When do puppies stop growing? A quick dog growth guide

Written by Napo HQ
Reviewed by Dr. Oli Robinson MRCVS and The Finchley Vet team
23rd Jun 2023
4 mins read
An adult brown cockapoo sits next to a brown cockapoo puppy
What age puppies stop growing varies depending on the size of their breed. Your pup can stop growing anywhere between 6 to 18 months. Typically, smaller dogs will stop growing much sooner than large and giant breeds of dog. Female dogs also tend to reach their adult size a little earlier, since they’re usually smaller than male dogs. To see when your puppy might stop growing, read the article below and check out their breed size for a more accurate guideline.
Puppyhood can feel neverending. The puppy phase can be challenging, but once your dog’s all grown up it feels super quick. One thing that does happen surprisingly quickly, is how long it takes your puppy to grow out of their tiny furball phase and into a full-sized dog! When puppies stop growing varies according to their breed. Let’s take a more detailed look at a puppy’s growth stages, and find out when you can expect your pup to be all grown up.

When is a dog fully grown?

There is no one size fits all answer for when a dog is fully grown. A dog can take anywhere between 6 months to 2 years to reach their adult size. The age your puppy stops growing will largely depend on their breed. Bigger breeds take longer to reach adult size than smaller breeds. Boy puppies will usually take longer to grow than girls too, since they’re typically larger as adults. Genetics and nutrition can also play a part. Finally, the age you
neuter your puppy
can also influence their growth. For a more specific answer on when your puppy will be fully grown, check the breakdown of different breed sizes below.

When do small breed puppies stop growing?

Typically, small breed puppies complete their physical growth at around 6 to 9 months of age. That's less than a year to enjoy their little puppy size, so make sure to cherish every moment! When we talk about small breed puppies, we mean breeds like Chihuahuas,
Yorkshire Terriers
, or
French Bulldogs
. These little furballs usually reach their full size in no time.
But remember, even within small breeds, there are variations. Some may stop growing as early as 6 months, while others might still be growing at 9 months. Don't stress if your little one seems to be taking a bit longer. As long as they're healthy and happy, there's nothing to worry about!

When do medium breed puppies stop growing?

These pups typically stop growing around the 12-month mark. Breeds like
Cocker Spaniels
Pembroke Welsh Corgis
, or Border Collies fall into this category, as well as medium crossbreeds like the
However, just like us humans, some puppies might hit their growth spurt a bit late. If your pup belongs to a medium breed, but is taking more than a year to reach their full size, don’t sweat it! Remember, every puppy grows at their own pace. 

5 German Shepherds sit beside each other, they each show the puppy in different stages of it's growth and get progressively larger from left to right
When do large breed puppies stop growing?

Usually, big breeds like
, Golden Retrievers,
German Shepherds
, and Boxers will stop growing at around 12 to 18 months. These big boys and girls take a little more time to reach their full size! Generally, the bigger the breed, the longer it takes for them to reach their adult size.
It’s okay if your pup takes longer to look like an adult dog though. Some large breed dogs continue to fill out and gain muscle after their height growth has stopped.

When do giant breed puppies stop growing?

Giant breed puppies can take up to 24 months to stop growing. That means you get to enjoy their goofy puppy behaviour for a couple of years at least! A couple of giant breeds include Great Danes, Mastiffs,
Irish Wolfhounds
, or Saint Bernards. 
With giant breed puppies, it's particularly crucial to remember that their bones and joints need to develop and strengthen properly to prevent problems like malformed bones. They may grow in size quickly, but it's important not to over-exercise them during their long growth phase. Patience is key with these big babies.

Why you need to control a larger breed’s growth

Although large and giant breed dogs take longer to reach their adult size, they have a much faster growth rate than small and medium breeds. However, a large or giant puppy’s growth must be controlled. If they grow too fast, it can increase the likelihood of problems like malformed joints or problems with joint surfaces. Making sure your puppy eats the right volume of food for their breed and age will help control their growth to a healthy pace.

When do puppies reach adolescence?

Puppies will reach adolescence at different times according to their breed and genetics. They may reach adolescence anywhere between 6 and 12 months. Smaller breeds typically hit the milestone first. Adolescence is pretty similar to a human’s teenage phase, and many puppies
regress in their training
at this stage.

Growing up is more than just physical

So, we've answered the question, "When do puppies stop growing?" But it's important to remember that a puppy's growth is more than just physical. Puppies also need to grow and develop emotionally and socially.
A puppy's first year is when they learn a lot about how to interact with the world. They're learning everything from how to behave around other dogs to understanding human cues. And even after they've stopped growing physically, puppies will continue learning and developing.
That's why it's so crucial to provide plenty of socialisation opportunities and positive learning experiences for your puppy. And even once they're all grown up, continue to provide them with mental stimulation and training.
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