One of the most loved and adored type of dog is the golden retriever. They are best suited as a family dog since retrievers are extremely friendly and loyal to their owners. That’s why they’re a popular and sought after breed of dog. They are also the top pick for becoming guide dogs to the blind.
Golden retrievers are usually large in size. You might often wonder if yours is fully grown yet, or if there is something unusual about its size. A retriever’s growth pattern can vary throughout the different stages of its puppyhood. You can’t expect any dog to follow a certain growth chart. You can expect it to be irregular during the first two years of your pet retriever’s life.
Being an owner of a retriever pup can be exciting. However, make sure you keep a check on the growth of your canine pal, since the initial stage of their life is crucial to later development. We assure you that it has a lot of room left for growth.
You can still have questions, even if you’ve watched your furry friend grow. We’ll tell you how to spot when your retriever friend reaches its full potential, and also help you ensure that they stay healthy as they grow.
Walking Through Your Puppy’s First Year of Life
From Birth to First Five Months
Puppies are most susceptible in their initial five months of life, which makes it just the right time to start shaping their personalities.
The new puppy will struggle to walk in the first few weeks. It might sway a little and fall down from time to time. It will take time to gain stability when walking. Having their mother around during this time is essential. They will assist their puppies to learn the necessary behaviors, as well as pass on the traits of affection and obedience. This is when you should introduce it to the human touch. This will help the infant dog socialize.
The ideal time to introduce them to their permanent human owners is at its third month. Familiarize it with your touch. But the puppy undergoes its first fear-impact period around eight weeks or a bit later. So be careful during that time as it can impact it for the long-run. Make sure they don’t experience anything that might frighten them during this period.
You can expect it to start behaving like a puppy around the fourth or fifth month, or maybe sometime later. That’s when their teeth begin to grown. You’ll find them full of energy at this stage. Make them follow rules to instill good habits. Watch out for the second fear-impact period that occurs in the fifth month or later.
From Five Months till It Turns One
Your little pup will turn into a furry young dog in about four or five months. Although they grow up to look adorable, this period would be a funny stage. That’s when its tail, legs, ears and nose start to grow. You may notice that the tail and legs seem longer, and don’t suit its small torso. There’s no need to worry if the hind legs seem to fall behind in terms of growth. The irregular growth is normal. You’ll eventually end up with a cute ball of fur.
In the second six months of puppy’s life, growth is fast paced. You’d want to avoid things that’ll put pressure on their joints, as this is the time their bones and joints are most vulnerable.
Variation of Growth in Golden Retriever Types
The Golden Retriever classifies as a gundog breed. They are typically medium to large sized gods. However you may notice some differences in their physique. That might be because some are bred for shows and others for work. So a puppy from a working-type background may lack in the weight department.
They’re generally tall, big, heavy-boned and fuller in the chest. But their sex, genetics, and location also impact their growth.
Role of Genetics
The size of your puppy will depend on the genes inherited from its parents. An offspring of small parents will stay smaller than average throughout its life. You’ll even find variation in sizes of puppies from the same litter.
A well balanced diet could really impact the growth of your dog. The quality and quantity of the food matters a lot. It may have stunted growth due to insufficient quantity and poor quality of food.
That being said, you shouldn’t over feed your dog to increase its growth. That can have damaging effects on its joints. Because Golden Retrievers are a larger breed, they tend to be more at risk for growth disorders. For an extended healthy life, maintain an optimal weight.
A dog will grow taller if it’s neutered at a young age and have continuous growth. But doing so can lead to abnormalities in joint formation. It also puts it at risk for some types of cancers.
Impact of Illness
A dog may not grow normally if it has been severely ill for a long time period. Intestinal worms like hookworms and roundworms can leach calories. A dog that’s infected would be weaker than usual. They’ll grow at their normal rate once you get rid of the worms. It’s best to keep a check on their health by consulting a vet.
Give Them the Care They Need
You must fulfill your duties as an owner. Keep a check on what and how much you’re feeding them. Your pet depends on you for its food, so it’s your job to ensure that it should receive proper nutrition. Exercise is also essential for healthy development in larger breeds.
But do not over-feed or over-exercise your pet. Giant breeds are prone to orthopedic problems. They may develop joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia even at a young age.
You can take your pup for swimming if it suffers from dysplasia. Also, consult your vet with regards to their diet and exercise routine.
Your Puppy’s Growth
When they’re around six months old, the rapid growth of your pup will slow down. It doesn’t need to follow the growth chart to be healthy. It could be fit even if it’s a little under or over the average. But do watch out if it falls well below the typical range size. Fatal puppy syndrome is a common condition in small sized pups.
What’s the Ideal Size?
A healthy newborn puppy will weigh approximately 14 to 16 ounces. A retriever puppy will weigh roughly 1.5 pounds for each week of age on an average. Keeping that in mind, your puppy might weigh around 22 pounds at 3 months. A 6 months, a pup should weigh about 44 pounds.
How to Determine If Its Size Is Unusual?
There are certain ways to tell whether your Golden Retriever is too thin or too fat. Their waistline should be noticeable. You can also find out by placing your hands on its ribcage. It’s ideal if you can feel his ribs with a gentle pressure. Visible ribs could mean that your pet is underweight, whereas, it’s overweight if you’re unable to feel the ribs at all.
When Does It Grow into an Adult Dog?
Your puppy will become an adult dog when it’s nearly 18 months old. They require more time to fill out to their full weight. But during 9 to 12 months, they will reach maximum height.
Adult Golden Retrievers
Your dog’s growth is highly influenced by their genes, sex, diet, neutering and the level of care you provide them with. Somewhere between 9 and 12 months of age, your retriever reaches full adult height. It’ll take them an additional 6 months to grow out to full size. It can take them even more time to mature mentally. But we’re sure you don’t mind their silliness.
The male Golden Retriever is typically 1 to 2 inches taller than the females. They also weigh 10 pounds heavier in comparison to the females. We’ve got stats of health adult retrievers which are according to the American Kennel Club breed standards.
Average Height of an Adult Golden Retriever
- Adult male Golden Retrievers will stand 23–24 inches tall at the shoulder
- Females stand between 21½–22½ inches tall at the shoulder
Average Weight of an Adult Golden Retriever
- An adult male is 65–75 pounds
- Adult female Golden Retrievers are 55–65 pounds
Our Final Thoughts
As an owner of a fully grown golden retriever, we bet you find them to be perfect for hugs and cuddles. Every individual dog’s growth will have wide differences. It’s important that you know your pet. Seek advice from a vet if you’re worried about their health.