A Labrador is a type of dog known for being friendly, intelligent, and playful. They are very popular pets, and many families consider them to be part of the family.
Labs need lots of attention and care and are not really suitable for people who work long hours. Labradors are very energetic and need a lot of exercise. Some Labs can be trained to be used as guide dogs, and others are trained to be assistance dogs. Labrador puppies are cute, but the way they grow is often a source of confusion to people who have not come across a Labrador puppy growth chart before.
How quickly do Labs grow?
All Labrador puppies follow the same breed-specific pattern of growth spurts and slower growth, even though the actual numbers on the scale will vary from individual to individual.
The most rapid period of growth will take place in the first month or so after you bring him home.
In 2007, a study of 150 Labrador puppies in Norway found that weight gain is most rapid at 89 days old in females, and 95 days old in males.
So around the 12-14 week mark.
And Labradors usually reach half of their adult weight by the time they are 18 or 19 weeks old.
How much does Labrador grow after 6 months?
Another trend you can see in our Labrador puppy growth chart is that Lab puppies gain weight much less rapidly after their 6 month birthday.
Once your Lab has hit this milestone you can expect them to gain a little height, and probably continue to fill out for up to a year or so.
But on the whole, a Lab who’s petite at 6 months is likely to be petite all her life.
And you needn’t worry that a boy who already weighs 50lbs at 6 months is going to end up the size of a Great Dane!
Another important milestone to look out for after 6 months is the completion of ‘upward growth’. In other words, the point when your Lab stops getting any taller.
This is the point at which your dog’s bones stop growing, and most experts feel it is safe for them to begin long runs and activities involving jumping without damaging their joints.
Don’t assume that your dog will stop growing upwards when they reach the height on the Labrador breed standard though.
It is estimated that in the UK the average height at the shoulders of a male Lab is 2-3cm taller than the breed standard.
Will my dog still grow after being neutered?
Whether or not dogs should be routinely spayed or neutered is a subject that divides opinion.
Labrador owners deciding whether and when to neuter usually end up with a lot of questions, few of which have straightforward answers.
Many veterinary care providers and shelters advocate neutering at a young age, or even make it a requirement of the adoption contract.
This has several pros and cons, but does neutering a puppy before they’re fully grown to affect their growth?
This 2017 study found that neutering before 37 weeks old is linked to very slightly more rapid growth, and neutering after 37 weeks leads to very slightly slower growth.
But the difference was very small, and the researchers emphasized that it doesn’t require special planning.
What is the best age to spay/neuter a Labrador Retriever?
Another commonly asked question is when to fix their male or female Labradors.
The general consensus is that you should fix your dog around 6 months, but there are new studies to suggest that early neutering might create more problems for your dog.
Another specialized study suggests pet owners neuter or spays after 37 weeks. This prevents excessive growth that can aggravate hip or joint problems.
How big do Labs get fully grown?
As we all know, very few dogs fit the mathematical average – they are much more likely to occupy a range of normal sizes.
But most of us like a more precise answer than that before we commit to sharing our home with a puppy. So, how big do Labs get?
Labradors are remarkably variable in height and weight.
The biggest male Labs can be almost twice the size of the smallest female ones.
And it’s risky to rely on statistics when they could be so misleading.
How big a puppy will get?
We can’t predict your puppy’s exact adult weight, just like we can’t guarantee exactly when they will stop growing.
These Labrador height and weight numbers are very broad guidelines, and they may give you a rough idea of how big a pup will grow.
How big your Labrador will get depends partly on his parents.
Assuming that your puppy had healthy (not overweight) parents, their own weights will give you an idea of how big your Lab is likely to grow.
Furthermore, Labradors from show lines (English Labs) are often heavier in build and bone, than Labradors from working lines (American Labs), which tend to be more ‘racy’ in appearance.
But there are always surprises in any group or family of dogs!
And next, we’ll look at why your puppy might be a lot smaller than you were expecting…
My Labs puppy not growing
Your puppy may weigh less than the average examples.
Labrador puppy weight and size can vary widely depending on some different factors, many of which are normal and harmless.
When do dogs stop growing?
It’s fairly obvious that if your Labrador is four years old, he is not going to get any taller (though of course, he could get fatter).
But what about a two-year-old Lab, or a one-year-old?
Well, in broad terms, dogs stop growing sometime between one and two years old.
Labrador Growth Chart
The first year of your puppy’s life has plenty of puppy development key milestones, and tracking them is a great way to gauge its overall health as it heads into adulthood.
How much does a lab puppy weigh? A good rule of thumb is that your puppy should be gaining two pounds per week up to 6 months old, and then transition to about 1 ½ pound per week until it turns a year old. Adult females around a year old should weigh in the mid-70s range while males can be a little bulkier, reaching high-70s to low-80s.
At Birth (0-4 Weeks)
Important Milestones: Your puppy will sleep a lot and spend many of its waking hours drinking mother’s milk. In a few weeks, the puppy’s senses will begin to develop and may even be introduced to softened solid foods for the first time.
8 weeks (2 months)
Important Milestones: This is when you can take the puppy home! You can expect it to be curious and playful, which means you’ll have to puppy-proof your home. It will also learn to recognize its name, which means you can begin puppy school.
16-24 Weeks (4-6 Months)
Important Milestones: Up until six months old, your puppy should still be gaining about 2 pounds per week. At this point, weight gain should go down to 1 ½ pounds per week instead. It may be time to think about spaying and neutering, which you can set up with your veterinarian.
30 weeks (7.5 months)
Weight: Males: 50-55lbs. Females: 45-50lbs.
Important Milestones: Your puppy is still an adolescent, which means it’s still growing, although it will be clear around the next few weeks that a male puppy will grow significantly faster when compared to a female.
40 weeks (10 months)
Weight: Males: 66-70lbs. Females: 60-65lbs.
Important Milestones: Your puppy is well on its way to adulthood!
1 Year (12 Months)
Weight: Males: High 70s and low 80s. Females: Mid-70s.
Important Milestones: Congratulations! Your puppy is considered an adult at this point. Between now and its second birthday, you can start to transition from puppy to adult dog food.
How to weigh a Labrador?
Weighing your dog is a good way to keep track of its growth.
It might be harder than it sounds because it’s hard to fit a full-grown Labrador on a bathroom scale, although you can pick your dog up and deduct your weight to figure out your Lab’s weight.
A less strenuous and stressful way to weigh your dog would be to buy a weighing scale for dogs and weigh them regularly.
You can incorporate this into your dog training and reward them every time they stay still on a scale.
There are reasonably priced pet scales on Amazon but if you do not have a budget for a dog weighing machine, you can get your dog weighed at the vet.
Weight vs. Appearance
Weight alone is not the best way to measure a dog’s health. This is because muscle weighs more than fat. A chubby-looking Labrador might have the same weight as a lean and strong Lab.
You can use weight to assess your puppy’s weight gain, but you might want to also incorporate other means of assessing their fitness.
Testing Physical Appearance
There is a system called BCS or Body Condition Scoring that allows owners and health providers to assess whether your dog is at a healthy weight from a glance.
9 Levels of Body Condition Scoring
with the 1st level representing extreme emaciation, level 5 being optimally fit, and level 9 being life-threateningly obese. To give you an idea of what each level entails:
Level 1 – Severely Underweight
No discernible fat or mass, with rib and tail bones protruding and severe abdominal tuck
Level 2 – Very Thin
Very minimal to non-existent fat or mass, with visible ribs and spine, sunken abdominal tuck
Level 3 – Thin
Little to non-existent fat and slight mass, with visible ribs and pelvic bones, sharp abdominal tuck
Level 4 – Underweight
Little fat, with a noticeable waist and clear abdominal tuck, can feel the ribs easily
Level 5 – Ideal Weight
Slight fat, with a clearly defined waist and visible abdominal tuck, can feel the ribs
Level 6 – Overweight
A slight excess of fat, with an undefined waist and abdominal suck, cannot easily feel the ribs
Level 7 – Heavy
Extra fat, with no waist and little to no abdominal tuck, ribs are difficult to feel
Level 8 – Obese
Extreme fat, with no waist or an abdominal tuck, cannot feel the ribs
Level 9 – Severely Obese
Excessive fat on the neck, spine, tail, and abdomen, with an indiscernible waist
If your Lab is around level 4 – 6, you can make slight adjustments to their diet.
However, if they are outside of that spectrum, you might want to consider seeing a specialist as your dog might have some underlying health issues.
Issues that can influence a Lab puppy’s growth
Obesity can shave up to two years off your dog’s lifespan. It can also cause lots of health problems such as joint problems, respiratory or heart diseases, and even cancer.
The bad news is that Labradors are prone to obesity due to their genetics. A large portion of the Labrador population has a malfunctioning POMC gene that stops them from being full.
Even without the condition, Labs are notoriously greedy! Look at Midnight eating in her dreams
Hyperthyroidism and Insulinoma are disorders that can cause unexplainable weight gain.
How to help overweight Labs lose weight?
If they are suffering from certain disorders, you will need to treat them first.
If they are simply being fed too much, remove any excess calories from their diet by cutting down treats (including table scraps!) and carbs.
You can also encourage them to move more through exercise, play, or work.
How to help underweight Labs gain weight?
Being too thin is also unhealthy, especially if your puppy is still growing. Weight loss or not being able to gain weight can be caused by worms, illness, or a lack of calories.
Active dogs will need to be fed more than those that lead sedentary lifestyles. What you can do is increase their intake and monitor their growth rate.
If they don’t seem to be packing on the pounds, you should bring them to the vet for an assessment.
Keeping your Labrador healthy for life
When your pup reaches adulthood which is 24 months of age, it is still possible for him or her to gain additional weight.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because your dog’s growth curve has tapered off.
Leading a healthy lifestyle will keep your pup healthy. Make sure to stay on top of their veterinarian appointments, and don’t let them turn into couch potatoes.