Labrador retriever lovers surely love their dog’s puppy phase. They look like adorable balls of fluff and almost everything they do is cute – even nipping you. But puppyhood is not forever and your dog has to grow up. So to answer the question, when will my Labrador Retriever stop growing, you’ll have to scroll down to find out.
While it is sad, you can expect a reliable, outgoing, and friendly adult Lab. Plus, they’re all still puppies at hard. Their appearance just changes.
But it is essential that you pay attention to your Lab’s growth. This article will tackle a Labrador retriever’s growth and development.
When Will My Labrador Retriever Stop Growing?
Dogs grow at different speeds. There are several factors that can contribute to your dog’s speed of growth. But one of the biggest factors is their size.
The bigger the dog, the longer they grow. Smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas and pugs often reach their growth at a faster rate. Labrador retrievers are medium-sized dogs. They’ll likely keep on growing for around 12 to 18 months.
What this means is your dog will reach their ideal height. But it is possible for your dog to grow thicker – especially if you free-feed them.
Obesity is a common problem for all dog breeds. It can also shorten your dog’s lifespan and cause other health issues. Don’t let your dog grow bigger and always track their weight so they stay healthy.
Labrador Retriever Build
American Kennel Club has issued a breed standard for Labrador retrievers. When you’re breeding a Lab, it’s best that you follow these. Plus, the standard also serves as a guide for Labrador owners.
Labrador retrievers have an athletic and strongly-built body. They’re medium-sized and short-coupled dogs with a well-balanced physique. These dogs have short but dense coat that is well-known to be waterproof.
Your dog should have a moderately wide chest. It shouldn’t be narrow nor too wide like a bulldog’s. They should have wide, short but strong loins that extend into powerful hindquarters.
These dogs also have what is often called an “otter” tail. It helps them wade the water which is perfect when they retrieve waterfowls.
A Lab should stand at 22.5 to 24.5 inches for males and 21.5 to 23.5 for female dogs. When it comes to weight, it should be between 65 to 80 pounds and 55 to 70 pounds. These are for male and female Labs, respectively.
Food And Exercise
Again, never free-feed nor overfeed your Labrador. They are retriever dogs and will have high energy. Use this to your advantage and get them to walk or run every day to keep them in shape.
Provide them with high-quality food. They can achieve their ideal weight and muscle mass faster with the right nutrition. It should be rich in protein and the source should be the number one ingredient.
Factors That Affect Your Dog’s Growth
As mentioned above, there are several factors that can affect your Lab’s growth. Listed below have the biggest effect on your dog’s development.
There are two distinct lines of Labrador retrievers in the US. They’re either bred for show line or for field line.
Show lines have an even temperament and have the same build as AKC’s breed standard. Meanwhile, field line dogs were bred to become hunting dogs. They’re often smaller than show line Labs since they need to be faster and more agile.
If you got a Lab bred for field line, you’ll notice they’re smaller and lither.
If the parents are small, chances are your Labrador is small as well. They can gain weight but they won’t be able to reach a taller height.
Diet And Nutrition
What your dog eats can greatly affect their health – even their size. Labrador retrievers that are underfed tends to be smaller and has slow development. Your dog to experience slow growth rate by feeding them the wrong type of food.
Ask a vet which type of food works best for your dog at a certain age. You can also get suggestions for a better feeding plan.
Neutering or spaying is often done on younger dogs before they have the chance to mate. This is normally completed to avoid unwanted puppy litters. There are also several health benefits when your dog is neutered.
But this medical procedure can affect your dog’s size. The bone growth plate closure often gets delayed when this is done. This results in bigger and taller dogs.
There are health issues that can affect your dog’s size such as hypothyroidism. If your dog has become seriously ill, their growth could delay. They may even become smaller than usual when their condition has been prolonged.
Conclusion: When Will My Labrador Retriever Stop Growing?
Your Labrador retriever’s physical and mental growth matures at different rates. They may achieve their ideal size faster. But their mental maturity may take a few more years to catch up. It’s like you still have a puppy underneath that athletic body. So, if you are still asking, when will my Labrador Retriever stop growing, you’ll know when they stop acting like puppies.