What are dog size calculators?
Dog size calculators are used to determine the expected growth size of your dog by taking parameters such as age, birth weight, gender, and breed of the puppy/dog.
As a dog parent, you might be anxious if your dog’s growth is normal and you can check its growth with the help of a dog calculator. The dog’s weight is calculated based on the size or weight charts specific to its breed as each breed has unique developmental milestones.
How to use a dog calculator?
You can check the estimated size of your dog by entering the required fields such as age, breed, or gender. In some calculators, you might be asked to enter the birth weight as well.
How big is your dog going to be?
Till when do dogs grow?
This question can be answered based on your dog’s breed as it is the major determining factor for a dog’s size. Every dog falls under the four categories as mentioned below and this will help you get an idea regarding your dog’s growth. Sometimes, the breeds might overlap between two size categories.
- Small Breeds
Small breeds reach their maximum growth within 12 months. Chihuahuas, Pugs, Jack Russell, and Boston terriers and bulldogs are common breeds that come under this category.
- Medium Breeds
Medium breeds reach their maximum size within 18 months. Mixed breed puppies as well fall into this category most times. Corgi, Spaniels, and poodles come under this category.
- Large Breeds
Large breeds take up to a year or even 18 months to reach their maximum structure and almost two years to reach their maximum weight. Common large breeds include German Shepherd, Doberman, Labrador, Bloodhound, and Boxer.
- Giant Breeds
They reach adulthood around 18 months of age and take between two to three years to reach their full-grown size. Giant breeds include Saint Bernard, Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane, and Mastiffs.
Caption: Pomeranian and Siberian husky mix – Pomsky Credits: Love your dog
How to calculate the size of mixed breed dogs?
Of course, calculating the weight of your mixed breed dog is not going to be as simple as above. You can only arrive at an estimate of how big your dog might get. Find out which breed your dog is closely related to and by using the weight charts of that breed, you can arrive at an estimate.
In case you do not have the exact details of your dog’s ancestry, it might be hard to determine its closest breed. You can either consult your vet or even go for a DNA test if you are really bent on knowing about your dog’s growth.
A common method of estimating a mixed dog’s size would be four times its height and weight at four months.
Here are other factors that might help you,
- Paw size
Experts can estimate a dog’s size with their paw size. However, note that this method is not always accurate but you can try it out. You can do it by yourself using paw size charts.
If possible, you can meet the parents of your dog and this will help you estimate how big your dog will grow to be. If your dog is female, then it will mostly grow as big as the mother and male dogs will be a bit more than that.
- Bone Structure
This can be calculated by considering the size of the puppy’s legs. Those who have short and thin legs will be smaller than those with long or heavy legs.
Factors that determine a dog’s size
The size of the parents determines the size of the offspring and that’s basic genetics. The best way you can estimate your puppy’s weight is by taking the average weight and height of its parents.
- Litter Size
Each breed has a unique average litter size. Based on the litter size of your puppy, you can determine how big it is going to grow. For instance, the average litter of a German Shepherd is 8 and when it is above that, the puppies are going to be smaller than usual.
- Physical Activity
Just like humans, physical activity influences your dog’s size too. Dogs that are active, energetic, go for frequent walks or runs, and are trained well are more likely to have an athletic body than a dog that sleeps all day.
However, make sure your dog is not overworked as this might cause bone or ligament tears.
- Age, Gender and Breed
These are the most basic factors related to a dog’s weight. Female dogs will be smaller than their male counterparts and there will obviously be a difference between the sizes of smaller and giant breeds. The time taken for your dog to reach its maximum growth size also varied with the breed.
- Nutrition and Diet
What do you feed your dog? Yes, it matters. Well-nourished puppies with a healthy nutritious diet will grow bigger than undernourished puppies of the same breed. If puppies lack mother’s milk during their early stages, then this might affect their development significantly.
Why is it important to check your dog’s weight?
If you are new to pet parenting, you might question the use and need of dog calculators. It is important for every dog owner to know what is the expected weight of his dog to,
- formulate a suitable diet plan
- gain insights on the puppy’s health and growth
- ensure that the puppy gets the required physical activity
- take care of space requirements, buy suitable dog collars, etc.
It will help you make periodical checks on your dog and evaluate if it has reached its developmental milestone and what measures to take in case of a fallback. If you feel your puppy is growing rapidly or is too small for its age, you can always check with the dog size calculator to cast away your worries.