different factors such as genetics, how much food they eat, and their environment.

In this article, we’ll talk about what determines dog growth, and when it stops.

When do dogs stop growing?

It varies from dog to dog as to when dogs stop growing, but there are some general guidelines you can follow. When it comes to smaller breeds of dogs such as Shih Tzus or Dachshunds, they typically stop growing at around the one-year mark.

Larger breeds have a bit more leeway and may not completely finish filling out until they’re closer to two years old.

These guidelines are simply averages, and because of that, it’s important to take into account your dog’s individual genetics as well.

When the growth plates in their bones fuse shut depends on a number of factors like age, size, breed type, overall health, and more.

It’s worth noting that working dogs tend to grow for longer than show breeds.

When dogs stop growing, it’s a combination of their skeletal and physical maturity, so it can be hard to pinpoint an exact age range for when this happens.

Whate long haired dog

The growth plates in dogs are located near the ends of their bones and contain cells that produce new bone tissue called chondrocytes. Once these chondrocytes stop dividing, the growth plates close up.

When do dogs stop growing? As these cells cease to flourish and they become calcified or solidified over time. This takes place around the end of puberty for most breeds which are typically between 12-24 months depending on breed type.

When do small dogs stop growing?

Small breeds are generally considered fully grown by the time they reach one year old.

When do big dogs stop growing?

Big dogs like Great Danes can still be growing until around two years of age and Mastiff-type dogs may not stop growing until they reach three years old.

mastiff in a box

When it comes to large and giant breeds like these, there’s a better chance that you’ll see some physical maturation happening. This will happen independently from skeletal growth because their bodies take longer to grow mature.

When do mixed breed dogs stop growing?

When it comes to mixed breeds, they can vary widely. Once you adopt a puppy or older dog, the best thing you can do is take a look at their parents to get an idea of how big they may end up. You can also ask the breeder or owner of the parents when they were fully grown, but keep in mind that this doesn’t necessarily mean your dog will end up the same size.

Can you tell how big a puppy will get?

When it comes to puppies, there’s no way of knowing how big they’ll get.

When do dogs stop growing - parent and puppy

The only way you can guess their eventual size is by looking at their parents.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that a dog will end up the same size as their parents. However, genetically speaking, the odds are pretty good.

Does paw size determine dog size?

Paw size doesn’t necessarily determine the actual size of a dog, but it can give you an indication that they may end up on the larger or smaller side. It’s easier to gauge sizes based on an established breed, rather than a mongrel.

How do you determine how tall a dog will be?

Again, there’s no accurate way to measure how tall your dog will end up.

When do dogs stop growing - puppy on the grass

When it comes to common known breeds, you can probably make an educated guess.

How long does it take dogs to grow to full size?

Timewise, dogs can take anywhere from a few months to two years to reach full adult size. It can be hard to pinpoint an exact age range for this because of individual genetic factors which play into how long each dog takes to grow and mature.

How much will a dog grow after 6 months?

Over 6 months, dogs typically grow around 50%. When it comes to height, they may be around half of their full adult size.

How long is a dog a puppy?

Dogs are classed as a puppy until they’re around a year old.

When do dogs stop growing - teenage dog with wood in the mouth

When they hit one, it’s the equivalent of being in their teenage years for humans and you’ll start to notice changes in behavior as well as physical maturity from this point onward.

What are the growth stages of a puppy?

Neonatal Period (0-2 weeks)

During the neonatal period, the mother has an extra supply of nutrients for her growing puppies. When they are born, their eyes and ears are closed so they depend on touch to learn about the world around them.

They will start eating solid food at around three weeks old and can walk by four weeks although it may be wobbly at first. When a puppy is born, they typically weigh between four and five ounces.

Sensory Period (two weeks – three months)

In this period, puppies develop their senses of sight, smell, taste and touch. When it comes to vision development in the womb or shortly after birth when they open their eyes for the first time; dogs are nearsighted and color blind. When they’re born, their world is mostly black and white with limited depth perception.

Puppies in this period typically start to hear at around two weeks old but it’s not until three months that they have a full range of hearing abilities as adult dogs do. They can also taste by the age of four weeks, but it’s not until they are around 20 weeks old that their sense of smell is fully developed.

Awareness Period (three months – eight months)

When a puppy in this period reaches three to four pounds and can see well enough to explore the world with confidence; though still wobbly at times.

wobbly puppy with mom

Puppies at this age like to play-fight with their littermates and can be very mouthy. They may also start to bark for the first time; however, it’s not until they reach puberty that they will achieve full volume and tone in their barking ability.

Eight months is around when a dog reaches adolescent development and puppies gain independence from their mother. When a dog is around five months old, they usually gain the ability to see in color and will start teething.

This period typically ends when dogs are between eight and 12 months of age. When it comes to height development during this time; their growth rate slows down compared to the earlier periods but continues at a steady pace. Most dogs are around half of their adult height at this age.

Adolescent Period (nine months – two years)

When it comes to growth rates during this time, dogs are growing rapidly but not as much as they did before puberty set in. They will reach about 80% of their full size by the time they’re one year old and may continue to grow until they are two years old. When it comes to weight, this is when dogs continue to fill out and gain muscle mass throughout their body; however, it’s not until the end of adolescent development that they will achieve full adult weight.

Adult Period (two years or older)

When a dog reaches around 18 months to 24 months for females and 22 months to 26 months for males; they are at their full adult size. When it comes to weight, this is when the dog will get closer to its maximum weight assuming that’s what its breed standard calls for.

Although some dogs like large breeds like Great Danes may continue growing into their third year of life; this occurs in less than five percent of dogs. When it comes to large and giant breeds, they may continue growing in height until they are four years old or so; however, weight gain typically stops when a dog reaches its full adult size around two-three years old.

dogs stop growing? The Conclusion

To wrap things up, dogs typically reach full size at around two years. When it comes to determining how tall your dog will be; however, there’s no accurate way of doing this since that depends on the individual dog and its breed.

When do dogs stop growing - older lab with grey fur

When it comes time for them to reach sexual maturity which typically happens between six and seven months of age; however, you should keep in mind that this isn’t always the case with every dog breed.

When it comes to determining a dog’s adult height, this can be done by looking at the breed standard. When it comes to weight, there are no true benchmarks for any one specific age since that will depend on their individual growth rate and how much they eat.

Our waggy bundles of fluff bring joy and happiness into our homes, and a little bit of chaos. Life wouldn’t be the same without them, whatever their size.


All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian's advice.
Jen Smart

Jen is the founder of, a leading resource for managing and treating anxiety in dogs. With over a decade of experience in working with rescue dogs, Jen holds diplomas in Understanding Canine Anxiety, Canine Holistic Health & Therapy, CBD Oil for Animals, and Zoopharmacognosy. Her expert insights help dog owners navigate the challenges of anxiety with compassionate, innovative solutions. Follow Jen’s guidance at Anxious Canine for a calmer, happier dog.

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