Have you decided to add a new dog to your family? This is a big decision with many factors to consider. Is there a specific breed you prefer? What dog temperament works best for your lifestyle? Are you looking for a puppy, or would you rather have an older dog?
If you are looking to add a puppy to your family, then size may be a major consideration. Many want to know, "How big will my puppy get?" Obviously a larger dog may require more space, more exercise, AND more food. Some smaller dogs also have excessive energy to burn, so it is important to see if your home setup is right to welcome a new dog of any size.
How to Tell How Big a Puppy Will Get
There are some clues to help you determine how big your dog will get. If you are purchasing from a reputable breeder, they should have extensive information on the potential size of your dog. The breeder can determine this based on what they know about the mother, father, and any past litters. This should give you a pretty good idea of the size and weight you can expect your pup to be as an adult.
But what if you are adopting a dog? Often, dog rescues have limited information on their dog intakes. If a pregnant mother gives birth in their care, they can tell you information about the mother of the puppy. However, if the puppies are surrendered alone, then they may not know much at all. A rescue or shelter can make a best guess for puppies that they have, but it can lack certainty. Should this be the case, there are some things you can look at to signal the size the puppy will be as an adult. Below are some tips to determine the size of your dog.
Try a Puppy Size Predictor
Here is a helpful tool that can give you an idea of how big your puppy will get: http://www.puppychart.com/
. All you need to know is the estimated date of birth and current weight of the dog you are considering to adopt into your family!
Weight at Four Months x 2
Some say that an adult average sized dog weighs twice their weight from four months of age. So if at four months your puppy is weighing in at 15 pounds, then at 12 months you can expect him to weigh around 30 pounds. However, keep in mind that larger breed dogs take longer to reach their full size and smaller breeds will take less time. So the estimate is definitely not foolproof.
Did you know: Some small dogs can be fully grown at around 10 months old, while many large dog breeds will continue to grow until around one-and-a-half years old.
DNA Test for Dogs
For more accurate results, consider using a dog DNA test kit. At-home DNA kits are becoming more and more popular for both humans AND their pets. You can find out more about your dog’s lineage and the likely breeds that he descends from. A DNA test for your dog can tell you more than just their potential size. Knowing the breeds your dog is made up of can also tell you about their temperament, behavior, and ways you may more successfully engage with and train them.
Dog Paws Determine Size: Fact or Myth
There are those that believe that puppy paw size is a key indicator in the size your dog will be as an adult. They would say that the secret to knowing if your puppy will be the size of a small moose or large guinea pig lies in those adorable puppy paws. However, this is not always the case. Some larger dogs have smaller paws, and some smaller dogs, such as a bulldog, have larger paws. So it may be an indicator, but is not 100%.
Consult with Your Vet
Your vet may be able to provide you with size estimates based on their extensive knowledge of dogs. Feel free to consult with them to help you determine the size potential of your pup.
At the end of the day, time will eventually reveal the size potential of your new puppy. But feel free to do some research up front to make sure the dog you have your eye on will be a good fit with your family.