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How do dogs grow up and when do they stop growing?

Updated on July 3, 2009

Understanding the growth stages of the dog is very necessary in order to provide the furry friend with the best care. Compared to humans, canine growth rate is very fast. Although considered to be inaccurate by dog experts, it is believed that one human year is equal to seven dog years thus it is expected that dogs would grow very fast. On its first birthday, a dog is considered to be fully grown. Of course this does not hold true with all breeds of dogs. Similar to the difference in personalities, dogs have different growth rates as well. Big breeds of dogs are slow to mature as compared to smaller breeds. A Great Dane will gain full maturity at 2+ years while a terrier will be fully matured at one year.

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Why is it necessary to know the growth rates of dogs? Prospective owners should make it a point to research the dog breed before choosing a puppy. It would be very hard to say no to a cuddly fur ball with imploring eyes. But the small puppy can grow into a 150 lbs. dog in a matter of months. In such a case, the dog would not do well in an apartment. The cute puppy would grow into a massive dog that can inadvertently hurt the baby. Between the baby and the dog, the baby would naturally win hands down. This is one of the reasons why dogs are abandoned and end up in shelters.

As mentioned, dogs have different growth rates but generally, all breeds have the same growth timeline. It would take about two years for large breeds to fully mature. On the other hand, the growth spurt of small breeds would ease after the first birthday. This is an indication that puppy growth will cease. The dog would continue to gain weight but the body structure would basically remain the same.

The first week of a puppy’s life is spent sleeping and eating. Sleep is very important during this stage as growth takes place while the puppy is asleep. The eyes are closed and the ears that looked underdeveloped are plastered close to the head. Puppies are born blind, deaf and toothless. At 2 weeks, the pup will open the eyes; at 3 weeks, the ears will also be opened. From 3 to 7 weeks, the pup will grow rapidly. The dog will be independent of the mom. At 9 weeks the pup is ready to be taken to a new home and be introduced to a new family.

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    • profile image

      barbara 6 years ago

      why does dog eat stff off the flor

    • jackinabox profile image

      jackinabox 7 years ago

      No. Female dogs have what is called the estrous cycle. Often referred to as being "in heat". If a female dog is not spayed it will go into estrus about twice a year.

      The estrus cycle consists of 4 stages.

      1) Proestrus

      Lasts 5-7 days

      During this period there may be vaginal discharge. Males are attracted, but the female is unwilling to mate.

      2) Estrus

      Lasts 4-13 days

      The vulva is swollen, there is a yellowish vaginal discharge. This is when mating occurs.

      3) Diestrus

      Lasts 7-10 days

      If the female has become pregnant during the estrus stage, then the pregnancy lasts between 60 and 64 days.

      4) Anestrus

      Lasts 2-3 months

      Sexual and hormonal inactivity

    • profile image

      Someone 7 years ago

      Do dogs have periods?