A healthy Labrador retriever puppy has big paws and floppy ears, a warm tummy and a waggy tail. It feels like he will stay this small, bouncy ball of energy indefinitely.
But it doesn’t take long before he is standing tall enough to rest his head on your lap and lovingly gaze at your sandwich. How much bigger will he get? And how do you know when he has reached the pinnacle of his formative months?
It’s not unusual for puppy owners to wonder about their Labrador’s growth rate and weight gain. When do puppies stop growing? How big will he get? How much should he weigh in his various stages of growth?
The size of your Labrador at maturity will depend on several factors that can have an impact on his growth rate. Some of these factors you can influence. Others, you cannot.
When Do Labs Stop Growing?
Your Labrador can always get fatter. But how do you know when he has finished growing? What is the mile marker? Is it when he gets to be a year old? Two years old?
Typically, dogs will stop growing somewhere between one and two years of age. Obviously, this varies among breeds, and even within a breed, it can vary among individuals.
Larger Labs tend to grow more slowly than smaller ones. Most Labradors will stop growing after they turn a year old, but most of his growth will be finished within his first year.
By the time he is nine months, he is likely to have reached his adult height. From that point, he will fill out, growing muscle and broadening his stature.
At What Age Is a Lab Fully Grown?
By the time most Labradors reach the age of 18 months, they have attained their adult size.
It is important to know that the bones are still growing until your dog achieves his full mature size. Until then, most authorities advise against putting the dog through any extreme exercise, such as jumping. Strenuous activities before then can risk damage to his joints.
Neutering or spaying your dog can have an impact on his growth. Because hormones have an impact on growth, your dog may grow larger if he is altered during the formative months.
How Long for a Lab to Be Fully Grown?
The rate of your puppy’s growth and the amount of time it takes for him to reach physical maturity depend on how large a dog he is destined to be.
Is a Lab a Large Breed Dog? How Tall Is the Average Labrador?
A Labrador is considered a medium to large breed dog, according to the AKC Breed Standard. This guideline states that a Lab “should be as long from the withers to the base of the tail as they are from the floor to the withers.”
Depending on gender, an average Labrador retriever can stand from 21.5 to 24.5 inches.
How Much Do Labs Weigh? How Much Do Lab Puppies Gain? A Monthly Guide
In general, the average adult Labrador can weigh anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds. For a dog, that is large range.
Suggested Article: What to do if your Lab is over weight
The AKC standard suggests an ideal weight for male Labradors to be 65 to 80 pounds (29 to 36 kilograms) and for females to be 55 to 70 pounds (25 to 32 kilograms).
With this significant size variance, it is easy to see why there can be confusion about how much a Lab puppy will gain on a month-to-month basis. Even individuals from the same litter can vary greatly in size.
On average, though, a Labrador puppy gains about 2 pounds per week.
Therefore, at 3 months of age, a puppy might weigh about 25 pounds. From there, an average could be as follows:
• 4 months: 33 pounds
• 5 months: 41 pounds
• 6 months: 49 pounds
• 7 months: 57 pounds
• 8 months: 65 pounds
• 9 months: 73 pounds
• 10 months: 81 pounds
Depending on how large your dog is going to be, the weight gain could start leveling off around 6 months of age.
As long as you are not seeing ribs on your puppy, there is no reason to be concerned about this. His weight will depend on the type of dog he is going to be.
For instance, working Labradors tend to be leaner than those bred for show. A field-type Lab will tend to be lighter in build due to the kind of work it is bred for.
Therefore, if your pup is bred from a line of working dogs, he will reach his mature weight sooner than some of the heavier, show-type or English-bred Labs (also known as blockhead Labs). Also, if you get a chance to view your puppy’s parents, this will give you a good idea of what his adult size will probably be.
How to Tell If a Labrador Puppy Is Too Thin
If you are seeing your puppy’s ribs, it means he needs better nutrition. It might be time to visit your veterinarian for advice on what to feed him, especially if he has suffered an injury or some type of illness.
On the flip side of the coin, you should not allow your puppy to be too fat. His body should feel firm, with the ribs, though not visible, still detectable beneath a layer of body fat. He should have a visible waistline, just as any adult Lab should.
If your puppy seems small, but you can’t see his ribs, and he is full of happy mischief, then he is at an appropriate weight for his size. Small puppies sometimes catch up, and some even grow larger than littermates.
A lot of dog owners place too much emphasis on size…
They want a dog that is big. They want to brag about their dog’s weight, so they overfeed it. An obese dog is not a healthy pet. It jeopardizes the dog’s health in many ways. A Labrador is a sporting dog, bred for an active lifestyle. Managing his weight will offer him many health benefits, including:
• Improved strength
• Reduced stress levels
• Improved cardiovascular health
• Improved immune function
• Improved lung function
What Size Crate Should I Get for a Lab Puppy?
You will need a puppy-sized crate for your Labrador puppy to assist you in the house-training effort and teach him bladder control. A crate should only be large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around, and lie down.
As your puppy matures past 4 months of age, you will have a pretty good idea of how large he is going to be. Then, you can provide him with a full-sized crate, large or extra-large, that can serve as his special “den” sanctuary throughout his lifetime.
Your puppy will gladly become your best friend of a lifetime. You will find that no matter how large a dog he grows to be, a Lab is a wonderful companion, and you will be sure to love every inch of him.