Dog shape, size, and weight vary significantly among the different breeds. With their being hundreds of unique breeds, there are also hundreds of mixes popping up as well.
Sometimes when you have a pup, that’s a combination of several breeds, it can be hard to tell how big they will get and how heavy they will be as they age.
So how heavy should your dog be, then? Well, there can be helpful algorithms for interpreting their weight when they’re still growing, but math isn’t always that accurate if they’re a mixed breed.
You will find more information below to help you understand how heavy your dog should be.
Factors that Influence Your Dog’s Size and Weight
It is always recommended to take their breed, age, energy level, and whether or not they are spayed or neutered into consideration.
Whether you’re trying to estimate an adult dog’s ideal weight or figure out how big your puppy should be, all of these factors should be considered when using mathematical calculations or even just guessing.
1. How Your Dog’s Breed Affects Their Weight
You must know that certain breeds should be expected to grow to a certain size, so if you adopted a Mastiff mix, even if it’s half Poodle, it will still be quite large.
Genetics also will play an important role in how heavy your dog should be. If possible, try to see your dog’s parents. If your puppy’s dad was a much larger than an average dog for the breed, then it is likely that your dog will take after him.
2. How Your Dog’s Age Affects Their Weight
An older dog will be more likely to be a couch potato, exercising much less due to medical conditions and stamina. Younger dogs should be full of verve and ready to go at any moment, so ideally, they should maintain a healthier body weight without having to try too hard.
It may seem obvious, but a puppy will always be smaller than its future adult self. If your new pooch is already a chunky fellow at 12 weeks old, then it’s probably safe to say that they will be bigger than his average breed.
Also, puppies are pretty round at first, so don’t be alarmed if it takes a moment to develop a trim physique.
3. How Your Dog’s Energy Affects Their Weight
Energy levels will be a large defining factor in your dog’s weight and body condition. If you have a canine companion that is always eager to exercise and you also enjoy spending time being active, then it is very likely that your dog will stay in good shape.
Now, if you have a dog that spends most of its hanging out in bed or on the couch and rarely gets to do much cardio and exercise, then this dog will eventually show that in their body condition score.
4. How Your Dog’s Spay Or Neuter Status Affects Their Weight
Whether or not a dog is spayed or neutered will also have a great impact on its size and body condition. That is often because they burn more calories when they are still intact (not fixed).
These spayed and neutered dogs are thankfully no longer at risk for life-threatening conditions like testicular cancer or uterine infections. On the flip side, even though having your pet fixed is well worth it and simply the responsible thing to do, these altered pets frequently gain weight afterward.
Feeding your dog a healthy and balanced diet appropriate for their age and energy levels, as well as exercising them regularly, can help to reduce unwanted weight gain after being spayed or neutered.
It is recommended that dogs go on 2-4 walks a day for about 15 minutes each time.
How Much Should My Purebred Dog Weigh?
If we’re talking about a purebred dog, then finding a chart like what AKC has can help you find a weight range for your dog’s breed. However, even with standards, there can be some significant variations sometimes.
Some genetic lines aren’t what they used to be, so there are “purebred” dogs that are much larger or much smaller than what the AKC standard is.
Finding an ideal weight can be difficult sometimes, so if you are truly unsure what the magic number is for your pooch, then reach out to your vet for some advice.
What About Mixed Breeds?
Mixed breeds can be the trickiest to interpret, mostly because they can lean more heavily towards one parent than the other. The best advice for making a quick guess as to how big your mixed breed puppy will be is to find both breeds of average weight (if you know them) and find an in-between.
It is still possible that your mutt will sway towards one breed more than the other, so if they are young, only time will be the ultimate answer to that question.
How Do I Know How Big My Puppy will Be?
Many owners are curious about how much their puppy will weigh as it ages and if it is even gaining weight appropriately. First things first, it helps to know your dog’s age to have the most accurate answer.
There are several ways to mathematically calculate your puppy’s future weight, but it does vary depending on whether your dog is a small, medium or large breed.
Here is a link to a weight calculator.
Small and Toy Breeds:
Small and toy breeds don’t weigh much at all, so they tend to double and reach their max weight pretty quickly. If you know your puppy’s weight when they were 6 weeks old, then all you have to do is take the 6-week weight, double it, then double it again.
That should be close to the weight they will be at full grown.
Medium and Large Breeds:
Your pup needs to be around 14 weeks old before we can give an estimated future weight. The math is slightly more complicated than with small and toy breeds. You will take what they weighed at 14 weeks, double it, then add half of that 14-week weight.
For example, a dog that weighed 16 lbs at 14 weeks would break down to 16+16+8 = 40 lbs.
Typically, these dogs are about two-thirds of their adult body weight once they reach 6 months old and giant breed dogs are usually half of their expected body weight by the time they are 6 months of age.
How Can I Tell If My Dog is an Ideal Weight?
Sometimes it is best to just ignore breed standards and avoid the scale, calculating based more off of the body condition score and the dog’s unique build rather than lumping them into one base size category.
These BCS tables can range from 1-5 or 1-9. 1 being emaciated skinny and 5 or 9 being obese. It’s best to shoot for your dog to fall somewhere in the middle.
Some physical parameters that veterinarians used to gauge body condition and weight are the rib cage and the waistline.
Ideally, you should be able to feel your pet’s ribs but not visibly see them all the time. From the side, their belly should also have a tuck at the abdomen, not be one barrel shape. From above, your dog should have a slight taper at the waist.
If your dog tends to lean towards a tater tot or barrel shape, then it is very likely they should be put on a diet.
How to Keep My Dog at an Ideal Weight
As discussed, breed, genetics, age, and alteration status play a large role in how heavy your dog will be. Knowing your dog’s typical weight and physique will help you interpret what is best for your individual dog.
As they age, if they start looking like they are gaining a few pounds, cut back on their diet or encourage more exercise.
Checking breed standards and scouring the internet for puppy weight calculators will only go so far. Every dog is special and sometimes we get one that is more petite or more stocky than the average, so gauging an ideal weight and condition is best done by simply doing a quick exam.
If your dog is already full-grown and you’re just wanting to know if they appear to be the healthy and ideal size, then following the body condition score chart is an excellent resource.
Final Thoughts on How Heavy Should My Dog Be
At the end of the day, weight is just a number and as long as your dog is eating well, staying trim, and exercising regularly, they will probably stay a healthy dog for many years.
If they start living a more sedentary lifestyle after they’ve gotten older or had an injury or health problem, it is likely that they will need a little help at staying in better shape.
Let’s work together to beat canine obesity by understanding body condition scores and keeping our pets active and healthy.