8 Frequently Asked Labrador Puppy Growth Questions


Some of the most commonly asked questions on this website are about puppy growth. If you are wondering how much your pup should weigh, how much bigger your puppy will get, or when he will stop growing, you’ve come to the right place.

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 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.
Many ‘average’ Labrador puppies will weigh just over two pounds for each week of age.

So at three months or so, such a puppy might weigh in at around 25lbs, and a six month old puppy might weigh around 50lbs.

But as we all know, many healthy dogs are not averages and will weigh more or less that this.  So let’s look at some reasons why a puppy might not grow as expected.

2 Why is my puppy so small?

It is possible that your puppy will weigh less than these average examples.  Labrador puppy weight and size can vary widely depending on a number of different factors.

Working type Labradors

Labrador puppies from working stock, are often less heavy than those bred for the show ring or pet homes.

Dogs bred for hunting and field trials tend to be faster and lighter in build because they are expected to do be agile and quick when working in the field. So if your puppy is from working stock, don’t be too concerned if his weight is a little below average.

Small parents

Size is also partly genetic.  In other words, if your puppy had small parents he might well be on the small size for his age, throughout his life.

Again, this is only a general guide.  Puppies from the same litter can vary quite considerably in size.

Puppies that don’t get enough to eat

8 frequently asked question Labrador Puppy GrowthPuppies that are not fed sufficiently or that are fed the wrong types of food may fail to grow properly.

This is more common in countries where puppies are likely to be fed on home made or unusual diets.

This does not mean that more food is better –  the important thing is to get the type and quantity of food right for your puppy, and that means reading up on how to feed your puppy so that you know exactly what to do.

Puppies that have been ill

A puppy that has been seriously ill may sometime fail to grow in a normal way.

Especially if the illness has been prolonged.  He may catch up later, or

If you are worried about your puppy’s growth rate or his state of health generally don’t hesitate to contact your vet for advice

Weight guides and charts

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.

hp500-ad-1So a weight guide like our rule of thumb above is of limited use and can’t accurately tell you exactly what your puppy should weigh today, or any other day.

It may however give you an indication if your puppy is seriously under or overweight.

Remember, it is normal to worry a little if your puppy seems on the small side, but it is rare for puppies to have any kind of growth disorder, or for their families to starve them by mistake!.

If you can’t see your puppy’s ribs and he is bouncy and full of fun, the chances are he is just a small puppy. Let’s have a closer look.

3 How can I tell if my puppy is too fat or too thin?

The very best guide to whether a puppy  is the right weight for him, is how he looks and feels.

Physically examining and observing your puppy, will help you decide if your puppy is doing ok in this respect.

Just like older Labradors, puppies should not be too fat, and most experts nowadays like to see a waist on even quite young puppies.

Weighing your puppy

pet scales

If your puppy has been ill and is very thin, (or if he has become rather overweight), you might want to weigh him in order to monitor his progress.

You can buy veterinary scales, like the ones you see in your veterinarian’s office, but they are quite expensive.

But, in most cases you won’t need to weigh your puppy at all

Run your hands gently down your puppy’s sides and you should be able to just feel his rib cage.  If you can see his ribs, or feel them very easily just beneath his skin, your puppy is too thin.  If in doubt, check with your vet.

4 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.  You may find you need a bigger dog crate for example for your bench bred dog, than your friend does for his field bred one.

Give me a number!

But you want me to give you some numbers, so here again are some averages.  Remember, your dog is probably not an average dog!

Many adult female Labradors reach a weight of 55-75lbs and stand 21-22 inches high at the shoulder.

Many adult male Labradors reach a weight of 65-85lbs and stand 22-23 inches at the shoulder

But these are very broad guidelines, and within each type, especially working type, is a big 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.

5. 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.

6. 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, so don’t be tempted to increase his puppy food rations in order to make him bigger.

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.

7. 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.

8. 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 mentioned above that an average labrador might weigh around 50lbs at six months old, but there is a huge variations around this figure, and of course the average dog really doesn’t exist, he is just a mathematical concept!

If your dog is well under the average weight for his age, it is always worth chatting to your vet about it, but the chances are he is just going to be a small dog. And the truth is, no-one can tell you exactly what your six month old pup should weigh, or indeed your Labrador of any 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!

9. When will my puppy be an adult?

When is a puppy no longer a puppy?  When will my puppy be a fully grown up dog?

It’s an interesting question

We’ve looked at physical growth, but maturity or being an adult is not just about growing bigger. There are three aspects to changing from puppy to dog

  • Physical maturity
  • Sexual maturity
  • Mental maturity

People are often surprised to discover that puppies become sexually mature before they are full grown.

Sexual maturity in puppies

Most Labradors are physically capable of breeding while still puppies, though of course they should not be allowed to do so.

Many female labradors come into season for the first time between at between six and nine months old.  Though some will be over a year old.  And most male Labradors are ready and willing to mate well before their first birthday!

Mental maturity in puppies

Not only is your Labrador physically still a puppy when he or she reaches sexual maturity, he is also very much a puppy mentally and emotionally.

In fact, many experts do not consider a Labrador to be fully grown up and mature until he is around two years old

The Kennel Club divide their breed show classes for young dogs under two years old into

  • minor puppy  6-9 months
  • puppy 9-12 months
  • junior 6-18 months
  • yearling 12-24 months

In practice, there is no exact age at which you can definitely say your puppy is a grown up, and some puppies mature mentally and physically quicker than others. As a broad guide, you will often hear people use 18 months as the divide between puppy and adult dog.

Your puppy’s growth

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.   Just remember to check with your vet if you think he is unwell or not growing as he should.

More information on puppies

Happy-Puppy-jacket-image1-195x300For a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy, check out The Happy Puppy Handbook.

An extensive, informative and fun book, The Happy Puppy covers every aspect of life with a small puppy.

This book will help you prepare your home for the new arrival, and get your puppy off to a great start with potty training, socialisation and early obedience.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

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


  1. I have a 6 month old puppy and she will not stop eating our carpet, and today I just noticed where her kennel is there is a hole in the wall from her eating it. Is there any possible way for me to get her out of eating household items??

  2. Hello, I have a 13 wk old lab puppy I purchased her at 7 wks she seems to be sprouting up like a weed buy in worried she’s too slim. I feed her 3x a day and she still seems slim (no I cannot see her ribs) but I feel she should be a little plumper. Is she slim because of how active she is? Or is it just how they grow?

  3. Our puppy likes to go outside but sometimes he will stop in the middle of the yard when we try to walk with him we think that he probably hasn’t developed full sight yet he is only 4 weeks old. When do puppies normally develop full sight?

    • How very sad to read that your puppy has been taken away from his mother at just four weeks old. This tiny baby should be in a cosy nest with his mother and siblings. Do contact your vet as soon as possible for full instructions on raising such a very young puppy, and please don’t try to walk him. He is far too young.

  4. My female pup is 2 weeks off 7 months, and yesterday she weighed 20.2 kg. She is about 19″ tall. she is bred to be a chunky girl, though I don`t think she will be overly tall, whereas my older girl at 3 years weighs in at a nice slim 26.9kg, and is on the tall side for a bitch.

  5. Hiii.., am from india I have a lab which is cross breed, now its of 16weeks its looking like lean, will there be any high changes in looking bcoz of cross breed. its always play with clothes. please can I know the solution for improving the growth and stop playing with the clothes. And can you tell me what are the changes that comes in cross breed compared to pure lab.

  6. We have lab/mix.She is 15 weeks and 15 kilos!!Guessing she may be a big girl.She is the color of a lioness and and is lanky with longish slim legs. Really confused about her final adult appearance. Mom was a chocolae lab and Dad is a lab/shepard mix but we haven’t seen him. Vet says she is NOT fat so are continuing her current food and amount. Nice girl with brains and energy!!

  7. hiii. guys
    i just saw Labrador puppy. his current owner want to sell them and he said the puppy age was 6 month old, puppy was to friendly and active but i saw his hair was falling i don’t know his owner providing me correct information or not some one suggest and tell me about Labrador hair falling information to purchase or not those dog????

    • Not sure about hair but doesn’t sound right. I would call a vet to check just incase the breeder needs reporting for the dogs sake. Even if you don’t take him / her.

  8. Hi! We have a 4 month old yellow lab, we got her when she was 4 weeks old, cause her mom cannot feed them anymore, .. We are wondering why is she’s so small, her siblings are like half the weight ang height of their parents, and ours is still really small, it started noticing her growth delay when she had a deworming shot from our vet and got an allergic reaction.. Please, what can we do about her growth? We are so sad about her being small and left out with her siblings..

  9. My lab is 11 months and she is 26,5 kg and 53 cm tall. She is very slim and for a long time I was worried about her growth. But most of the labs I see in my city they are overweight males so compared to them she is really tiny. Also, many dog food producers add growtg stimulators to food and puppy growth is artificially accelerated!

    From another hand every lab is growing st his own pace , these are not clones after all :-)

    So I stopped worrying and I am enjoying walks and companion of my beautiful dog every day. I stopped measuring her; I am not going to enter into any dog beauty contest as I think is useful only for those who want to earn money on dog breeding or for snobs who want to show off their champion ribbons …My dog is my best friend; she is not a show-off item. I only want her to be healthy and happy, same as she makes me so happy each day :-)

  10. My female lab is 10 months old and she weighs 65 pounds. We have 2 other labs that are male and our oldest lab who is 9 she is about 2 hands shorter than him. How can I figure out if she was the runt of her litter?

  11. My yellow lab is about 9 months old.He is healthy n is very active but my concern is he is a bit skinny(thin) n height is 17 inch from shoulder n his head is also not so big.Is this normal.Is he skinny because he’s in his growing age? What should i do or feed to make him look big.And what’s the maximum height he’ll reach n how long will it take him to grow to the fullest.? Plz n e 1 reply.

  12. My lab is 19inches tall and turns 6months on this Feb 8 and weighs around .approx 30-35lbs how to grow my dog taller, its diet is: 2x pedigree and 1x eggrice or chicken as veterinary suggest me…. It is 650+ grams per day more than it needs is it in its proper height and weight if not how can I increase it’d height and weight

  13. My labrador is about an year old now. But he is still very slim and feeble as compared to other labradors I have seen. I’m worried about it. I don’t know if there anything that I’m not caring about? Kindly suggest me what do I need to do.

    • my 2/half year old lab is 68 .4 pounds. she is stocky. but vet says is in great health&shape. she had puppies with my dashound before i got her fixed. and her puppy looks just like her. had her fixed at 8 months she is 30 pounds.1 oz. and in great health. I believe its has to do with how much activity your dog gets. I live in county and Labs love to run. I keep there bowl full of food. And then only eat in the morning. Started that when they where babies. Labs eat a lot at first. I’ve never had a problem with over weight animals.

  14. My 10 month old chocolate lab is only 25kg and still looks like a puppy not nearly a year old! I asked the vet and she suggested maybe he is more of a black lab. Both parents were chocolate and 2/11 puppies were golden and rest chocolate. I read up on the genes for colours etc and i’m aware it is possible. Just wondered if anyone has had a lab like this and if they are late growers or he will always be puppy size lol he still has a lot of the lose skin/fur to suggest he has growing to do! We love him regardless obviously and adored how easy he was to train considering what people say about chocolates. He is smart, walks to heel, total recall and stays in sight, waits and crosses a road on command. Just as crazy as they are at other times though yet has the patience of a saint with my 2 year old and her dr’s set. Thanks for reading.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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 .

  18. 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?

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

    • 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

      • 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?

        • 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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