As breeders and as Weimaraner lovers, one of the most common questions we hear is, “How big will my puppy get?” Well, we hope we can help you figure it out! (Or at least provide some entertainment value and help keep the guessing game alive!)
So how big will he get? Unfortunately, there is no magical formula to give us an answer. Most often, we reply that you need to look at the size of your puppy’s parents and grandparents, if possible. Based on this, you can get a pretty good estimate about the size of your puppy as an adult. Where this gets tricky is if this information is unavailable or if the parents of your pup are overweight so you really can’t get a good idea of their “true” size.
There are plenty of 100lb “solid muscle” Weimaraners out there who should truly be down in the 75-80lb weight category. In addition, genetics can be tricky — as any breeder will tell you — and occasionally there will be a giant puppy or a midget born to two normal sized parents, which is why we recommend looking at grandparents as well.
Rate of growth also seems to be largely genetic, with some families of dogs growing much more slowly than others. Just because your dog hits 65lbs at 6 months doesn’t necessarily mean he will be a 100lb weimaraner. Unless you allow him to get fat!
Okay, we promised to help you figure our how big Mr. Nothing-But-Feet will get, so now on to the good part. We polled over a hundred owners of Weim puppies of various ages to get averages for both males and females at different ages. This is not a scientific method by any means but will help you get a basic idea where your pup stands on the curve.
We ran into one major issue when collecting this information: Most Weim puppies are a little bit FAT. And most Weim owners really had no idea. So before we give you our findings, we need to encourage you to show off a little rib, maybe even some hip bones in some cases. Don’t be scared! Skinny puppies are healthy puppies!
According to most research, overweight puppies have an increased risk of hip dysplasia as well as other joint, bone, and muscle problems. Your puppy is growing super fast until he’s around eight months old (when he should be 80% or more of his adult weight), and any extra stress on those joints can cause major problems as they get older. Some breeders will void a health contract if your puppy is overweight during these months — it’s that much of a risk factor!
Your puppy is also more likely to be overweight and less active as an adult if he is an overweight puppy. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 44% of pet dogs is obese, with that number growing at an alarming rate. They also polled veterinarians and found that many vets didn’t even recognize what a dog looked like in healthy, lean, working condition!
In addition to just being “a little pudgy,” your Weim pup is also getting more nutrition than he needs–a problem that is anything from benign in our breed. Extra Calcium can lead to problems like Osteochondritis (OCD), Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD), Wobblers, and other skeletal abnormalities.
Your puppy may have extra skin, but feel along his rib cage. What’s there? Rib bones should be easily felt. The muscles of his shoulders and thighs should be easily seen and firm to the touch. Hip bones may be easily seen and/or felt, depending on your dog’s structure. Some dogs will always show some hip, it’s just how they’re made.
As with an adult dog, when viewed from above, your pup should have an “hourglass” appearance, and his spine should be easy to feel but not prominent as long as he has a strong, straight topline. A “puppy belly” is normal and will be less noticeable as your dog gets older.
(If you think your Weimaraner may be fat, check out this article on how to determine if your Weim is fat.)
Your puppy will likely go through a stage of growth around four months when he is all legs. It is normal for him to look very slender to you during this time, he’ll grow out of it! Male dogs can be hard to keep weight on as they go through adolescence (age eight to 18 months) but females don’t seem to be quite as extreme in that regard.
You should also know that just because a pup is the biggest in his litter at eight weeks it does not guarantee that he will be the biggest. It only means that he eats the most as a puppy!
We hope you had some fun with this one. We did! Next time someone says “Wow, your dog is skinny” Take it as a compliment as say “Thank you!”
(Shameless plug: We discuss more puppy stuff in our ebook, Your New Weimaraner Puppy: How to Survive the First Six Months!)