How big is my puppy going to get?

April 13, 2012

If you are a dog lover like me and you saw a puppy on the wayside, your very first reaction is to get the pup especially if it is obvious that the poor thing was abandoned. Dog lovers would find it very hard to say no to cuddly and adorable puppies. However, we know that the decision to get a dog would mean big responsibility, a responsibility that will be ongoing for 12 to 15 years while the dog is with the family. Dogs are fantastic animals. Apart from the companionship these loyal pets have provided man with protection. No wonder dogs are considered as man’s best friends.

Dogs though have to fit the owner and the owner’s family’s lifestyle. When choosing the perfect dog, the ease of care, the maintenance, trainability, the energy level must be considered. It is important to consider the potential size of the dog as well. Toy breeds can live in both large homes and in tight quarters. A large breed though would need a bigger place. Dogs have high exercise requirements. A small yard or even the space inside the house would be enough for a small breed of dog. Large breeds would naturally need large spaces. This is the reason why a potential dog owner has to consider how big the puppy is going to get

So how would you go about estimating the size the chosen dog will grow up to be? This task would be easier if the puppy is a pure breed and comes from the breeder. The breeder will give you an estimate how big the dog is going to get. Because you get to see the parents, the size will give you a general idea how big the dog is going to be. You may not be able to see the parents if the pup is obtained from a pet shop but if the puppy is a purebred you can get the approximate height and weight from the breed standard. Not all puppies in a litter are born equal. There is a possibility that one is going to be a runt. The trick is to assess the size of the other puppies. The litters should be almost of the same size. The growth potential of mixed breeds would be harder to asses. But it would be highly improbable for two 40 lbs spitz type dogs to produce puppies that will eventually weigh over 90 lbs. But if the sire is approximately 40 lbs and the dam’s weight is about 80 lbs, it is possible for the pup to grow to a maximum weight of 90 lbs. If one parent is a big breed and the other is small, the puppy’s size commonly takes after the size of the mother. Assessing the potential size of a dog would be difficult if it was adopted from a shelter as in most cases, the breed and the exact age of the puppy is unknown.

You still have a way of determining how big the dog is going to get. This can be done by looking at the paw size and the skin. Nature has not designed large dogs to have small paws and vice versa. The size of the paw is a good indication how big or how small the dog is going to be. Loose skin is an indication that the puppy is going to be a large dog. Dog experts can make a reasonable estimation of the dog’s potential size by looking at the body size at a certain age. Basically, dogs grow at a fast rate during the first 6 months. After 6 months the rate of growth slows down. At one year age, the dog has practically finished growing.

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