A pug is a playful and affectionate dog breed that is particularly popular as a domestic pet. Pugs are an especially good fit for small home and apartment living due to their small size. If you are considering getting a pug as a pet or recently got one, you may be curious about how large they might become and ask yourself, “What age do pugs stop growing?”
As with any animal, pug growth stages will vary with each dog, with factors such as genetics and environment having an impact. However, some consistent growth patterns amongst pugs will help you predict when your pug will reach full adulthood.
Read on to learn more about how large grown up pugs can get and how to keep them at a healthy size.
When Is a Pug Full Grown?
So, exactly at what age do pugs stop growing? You’ll likely have a full grown pug when it is nine months old. If this sounds rather young to be at adult size, that’s because it is. Small dog breeds like pugs don’t grow to be very large, so it takes less time to finish growing.
Once a pug is around nine months old, it should be almost done growing, with perhaps a few additional months of muscle growth. At one year old, a pug is done with the bone and muscle growth phase of its lifecycle and has reached full adulthood.
As you watch your pug puppy grow, you can expect it to be close to its final height by the time it’s a six month old pug. You can check the growth progress of your pug’s height by measuring from the bottom of its foot (the footpad) to the top of its shoulders. If your pug is around a foot tall, it is likely done with vertical growth.
Once your pug puppy reaches its adult height, it still needs a few more months to gain some extra weight. An easy way to judge whether or not your pug has room to grow is to check its paws. If the paws are large and disproportionate to the body, or the dog could be described as “lanky,” then there is probably still some weight to be gained.
Generally speaking, weight gain related to growth will start to taper off at nine months, with a pug reaching its full-size adult weight at around one year old. Pugs may be small, but they’re also chunky—most pugs continue to fill out in size during the first couple years of adulthood. If you have any questions or concerns with your pug’s growth and development, be sure to consult with a veterinarian.
While a pug doesn’t reach adult size until it is nine months to a year old, it reaches sexual maturity at a much younger age.
Between six months and one year of age, male pugs will develop sexually and have full reproductive abilities. Similarly, female pug puppies go through their first estrous cycle—the hormonal cycle that allows them to be fertile—between six and nine months old.
The phase of growth where pug puppies become sexually mature is called the adolescent phase and is a sign that your puppy will soon be entering full adulthood.
Domestic pet owners typically choose to spay or neuter their pug before it reaches sexual maturity. If you plan on spaying or neutering your puppy, be sure to keep track of what age it is expected to reach sexual maturity, as it is best to have surgery done before the dog develops sexually.
How Big Are Full-Size Pugs?
The size of an adult pug will fluctuate throughout its lifetime, with genetics and environmental factors playing a big role. The average height of an adult, full size pug is between 10 and 13 inches. A healthy weight range for pugs is 14 to 18 pounds.
Typically, there isn’t much of a size discrepancy between male and female dogs, with both sexes reaching around a foot in height and weighing 18 pounds or less when healthy.
However, similar to humans, body type and genetic predispositions can impact the size of your pug. For instance, a pug with a more athletic body type might gain more muscle mass and therefore weigh more than the typical pug. Pugs can also be unusually tall or short or tend to easily gain weight. Dog owners can get more background information on their pug’s expected full size by contacting the breeder.
Unfortunately, most pugs have a fairly high risk of becoming unhealthily large. Weight gain is a particular concern for pugs, as they are susceptible to comorbidities that lead to health problems.
The pug’s signature flat nose is a sign of brachycephalic syndrome, which causes obstructed breathing. Carrying an unsafe amount of weight while having an obstructed airway will increase a pug’s risk of heatstroke and respiratory distress.
As a preventative measure, pug owners should track their pug’s weight throughout its life to ensure that it is within an appropriate range for that developmental phase. Strategies for keeping your pug at a healthy weight include:
- Maintaining a consistent and balanced diet
- Slowing the pace at which your dog eats
- A regular exercise routine, and
- Discouraging begging behavior
If your pug’s weight becomes a serious concern, consult with a veterinarian to determine the extent to which your pup is overweight, the cause of the problem, and a plan to help your dog shed the extra pounds.
Summary: What Age Do Pugs Stop Growing?
Pugs are adorable and fun-loving dogs that make fantastic domestic pets. Although pugs are small, you should still be prepared for a growth spurt if you have a puppy.
So what age do pugs stop growing? Although a healthy full-size pug can be about a foot tall and 14 to 18 pounds in about a year, a pug’s size may continue to change as they fill out with age. Keeping track of your pug’s growth will be essential to ensure they are healthy and developing correctly.