Watching a puppy grow should be in the top 3 of best life experiences. Their puppy smell, their fluffiness, their unsteady and funny gait, and the list could go on for hours. However, taking care of a puppy can also be exhausting since they can’t go for walks and will do their business inside, they are naughty, and big fans of chewing everything that seems important. Luckily, or unfortunately, dogs don’t remain puppies for long. But exactly how long is long?
When do dogs stop growing? Assessing your pup
Whether it’s because they are impatient, or because they want to know the size their pup will reach, people seem very interested in knowing when puppies will turn into adult dogs.
Is there an exact moment when dogs stop growing? No, as in many other dog-related topics, their growth depends on many factors, and there is no exact answer.
Even though most dogs are considered adults by the age of 1, the reach of maturity depends mostly on their breed and genetics. The stipulated time goes between 6 months and 24 months, which is the period of time in which bones still grow. Dogs are considered adults once their bones stop growing.
To put it into simple words: At the end of long bones, puppies have growth plates, which are soft areas that are filled with cells that promote growth. They are flexible during their growth period and calcify over time when puppies are fully grown.
In small dogs, growth plates are filled more rapidly than in large dogs, simply because they are shorter. If you don’t know your dog’s size, your veterinarian can help you estimate your dog’s size and thus, when he will reach maturity. You can also check this Puppy growth chart designed by veterinarians.
Small breeds: Maltese, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, among others. Generally speaking, we refer to small breeds when a dog is fully grown and weighs between 20/25 pounds. These dogs reach maturity approximately at the age of 1.
Medium breeds: Bulldog, Border Collie, Shar-Pei, American Staffordshire Terrier, etc. Medium dog breeds are the ones between 25/50 pounds. Medium dogs stop growing usually by the age of 12-15 months.
Large/Giant breeds: Bernese Mountain Dogs, Pitbull Terrier, Samoyed, Afghan Hound, Australian Shepherd, to name a few. Large/Giant breeds are the ones that go beyond 50 pounds. These dogs will be full-grown at around 18-24 months old.