6 frequently asked Labrador puppy growth questions

Some of the most commonly asked questions on this website are about growth.

We all want to know that our Labrador puppies are healthy and thriving.

And steady growth is one of a number of indicators of puppy health.

In this article we look at the most frequently asked questions on growth, and hopefully provide you with some helpful answers

1 How much should my Labrador puppy weigh?

This is the number one question asked by new puppy parents.  And it is a difficult one to answer accurately.
6 frequently asked question Labrador Puppy GrowthBecause Labrador puppy weight will vary widely depending on a number of different factors.

These include the genetic information passed down to him by his parents, and the environment he has been exposed to so far

You can find more information and a very rough puppy weight guide in this article:  How much should my Labrador weigh 

Because it is so difficult to know exactly what size your puppy will potentially be as an adult, no-one can accurately predict what he should weigh now.

So the weight guide can’t tell you exactly what your puppy should weigh today, or any other day, but it may give you an indication if your puppy is seriously under or overweight.

The very best guide  is how he looks and feels, and the article above will help you decide if your puppy is doing ok in this respect

2 How big will my Labrador get

Assuming that your puppy had healthy (not overweight) parents, their own weights will have some bearing on your puppy’s expected weight and height as an adult, and therefore on how much he weighs at different point on his journey towards adulthood.

Labradors from show lines are often heavier in build and bone, than Labradors from working lines, which tend to be more ‘racy’ in appearance.  But these are very broad guidelines, and within each type, especially working type, is a huge range of different sizes.

So no-one can predict your dog’s final size based on his parentage.  It may give you a rough idea, but there are always surprises in any group of dogs.

Your dog’s environment will also influence his growth rate and possibly his final weight as an adult.  Puppies that are overfed may grow faster than they should (and this can be harmful in terms of health).

Just like human infants, puppies that are chronically undernourished or that suffer serious illness in puppyhood, may never reach their full potential in terms of size.

3. When will my Labrador puppy stop growing?

Much of your puppy’s growth will be completed before he reaches his first birthday, and most Labradors are fully grown by about eighteen months old.

In fact, he will be quite close to his final adult height at around nine months of age, and a lot of his growth after this point will be ‘filling out’ rather than getting taller.

An important consideration is that the completion of ‘upward growth’ is the point at which your dog’s bones stop growing.

This is the time at which most experts feel it is safe for the dog to begin more strenuous activity, such as long runs and activities involving jumping, without damaging his joints.

4. How can I make my Labrador puppy grow taller?

We are asked this question surprisingly often.  Especially from our overseas visitors.  There is a conception that the taller the dog grows, the better!

This is definitely not the case.   Your puppy should grow at the rate his genetic potential determined and no more.  Excessive growth may bring its own problems.

Neutering at an early age can affect the final height your dog reaches, because sex hormones influence the time at which bone growth slows down and without them bones may grow for longer.  But there are disadvantages to this lengthening of the bone growth period and wanting a taller dog is not a good reason to neuter him.

The best way to ensure that your puppy reaches his full potential height as a adult dog, is to make sure he is fed an appropriate and nourishing diet.  And is protected from accidents and illness where possible.

5. Does it matter if my puppy is a bit plump?

We all used think that puppy fat was a good thing.  When I was a child fat puppies were the norm and perhaps this extra layer of fat was helpful in sustaining the puppy during illness before vaccinations were widely available for dogs.

Nowadays, the thinking is that puppies should be slim.  With a defined waist, just like an older dog.

Overfeeding puppies doesn’t just make them roly-poly plump, it can speed up growth, and that may be a bad thing when it comes to joint health and other aspects of being a ‘well’ dog.

So yes, it does matter if your puppy is overly plump.  Reduce his daily rations a little until you start to see a waist appearing.  Ask your vet for advice if you are worried.

6. My dog weighs 35lbs at six months old. Is that OK?

This is the most common variation on the ‘how much should my puppy weigh’ question.  People post up their puppy’s weight and age, and want someone to tell them this is ok

I cannot stress too strongly, that it simply is not possible to tell you how much your puppy should weigh at any given age.

To illustrate how much very healthy puppies may vary, check out this thread in the forum  How much does your puppy weigh  

Here you will find lots of people have added their puppy’s weight at a given age.  The range and diversity of weights in Labradors is enormous.

Why not join in and add your dog?  The more dogs we have on the thread, the more interesting it becomes!

Your dog

Try not to worry about your puppy’s growth, or to weigh him too frequently unless you have cause for concern, or your vet has recommended it.

Enjoy your puppy for what he is, large Labrador or small.   And check with your vet if you think he is unwell or not growing as he should.

More information

This article was written by Pippa Mattinson.  You’ll find lots more information on puppy care in our puppies menu.   And for a complete guide to puppy care, you can buy Pippa’s latest book  The Happy Puppy Handbook.

This Labrador puppy growth FAQ was originally published in 2011 and has been extensively revised, expanded and updated

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Pippa Mattinson

The Labrador Site is brought to you by Pippa Mattinson. Pippa's latest book The Happy Puppy Handbook is a definitive guide to early puppy care and training

by Pippa on November 17, 2014

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

arti tripathi July 27, 2013 at 6:38 am

please tell me about my labrador dog is cross bread , he didn’t feed his mother thats why he is not too healthy

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Pippa July 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

What do you need help with Arti?

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Anggie August 11, 2013 at 4:33 am

I am buying a pet carrier for a labrador that will be 9 weeks old when I get the dog. How tall is a labrador at that age.

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Joanna Dean September 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm

He will still be very small.. Probably around 10lbs. I have a lab that is 6 weeks old and he is only 5 lbs.

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arav November 6, 2013 at 6:31 am

Hey guys
You doing such a wonderful job and really appriciate this.
I bought a 6 week older lab puppy yesterday and this is my first puppy too. He is playing for couple of min then go for rest and most of time he spend reting and when we are providing him food he is not eating it once. he eat some ammount of food and then lay down then eat some more and he is going for toilet too much. He seems a bit lazy or sad.
I may sound immature but he is my first so please give some suggestions

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andrea November 8, 2013 at 3:17 am

Sounds like he has worms:( have you wormed him yet?

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Cristina Poças November 8, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Hello, me name is Cristina, i am from Portugal and i have a 3 months old lab, and recently he started eating his poo….. I don’ t know what to do! I Will take him to the vet but I would like to have some feedback from you. Thank you so much.
micas_pocas@hotmail.com

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Pippa November 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

Hi Cristina, here is an article on poo eating. It is a very common behaviour.

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Senthoor November 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm

my male labrador is now 6 1/2 month old head is small only. when my lab head get expand or big. somebody said put some artificial bone or cow bone for biting because if biting the bone means head will get expand like that they are saying. is it true ? my lab having one more problem his back leg is slightly bend when he walk in road it looks very different not like a normal dog so please tell me the remedies for my dog.

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Liz Sass December 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Hi,
My lab puppy is 6 months old and 37.9 lbs. I just had her spayed and she was the runt of the litter. She is not too skinny, in fact she very healthy looking. But i’m wondering if she is just really small?? Can I get some opinions?

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David S. December 22, 2013 at 2:29 am

My lab (Star) was only 5 lbs at 6 weeks old. She was the runt and was malnourished. She is 33 weeks old today and weighs 45lbs. She is a healthy, happy dog now. The vet is happy with her growth. Star weighed a little less than your dog at six months old. Not sure how big Star will get but she will not be a huge dog. She could still reach 70lbs when she is completely grown. You never know though, she could even end up weighing more

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Subramaniam August 23, 2014 at 10:53 am

Hi, just discovered this old post and your comments. Our Bella is 33 weeks old and is about 46-47 pounds. She is about 19 inches at the withers. And, looks perfectly healthy, is full of energy,and absolutely wonderful. I am surprised to read references on the Net where people talk about their 5 month old being 50 pounds and such. Phew. Should we be bothered at all?

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Janet November 12, 2014 at 12:56 am

My lab just turned 7 months old 4 days ago . I had him neutered today he weighs 54 pounds and is 22 inches tall at the withers. I think your dog is on track. My dog had parvo at 8 weeks and has done amazing well.

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Esther March 28, 2014 at 1:33 am

My female Lab is almost 20 weeks old and weighs almost 15 kilos. I wonder approx what weight gain is normal. She was putting on 1 kilo per week and has slowed down. Do they even out and then have a growth spurt later. I have put her on a RAW diet as the premium kibble was not agreeing with her. She looks healthy and happy, not too fat not too thin.

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shubham June 24, 2014 at 6:30 am

Hi pippa
My 50 days old lab is bitting me I know its ok but if blood comes do I need vaccination of mine to be done or something as my puppy’s yesterday bite got some blood comig out. Do I need to get vaccinated or its ok. reply soon pippa I’ll be waiting

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prasanna kumar July 2, 2014 at 7:47 am

Hi my female lab Always shouting at night time some one should be with her then only she has been slient. IT has any solution dog to be alone

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Steve McGanity July 9, 2014 at 11:15 am

Hi, I have a 10 week old male black lab, I got him when he was 8 weeks and in the 2 weeks I have had him, his weight has increased by 2Kg. This seems to be a lot. Is this normal?

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mahesh August 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm

my lab is 2month old puppy but is cominng 24 hrs smeal in house. so kindly suggest how to going smeal. food is cantinue droo 3kgs small size type .

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harsh vardhan singh rathore November 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm

Hey i am going to get a lab from my aunt 6months old i am curious to kown if he would be in a puppy category or no.

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Pippa November 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

Yes, a six month old Labrador is still a puppy :)

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mohit November 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

I have a fawn white labrador puppy of 3 month old and his hair coat getting redish brown pleazs tel me how to stop that ?

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colby November 18, 2014 at 6:34 pm

well i think keeping a full grown lab with a golden retriever and 3 beagles is gust cause how can i calm down the lab?

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Howard November 23, 2014 at 11:00 pm

We have a 14 week old male English Lab. He is very lazy. Sleeps a lot and when he plays, seldom runs. He is 27 lbs. He is constantly biting when he plays. Should we be concerned?

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