As soon as a four-legged pet of unknown origin appears in the house, a lot of questions arise about how it will grow up, who it will look like, become large or remain small. If we are talking about a purebred puppy, then there are no particular difficulties about the future exterior – you can look at his parents or other representatives of the breed. But for any dog there are certain rules and canons of growth at different age periods. So, how old do dogs grow?
Growth of dogs of different breeds
In most cases, puppies grow intensively up to 6 months; in representatives of small breeds, growth inhibits growth earlier than in larger ones.
Large breed puppies grow and form after six months of age, although not so quickly. Consider the growth of some breeds:
- Pekingese – these small dogs grow on average up to 9 months, males often up to a year.
- Yorkshire Terriers – their growth continues up to 7-8 months.
- Chihuahua – very small and fragile puppies grow up to 8 months old, and after a year they get much stronger.
- Dachshund – the growth of puppies stops by 8 months, after which they continue to grow, but exclusively in width.
- Pug – the growth of these puppies varies – it can stop at six months or last up to 9 months, while they are gaining weight intensively.
- Rottweilers are a powerful and large breed, puppies grow up to 12 months, the development of a muscular corset occurs up to 2 years of age.
- German Shepherd – active growth is observed up to a year, and the dog is fully formed by two years.
But it should be borne in mind that the above data are only average figures, because in addition to the ratio to the breed, there are also a lot of equally important factors that affect the growth and development of the dog:
- correct, balanced nutrition;
- lack or presence of training;
- pet conditions;
- hereditary disposition to disease.
It will be helpful to read:
Stages of development and growth of a dog
A healthy, normally developed puppy should grow in accordance with a certain pattern. Such a concept as growth includes several stages:
- changes in puppy weight;
- body growth;
- external changes (exterior);
- physiological features.
The concepts of growth and development have different meanings, but if the pet is healthy, then they occur in a timely manner. There are several stages of growth and development of puppies:
- The first stage is considered to be the period when the puppy is still in the womb. This period is very important, since it is there that the basic qualities of the future dog are laid. And here it is worth more carefully choosing a future family member, based on the data on his parents, the reputation of the breeders.
- The second stage is considered the time when the baby is breastfed, the so-called suckling period, which lasts from childbirth to one and a half months. At this time, the breeder is responsible for the well-being and growth of the babies, and he is also responsible for the small pets. If the puppy is strong and the future owners have experience of feeding monthly puppies, then you can wean it from the mother a little earlier to be completely sure of its correct feeding and further growth.
- The third stage is longer, lasting from 1.5 to 6 months. Most often, during this time period, puppies end up with new owners. At this time, the puppy grows very intensively, he has a change of milk teeth. Here, the owner is solely responsible for all processes.
- The fourth stage – from 16 to 12 months, is quite varied and proceeds depending on the breed of the puppy. It can be accompanied by active growth, its slowdown, or a complete stop.
- The fifth stage is no longer the growth of the puppy, but the formation of an adult, albeit young, dog. Its duration is on average 2-2.5 years. Stopping in growth, the animal continues to gain muscle mass.
It is important to have an idea of which measurement data correspond to the norm in a given period. Of course, there are no exact numbers, but there is still a certain trend.
Period from birth to 6 months
From birth to six months, a healthy active puppy should triple in weight, and grow at the withers by two. At this time, dogs only grow in height.
This stage is characterized by the cessation of the growth of tubal bones. Therefore, it is very important that at this time everything is formed according to the norm. Improper, unbalanced nutrition, previous serious illnesses can negatively affect the development of the bone frame, as a result, deformations and obvious violations will appear, which will no longer be possible to correct.
In this case, an adult will have the wrong body proportions, which will put an end to exhibitions and participation in competitions.
Growth of puppies over 6 months
In puppies from the age of six months, flat bones grow, that is, the sternum is actively developing, pets grow, but already in width. These processes intensively last about 6 months, and after a year the growth continues, but at a slower pace.
The bone frame of the dog is fully formed by the age of three. Small breeds finish developing much earlier than large ones.
The first mating affects the growth of the pet, after which the growth of the animal stops completely. This is one of the reasons to avoid early coverings, so as not to disrupt the development and growth of the dog.
To fix the metric data, it is necessary to measure the dog at certain periods and record all the data. Household scales can be used to weigh the puppy, but if the pet belongs to large breeds – St. Bernards, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, then large trading scales will be needed.
In addition, the following parameters are measured:
- sternum girth;
- height (height at the withers);
- the length of the hind and front legs.
To remove them, centimeter tapes, tape measures and rulers are used.
Until the age of six months, it is recommended to measure the pet every 10 days, at a later age, once a month will be enough.
Proper feeding of your puppy
Nutrition is of great importance for the growth and development of the dog. Ideally, a cynologist should develop a diet, including the number of feedings, the composition of the diet, based on individual and breed characteristics.
On average, a puppy under 3 months old should eat at least 5-6 times a day. The grown pet is gradually transferred to four feeding times. From 6 months, the number of feedings can be reduced to two, as for an adult dog.
Do not forget that from six months the pet has an intensive set of muscle mass, so the diet must be enriched with proteins, vitamins and trace elements.
Dog owners have a choice – to feed the pet with natural products or ready-made food – dry or wet. Sometimes these two types are successfully combined.
If the owner of the puppy chooses to feed dry or wet type of food, then he must find a good super premium food. Such products contain all important micro and macro elements, vitamins, sufficient amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates. Balancing the finished feed affects the normal development of the puppy. In addition, most manufacturers, releasing such products, take into account age characteristics and other nuances.
Those owners who have preferred natural food should observe the following recommendations:
- Exclude too spicy, fatty, smoked, salty foods from the diet.
- It is best to buy sea fish after boiling it. Raw fish and meat can lead to infection with helminthic infestations.
- Bones are poorly absorbed, so it is not advisable to give them to a pet to chew.
- Sweets and chocolate lead to diabetes, disorders of the cardiovascular system, loss of vision and teeth, so their use is excluded.
- You can give low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, boiled meat, raisins, dried fruits, etc.
- Food should be at room temperature so as not to disrupt the digestion process.
Proper feeding, caring, and considerate attitude will help your pet grow and develop normally.