How Long Do Puppies Grow?
Although all puppies are officially considered adult dogs once they reach one year old, puppies continue to grow in height and size while their bones are still developing, which takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months. Their skeletal growth is what determines how tall they will become as adults.
“The long bones in a puppy’s legs grow from two distinct places called growth plates, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, DVM and Chief Veterinary Officer at AKC. “The growth plates are somewhat flexible and soft during puppyhood when new tissue is being formed.”
As your pooch grows, the new tissue developed hardens into bone. “When the growth plates have stopped producing new tissue and become completely calcified, they are said to have ‘closed,’ which means that they’ve stopped growing and the bone has reached its final size,” says Dr. Klein.
Keep in mind, even after the bones are fully developed, your puppy will continue to develop fat and muscle, just as human adults do.
How Do I Exercise Growing Puppies Safely?
Puppies are little balls of energy who need exercise to stay healthy, but too much exercise isn’t good for puppies. “It is imperative to know that excessive, prolonged activity, like jogging, can be extremely detrimental on the bones and joints of growing puppies,” warns Dr. Klein.
“This is why it is never recommended to do road work or jogging on a dog less than 14 to 18 months of age, especially large and giant breeds, until the growth plates have fully fused,” says Dr. Klein. Instead, walk moderately short distances of a quarter-mile or less on softer surfaces like grass or sand until your dog has finished growing.