Small dog breeds are increasingly popular due to their practicality and need for a minimal space which is ideal for city dwellers.
If you own a puppy from a small dog breed, following a small dog growth chart is key to ensuring you track their growth every month.
A small dog breed is typically defined as a breed with dogs that weighs between 12 and 25 pounds, although this is not a universal rule as some may be slightly higher or lower than the range.
Examples of well-known small dog breeds include a Boston Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Corgi, and Chihuahua.
In this article, we will outline all the key details of a small breed growth chart as well as information on the health issues and other factors that can impact their growth. Read on to learn more.
Is A Small Breed Dog Full Grown At 12 Months?
Yes. A small breed dog takes about 10 to 12 months to finish growing and achieve adult size.
They will achieve their final height at about 6 to 8 months and continue adding weight for another 6 months, hence achieving their final weight by 12 months.
Small breeds take a shorter time to grow compared to large and medium breeds.
The growth of your small breed puppy can be slowed down by some factors including health problems, poor nutrition, and genetic makeup.
The growth rate in small breeds is different among dogs, so your puppy may achieve their final size quickly or later compared to other dogs.
To ensure that your puppy achieves optimal growth, feed them a balanced diet and food specifically designed for small breeds.
Regular visits to the vet will also ensure that there are no underlying health issues that can hinder your puppy’s growth.
Small Breed Puppy Growth Chart
Typically, small-breed dogs do not grow as fast as toy breeds but they will grow faster than medium or large breeds.
They achieve their adult weight at the age of about 10 and 12 months. Any dog that weighs between 12 and 25 pounds is considered a small breed.
Examples of small breed dogs include Bolognese, Jack Russell Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog, and Boston Terrier to name a few.
You will find that there is an overlap between the medium-sized breeds on the higher end and toy breeds on the lower end of the scale.
Typically, a small breed dog will have a growth rate of about 5% to 10% increase per day which is about 5 to 8 ounces each week.
The small breed weight chart can be used to estimate the final size of your puppy.
To use the chart, find your puppy’s age on the left side of the column, then check the weight range on the adjacent column and follow it down to 12 months, and that will be your puppy’s final weight.
For example, if your puppy is 16 weeks old, their weight should be ranging anywhere between 4.5 and 9 pounds.
If your puppy’s weight is less or more than the figures and you are worried that they could be overweight or underweight, speak to your vet about it.
Small Dog Growth Chart
|2 Months||2.5 lbs||3.5 lbs||4 lbs|
|3 Months||3.7 lbs||5.5 lbs||6.7 lbs|
|5 Months||6.5 lbs||9 lbs||12.5 lbs|
|6 months||7.5 lbs||10 lbs||14.5 lbs|
|7 months||9 lbs||12 lbs||17 lbs|
|8 months||10 lbs||14 lbs||19 lbs|
|10 months||11.5 lbs||17 lbs||22 lbs|
|1 Year||14 lbs||20 lbs||26 lbs|
Calculating The Adult Weight Of A Small Breed Puppy
Calculating your puppy’s adult weight will enable you to prepare yourself in terms of the space that you need to provide them even though they are a small breed.
If the weight or age of your small-breed puppy is not in the chart, you can estimate the adult weight by finding the average of the two weights at 12 months.
This is the first way of finding a small breed dog’s final weight.
There is another way of calculating the final size of your puppy. Find the growth rate and multiply it by 52.
Your puppy’s growth rate is how much weight they are gaining per week and you can calculate it by dividing the current weight by age in weeks.
For example, if your puppy weighs 5 pounds at 14 weeks, their adult weight will be 5/14=0.36*52=18.56 pounds.
Factors That Affect Your Puppy’s Size
The breed size can affect the growth and development of your puppy because the different types of breeds finish growing at different rates.
Smaller breed dogs reach their adult size much more quicker compared to medium and large breeds.
A rule of thumb that most owners always follow is that a dog who is less than one year old is considered a puppy, but your puppy’s size determines whether they will reach adult maturity before one year old.
Smaller breeds take about 12 months to reach adulthood while large breeds take up to 24 months.
There are genetic conditions that can affect growth such as physical characteristics and hereditary health issues.
Therefore, if the parents and ancestors of your puppy are a smaller breed, then your puppy will be small and if the ancestors were large, your puppy will be a bigger dog.
Hereditary health conditions also can impact the growth of your puppy negatively by slowing it down.
Before buying a puppy, make sure that you get the medical history papers from the breeder indicating that your puppy is cleared of any conditions that can be passed down from the parents.
Some studies indicate that gender differences when it comes to weight gain and overall development can impact the final size of your dog.
Male dogs are known to be slightly heavier and taller than female dogs and are bigger during their adolescent years.
This is because males develop wider chests and more muscle mass than females.
Health & Nutrition
To ensure that your puppy lives a long and healthy life, regular visits to the vet to rule out any health conditions are recommended as well as adequate exercise and proper nutrition.
Your puppy needs to be fed the right type of nutrition that is specifically designed for their size so that they can grow and develop well.
So if your puppy is a large breed, buy food specifically designed for them and if they are a small breed, feed them small-breed food.
A well-balanced diet that contains proteins, fats, healthy carbs, vitamins, and antioxidants will provide all the necessary nutrients for growth, especially during the early months.
Small Breed Puppy Development Stages
Neonatal Period: Birth – 3 Weeks
When puppies are born, they cannot take care of themselves and are very delicate. They depend on their mother for nutrition, warmth, comfort, and use of the toilet.
Their ears and eyes are not yet developed so they cannot see or hear, hence spending most of their time sleeping.
Newborn puppies need to stay close to their mother to keep warm because the optimal temperature is essential for their survival.
Since their leg muscles are not yet developed, they cannot walk or crawl yet so they will be staying close to their mother.
Socialization Period: 3 Weeks – 12 Weeks
During this period, your puppy goes through a growth spurt and major changes happen. They become more active and playful as their leg muscles are now becoming stronger.
They will start moving away from their sleeping area and find their own space to relieve themselves.
From six weeks, small puppies should be weaned and started on puppy food. From seven weeks, they should meet plenty of human faces as well as other dogs.
This allows them to become familiar with others and prepares them well for their forever home.
Juvenile Period: 3 Months – 6 Months
The juvenile stage is where the puppies experience significant growth and start to resemble the size of an adult dog. By six months, many small size dogs will have achieved most of their final height.
During this stage, the puppies need to have plenty of opportunities to play and burn calories. You will notice their increased independence and curiosity.
It is important that the puppies have the training to ensure they learn good habits.
Sexual Maturity: 6 months – 16 months
The majority of small-size dogs will achieve their final adult height and weight by the age of 10 to 12 months. Some small breeds will continue to fill out until 14 to 16 months.
During this age, puppies will also reach sexual maturity, typically by 15 months.
After puppies have gone through puberty, you should get them neutered or spayed. This will prevent any unwanted pregnancies and can also calm their temperament.
Transition To Adult Period: 16 Months – 36 Months
Most small dog breeds will achieve their full growth and sexual maturity by the age of 16 months. However, mental maturity may take up to two years to achieve for small dog breeds.
As they enter adulthood, puppies should fully transition to adult food as they require a different balance of nutrients and calories.
The process should be done slowly to avoid upsetting your puppy’s stomach.
How To Predict Your Small Breed Puppy’s Weight?
There are several ways to predict the adult weight of your puppy. Puppies grow at different rates because of certain factors such as genetics and health conditions.
Predict the adult weight of your dog using the following ways:
- A DNA test will help show if your dog is purebred or not. It will also tell you the genetic makeup of your puppy and you can estimate their final size using the results.
- The paws can also tell you the weight of your puppy. Puppies with large paws tell you that they have a lot of growing to do so that their body can be proportional with the paws.
- The parent of the breed is also another way to tell the weight of your puppy. Get to know the size of your puppy’s parents to be able to tell their final weight. You can get this information from the breeder. Your puppy will likely be the average size of both parents.
- You can also follow the weight chart of your puppy’s breed as they show the final weight of your puppy.
At What Age Do Small Breed Puppies Reach Their Full Adult Height?
Most small dog breeds reach their full adult height at around the age of 6 to 8 months.
Most of the growth of the small breeds occurs between the ages of 0 to 11 weeks. They usually gain about 5 to 8 ounces every week.
However, your puppy may continue growing past the age of 8 months if they are not spayed or neutered compared to other dogs of the same breed. Also, they are likely to have wider chests and more muscles.
Does The Smallest Puppy In A Litter Stay The Smallest?
The size of a newborn puppy does not influence their adult size. There will be drastic changes in the weight and size of the dog in the first six months.
If a puppy is born and is on the smaller side of the scale, they may grow and become bigger than the puppies born with more weight.
These are important factors that can influence the growth of your puppy. These include:
- The health of the puppy when your puppy doesn’t get any illnesses, they should have a rapid and healthy growth rate. Your puppy may experience stunted growth if they develop medical conditions.
- Parasitic infection can also affect your puppy’s growth. They can get these infections from their mothers or the environment. For example, intestinal worms such as hookworms and roundworms can impact the growth of your puppy.
What If My Puppy Grows Too Fast Or Too Slow
Small dog breeds grow up faster than large dogs. They are adults by the age of one.
When puppies develop too fast, they can have problems with their joints and bones. When puppies don’t get enough calories, they will experience stunted growth because of malnutrition.
Hence, feeding the puppy with the right amounts of food ensures proper growth. Picky eaters should be given different flavors or warm food.
Dogs should be dewormed regularly to prevent parasites that can affect their growth.
Can Spaying & Neutering Affect My Puppy’s Growth
Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is a veterinary surgical procedure that involves the removal of the female dog’s uterus and ovaries, while neutering or castration is the removal of the male dog’s testes.
The main reasons for neutering are:
- Prevent unplanned puppies – This will help prevent unwanted litter because it can be expensive with a lot of energy and time. There is also a lot of care required when a dog is pregnant.
- Reduce certain health problems – Unaltered females are at risk of developing pyometra, a painful uterine infection, and mammary tumors. Neutering also prevents testicular cancer and reduces prostate diseases. When a male dog is neutered, it is less like to roam too.
- It can help avert certain behavioral issues – such as aggressive behavior. It can also reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviors such as mounting and leg-lifting.
As a dog owner, it is important to consult with your vet to know the right time to neuter or spay your dog.
However, it is encouraged to neuter or spay after they have passed puberty as it has long-term benefits.
Neutering after puberty reduces orthopedic health problems, reduction in certain cancers, and improved behaviors.
Small Breed Dogs Genetics And Common Health Problems
Small dog breeds have slightly different health problems than large breeds. The following are common health problems faced by small dog breeds:
Hypoglycemia that affects young puppies. Blood sugar levels drop rapidly as a result of this condition.
Symptoms include disorientation, weakness, seizures, fainting, and weakness. Low sugar can be very dangerous to small dogs hence if you see any of the symptoms consult your vet.
Legg-Calve-Perthes-Disease is a disease-causing a spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femur bone.
It has no known cause and leads to the inflammation of the hip joint which leads to the collapse of the hip. It also leads to lameness.
In mild cases, they can be managed medically, but in serious cases, surgery is required.
Tracheal collapse occurs due to the small dogs’ weaker cartilage structure, they are susceptible to tracheal collapse.
This condition may be present during birth but usually occur due to walking on a leash with a collar.
Symptoms include bouts of coughing. The first preventive measure is using a harness instead of the collar.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas followed by loss of appetite, vomiting ad tummy pain.
It can be caused by eating high-fat foods or some medication. Mild cases pass quickly but serious issues need hospital admission and IV fluids.
Intervertebral Disk Disease is a disease that affects the spinal code and can lead to nerve damage, pain, and paralysis.
Hopefully, you can now feel confident to use the small dog growth chart to help you predict the growth trajectory of your puppy.
The chart is easy to follow, all you need to know is to measure your puppy and compare it against the monthly weight ranges.
As dog owners, monitoring your puppy’s growth is essential to ensure they are on track for a healthy existence.
While genetics will affect growth, the nutrition, exercise, and environment you create for your puppy are key to ensuring healthy growth.