If you are looking into a mixed breed puppy, then congratulations! You have chosen a breed all of its own that is generally more healthy than pure bloods. However, sometimes it’s the luck of the genetic draw, similar to how big the puppy will get. If you are a proud owner of a mixed puppy, then you should know the breeder or shelter you adopted your puppy from will tell you there really is no sure answer on how to tell how big a mixed puppy will get.
That being said, there are a few factors we can look at that can give us a better idea, even if it’s not a sure thing. But one thing is for sure, and that is no matter how big or small your mixed puppy ends up being, we are 100% sure he or she will have a big heart that’s full of love for you.
Is My Puppy a Mixed Breed?
First off, is your puppy considered a mixed breed? You might have heard of the terms mutt or mongrel before, but these dogs are now kindly referred to as mixed breeds or designer dogs. Purebred lines were once all the rage for dog shows, agility competitions and the like, but people have now come to appreciate the pros of having a mixed breed pup.
If your puppy possesses parents of two different breeds or has parents who are hybrids, then they are considered a mixed breed.
The Benefits of a Mixed Breed Puppy
First of all, mixed breed puppies can be super adorable. They can take after and inherit the cutest traits of both the parents to come out with a being that is fluffy like a Pomeranian with the even temperament of a Golden Retriever. We’re not sure if this particular mixed puppy is available between these two popular breeds, but you get the picture we’re trying to paint.
Other than the adorable appearance, what are the other benefits of getting a mixed breed pup?
+ You may be saving a life
Mixed breeds can happen on purpose (designer breeds), or due to nature (regular breeding) but since they weren’t preferred years ago, many of them ended up in shelters. While many animal shelters have loving volunteers that will go the distance to make sure these dogs live a relatively good life, nothing compares to having a warm bed in the home of their pet parents. Not only will you be making a dog’s life, but you will also save a life if it’s a kill shelter.
+ A longer companionship
As we mentioned briefly, mixed puppy breeds are healthier than purebred lines. While this could very much be due to less interbreeding to keep the bloodlines pure, it could also be because puppies will inherit the better traits of both parents and eventually phase out certain genetic dispositions. Since they are healthier, they will live longer lives and spend more years with you!
+ Save on the cost
There are people capitalizing on designer breeds. The difference between a designer breed and a mixed breed is designer dogs are bred for the purpose of creating a certain mixed breed. Breeders like this will often capitalize on the fruits of their labor with prices in the thousands.
However, if you go for the traditional hybrid, the price of your mixed puppy will be much lower than a purebred.
How to Tell How Big a Mixed Puppy Will Get
After a brief introduction into mixed breeds, we’re going to answer the question of the day – how to tell how big a mixed puppy will get.
Like Mother Like Daughter, Like Father Like Son
In truth, it’s near impossible to be sure, but you can sometimes come up with a close estimate if you know what to look for. One of the most basic factors to look at to tell how big your puppy will get is to look at the lineage. In other words, take a look at the parents.
Pups usually take more after the mother, so the height and weight of the mom will have a bigger influence. However, that doesn’t mean you should discount the dad completely. For example, if we look at a Goldendoodle, they are usually larger than a poodle but might still be under or about the same height and weight as a Golden Retriever.
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When they breed dogs of different sizes, the smaller breed is usually the father, because a bigger mother will have an easier time birthing the puppies. While you need to consider the sizes of both parents, it’s the mom that you should focus on.
However, the height and weight can easily vary in a litter, much like the coat type and colors. You can have a little runt and one that is almost the same size as the larger parent.
A Little Bit of Math Can Do the Trick
You can use a puppy weight estimator or a puppy growth chart as a reference when trying to calculate puppy growth. Puppy growth charts will depict the age and the weight of the puppy as it grows. It basically estimates how heavy your puppy will be at certain weeks. For example, if your pup is around 10 pounds at 4 months old, then there is a good chance he or she will grow to be medium-sized, which is 25-50 pounds.
The size and weight chart are easy enough to follow, but there is also a mathematical formula you can follow to give you the answer as well. The formula looks like this: 52 x (weight in pounds/weeks).
Another method, as we have seen on Dog Ideas is to measure your pup’s height at six months old, then multiply 100 and then divide it by 75.
It’s All in the Paw
Another tried and true method to tell how big a mixed puppy might be is to look at the paw size. It’s kind of like predicting the height of humans as well when we look at the feet size, bone structure, etc., but we’ll dive more into that in a bit.
While looking at the paw size can be pretty accurate at times, it can also be a hit and miss. We have seen pups with large paws that grow to be medium-sized. This is because the appearance and stature have a lot to do with the breed itself.
You can follow a paw size chart for reference to tell how big your pup can be by looking at the measurements in accordance with his age and not just the paw size alone.
Get Down to the Bare Bones
Since we mentioned bone structure, there is no better time than now to tell how big will my puppy be by looking at the bones. The key is to look at the paw and the legs. Does your dog have thin and light bones? If so, it’s more than likely that he will be of smaller adult size and adult weight. On the other hand, if your puppy has thick and heavy legs, then it’s very likely he will be a bigger adult dog.
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It also helps to compare your puppy to other puppies of the same age and of a pure breed. For example, if your pomsky (Siberian Husky + Pomeranian) has larger paws than a purebred Shiba Inu, then your pup will most likely be larger than a Shiba at adult size.
The height of your puppy matters a little less than the bone structure when he or she is a puppy, but also think about the breed. If you have a stocky dog breed mix such as a French Bulldog with another breed, then the heavy bones and larger paws are genetic and not really reliable indicators of size.
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It’s a Boy-Girl Thing
Don’t forget about the gender! While we’re all for gender equality, there is no denying that male dogs are commonly bigger than females. You should also account for this when trying to determine the adult weight and height of your puppy dog. Whatever the projected weight is, add a few pounds onto that figure if you have a male.
Another thing that people forget is neutering your dog will also affect his height but not so much the weight. If you neuter earlier, there is a chance your pup will be smaller but also taller than it would be.
Get an Experienced Vet Involved
Of course, you can just head into your trusted vet, book an appointment and ask them to tell how big your pup will get. Since they are very experienced and have seen dogs of all breeds and sizes, your puppy’s weight can be easily determined by your vet. Although they can still be off at times because genetics is so uncertain, you can get a much clearer idea through your vet.
When Will My Puppy Stop Growing?
When is it safe to determine your pup’s adult size for sure? That will require you to know when your dog stops growing. Again, you would need to refer to the parents. Toy and teacup pup breeds can reach full adult dog height and weight at only 6 months! While other large to giant dog breeds can take as long as 2 whole years. The difference is vast and a lot goes into the puppy growth period such as the food they eat, how much exercise they get, so there really is no sure-fire way to determine the full adult weight and height of a mixed breed pup.
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Look at the parents of our pup to make sure. Let’s take the Pomsky for example, where the dad is a tiny Pomeranian but the mom is a large breed husky. Female huskies can be around 50 pounds, which is the cutoff for medium breeds. Adult male huskies are larger and grow to be around 60 pounds. It’s safe to assume your 50/50 puppy will be in between the height and weight of the parents, so we’re looking at 20, 30, 40 pounds.
Again, we are going to stress that there is really no foolproof way to be 100% sure. Once you can determine they should be around 20-40 pounds as a safe guestimate, it’s time to factor in how long it takes pure breeds of the same size to reach adult weight and height. For medium-sized dogs, you’re looking at a year to 15 months.
Why Does Size Matter?
While we’re sure you will love your mixed puppy no matter how big or little he is, understanding his potential adult size will help you plan for his arrival in an easier way. For example, you will know what size kennel, dog bed, collar, harness and other accessories to get, especially if you don’t want to keep switching new ones every few months.
We have met a Goldendoodle owner personally that ended up with a pup that’s a comparable size to a full-grown Golden Retriever, but was told that her mixed breed puppy will have an adult weight and height that is closer to a poodle. You can imagine the amount of replanning she had to do!
Size also matters when you decide on the breed that best suits your lifestyle. For example, most people who live in apartments will want a smaller puppy compared to those who live on farmland with acres of fields for the pup to run in. If you end up with a larger puppy in a smaller apartment, you may have to adjust your lifestyle to take your pup out more than you had planned.
What Else Should I Consider Before Getting a Mixed Breed Puppy?
While we mainly focused on the size in this article, we just want to quickly remind potential puppy owners about some other factors that are important to keep in mind.
By appearance, we don’t mean the size, but more so the coloring and coat type. This is probably the least pressing of all issues when getting a new puppy, but due to the same uncertainty for predicting the appearance as the size, we thought we’d touch upon this too.
If both parents have a similar shade of coat, like the Labradoodle or Goldendoodle with parents of a brown or cream coat, then there is little to be left to the imagination. But let’s take the Pomsky for example.
You may think Poms come in solid coats and Huskies have he masks and sable, or black and white coats. However, you’ll be surprised to know that merle and piebald genes are present in these breeds. Therefore, you can end up with pomskies that have flecks of color in between a solid coat (merle) or patches of color on a white background (merle).
You can also end up with puppies with solid coats or inherit agouti coats too (solid dark coat with a dirty appearance). You might be wondering why we often mention pomskies in this article, and that’s because we have one! Believe us, when you are a member of Pomsky dog groups on Facebook, you will understand the vast differences in colors, sizes, coat types and different generations such as F1, F2 and so on.
Temperament can be generalized by breed, but each individual pup is still different. To understand the temperament of your puppy, you must look at the breed and parents.
The coat type is similar to the color -there is just no way to tell for sure. Your pup can take after one parent or be a mix of both.
Congratulations on considering a mixed breed puppy. They are truly the definition of a bundle of surprise and will certainly make your life more colorful. Although there is no way to tell just how big your pup will get, there are certain ways to venture a good guess such as using a mathematical formula, height or weight calculator. But since genes aren’t just about ones and zeroes, when you’re wondering how big will my puppy be, your best bet is to look at the parents and the physical characteristics of your pup.