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Pitbulls are medium-sized to large dogs that are muscular and can grow quite big. When do Pitbulls stop growing? If you are planning to adopt one, you have probably asked yourself this question.
Pitbulls are hardworking and loyal dogs that make very good pets. They have also been used professionally by the police, during hunting, herding, and as guardian dogs.
It is useful to know how big and how fast a dog grows before adopting them. This will prevent dogs from being dumped or returned to the shelter because of their large size once they reach maturity.
Pitbulls are dogs that have been bred by crossbreeding the bulldog and terrier breed dogs.
There are 4 Pitbull dog sub breeds, which are; The American Pitbull Terrier, the American Bully, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
All these Pitbull sub breeds have different growth rates. The American Pitbull Terrier is the most common and widely known sub breed of these four.
When Do Pitbulls Stop Growing?
Pitbull puppies attain maturity and stop growing once they are 18 month-old. At this age, they are considered to have attained their maximum height. The dog’s weight can vary depending on his lifestyle. Some Pitbulls will stop growing once they reach 12 months old.
The Average Weights and Heights of Pitbulls
When do male Pitbulls stop growing, and When do female Pitbulls stop growing? Gender is one of the factors that affect how big your Pitbull will be.
A fully grown male American Pitbull Terrier has an average height of 18 – 21 inches and 17 – 20 inches for females. These measurements are taken from the paws to the shoulder area.
The weight of a male Pitbull is between 35 to 60 pounds while that of a female is between 30 – 50 pounds.
The Staffordshire Bull Terriers are considerably smaller. The males have an average weight of between 27 – 38 pounds while their female counterparts have an average weight of between 23 – 34 pounds.
This breed can stand between 14 – 16 inches high when measured from the paws to the shoulder area.
The male American Staffordshire will attain an average height of 17 – 19 inches and an average weight of between 40 – 70 pounds.
Their females will be anywhere between 16 – 18 inches high, with an average weight of 35 – 60 pounds.
The American Bully Pitbull dogs are the smallest in this breed. Their males will attain an average height of between 13 – 23 inches with a weight ranging from 25 – 60 pounds.
Their females have an average height of between 12 – 22 inches and an average weight of 20 – 50 pounds.
Factors That Affect a Pitbull’s Growth Rate
Several factors come into play that affects a Pitbull’s growth rate. Some of the factors are genetic and cannot be controlled while others are within control.
Take a look at some of the factors and see how you can estimate your Pitbull’s growth rate.
1. Pitbull Sub Breed
There are 4 sub-breeds of Pitbulls and all of them have individual growth rates. Some grow faster than others and they also have diverse heights and weights.
As you have already seen, the gender of your Pitbull pup will determine how big they can grow. Male and female sex hormones will affect the size of the dog.
Male Pitbulls are expected to outgrow their female counterparts as it is with other dog breeds.
3. Neutering and Spaying
When your Pitbull is neutered or spayed earlier than expected, then it will certainly affect his growth pattern.
This is due to the hormonal changes that take place in dogs who have undergone these procedures. This can either make him larger or smaller than expected.
Early neutering and spaying can also predispose your dog to joint problems when he is fully grown. This is common when the dog grows bigger than he is expected to.
Genes play a very big role in determining how your Pitbull will look when fully grown. This should be followed very closely especially when there is a crossbreed between different sub-breeds among the parents.
For example, if the parents are a mix of large and small breed dogs, then you can expect your Pitbull to have an average height and weight when fully grown.
If both parents were large breed and huge, then you can predict that your Pitbull will be also big when they reach maturity.
When adopting a Pitbull puppy, you can ask for historical records that will include their parents’ information. This will help you predict how big your puppy will become when fully matured.
5. Diet and feeding behavior
What does your dog feed on, and how much? If your dog is a heavy eater then you will certainly expect them to have a larger body frame than average.
An underfed dog will eventually turn out to be smaller than average due to stunted growth. Always choose the best diet when feeding your dog, and never let your dog without food and water for long periods of time.
You can consult your vet to determine the type and amount of food that is best for them while keeping several factors into consideration.
6. Training and exercises
Active dogs will always have a bigger body frame than the less active ones. This is because the latter have built their muscles and bones through regular exercise.
All dogs, whether young, adult or senior need to be physically engaged to keep them in a good condition at all times.
Pitbulls are well known to be hard-working dogs with strong, and muscular bodies. They become quickly used to training and exercise sessions, and they learn very fast.
You can therefore expect to have an easy time when taking your Pitbull for his daily walks and runs.
An active dog is also at a lower risk of becoming sick than a less active one. You can reduce the chances of your Pitbull getting ill by ensuring that he is active and physically fit.
An inactive dog raises his chances of becoming overweight and obese, which will, in turn, make him prone to other conditions.
What To Do If Your Pitbull is Overweight
Many pet parents are dealing with overweight and obese dogs. About 45% of adult dogs are overweight in the US. Your Pitbull can also become overweight if he is subjected to conditions that increase his body weight.
A dog will be considered overweight if he weighs between 10-20% more than his normal body weight. If the weight exceeds 20% of their ideal weight, then the dog will be considered obese.
You can use this healthy weight calculator by PetMD to know the ideal weight for your dog. You will need to enter his breed, weight, and age.
Your Pitbull will be at risk of becoming overweight if he consumes more calories than he burns. The excess calories are then stored as body fat, making your Pitbull heavier.
An overweight dog might sometimes be hard to deal with because they are less excited, and get bored most of the time. You will find them spending most of their time sleeping and not excited to go for walks or runs.
As a caring Pitbull parent, you should always try to prevent your dog from becoming overweight and eventually obese. But what can you do if he becomes overweight?
These are some of the things that you can do to make your overweight Pitbull shed some weight and become healthier:
1. Find out his health status
Dogs that are overweight are susceptible to several health conditions that may be dangerous for them. If you find out that your Pitbull is overweight, you first need to go to the vet and get him diagnosed immediately.
The vet will usually examine him to rule out any medical condition that was caused by his weight then they will advise you on the steps you need to follow to reduce the Pitbull’s weight, and maybe put him on a special diet.
The vet will probably ask you to bring the dog after a few weeks to check their weight and re-do some of the blood work.
2. Keep your Pitties active
The best way to shed off excess weight from an overweight Pitbull is by keeping him active. You can do this by engaging your dog in daily exercises which will make him burn more calories.
Subjecting your dog to regular exercises is a great way to ensure he doesn’t get overweight in the first place.
Exercising your Pitbull doesn’t have to be very technical. Simple runs around the neighborhood, walking, and jumping are some of the most basic moves you can start with.
You can later on progress to more intense activities as your dog starts to pick up the momentum. Pitbulls are very muscular. Getting them to exercise and tone their muscles is a great way to keep them active and fit.
Take a look at the video below from Top Bullies that shows the best 4 exercises for your Pitbull puppy.
Different dog breeds will require different exercises to ensure that they achieve their ideal weight and health goal.
Don’t expect to exercise your Pitbull the same way you do with your Pomeranian. You can consult your vet to find out the best exercise for your dog as you move along.
Taking your Pitbull out for exercises is also a great way to get them familiarized with the neighborhood. This helps them to socialize with different people and makes them more intelligent, happy, and healthy
You can also keep your Pitbull active by getting him some interactive dog toys. These types of toys will not only keep your dog physically engaged but also develop their mental health.
3. Stick to a regular feeding pattern
Dogs that snack frequently during the day are more prone to become overweight than those that adhere to a fixed feeding schedule.
You can create a simple plan to give your dog food and water three times a day at the exact time every day. You can also consider buying an automatic dog feeder with a timer and set it up to automatically offer food at multiple times a day.
Your dog may beg for some food outside his feeding hours but that does not necessarily mean that he is hungry.
You can change your dog’s diet plan and give him more protein-based foods and those that contain high amounts of fiber.
This will satisfy your dog quicker and prevents him from overeating which can be a major reason why he got overweight.
Foods rich in fiber also make your dog satisfied for a longer time than other non-fiber foods. Avoid too many carbs and sugars in his diet.
Ensure you have a nutritional plan for your dog. This can be made in consultation with your vet to ensure that your dog is not deprived of any nutrients and minerals.
4. Reduce the Amount of treats
Dogs love treats, they are tasty and very convenient. But, when your Pitbull is overweight, you will want to reduce the amount of treats you give them per day.
You can start by greatly reducing the amount to then completely stopping the treats, and letting your dog stay on his simple diet during his meal time.
You first need to reduce all opportunities that may encourage your dog to beg for some treats. Such situations include eating in the presence of your dog and preparing foods while they are in the kitchen.
Some pet parents use dog treats to divert their dogs from seeking their attention. You can cut down the dog treats and give him your attention when he needs it.
Petting your dog in the right way is a good substitute that can give your dog the attention and affection he needs.
If you are currently training your Pitbull and so you need good dog treats for that, you can go for the low-calorie products that don’t have too much effect on their weight.
Also, reduce the amount that you use during the training by half or more.
5. Change in lifestyle
You should know the lifestyle that got your Pitbull overweight and change it to a better one. Create more fun time for your dog and show him the love and affection that he needs.
Ensure all other family members are on board and aligned with this mission.
Replace the unhealthy snacks with chewing bones that will not only keep your dog active but also clean his teeth for better dental health.
Chewing bones are also good for correcting your dog’s destructive chewing behavior. They will find it more appealing to chew on the bones than on furniture.
Shedding your dog’s excess weight is a long journey than needs perseverance and determination. I recommend that you go with the long-term process that yields good results other than becoming inconsistent in the process.
Dog medication that helps to combat obesity should only be purchased with the prescription of your vet.
Once the dog regains their normal weight, you should stick to the healthy lifestyle that they are now used to.
The moment you revert to the old ways, then your Pitbull will add some extra pounds once again over his ideal weight.
Feed him a healthy balanced diet, take him for regular exercises, and let your Pitbull live a healthy lifestyle.
Best Diet for Pitbulls’ Healthy Growth
When feeding your dog, you should make sure that they get the best nutritional benefit whether from homemade or commercial dog food. Pitbulls are hardworking, muscular dogs with high energy needs.
A healthy balanced diet packed with nutrients is not only good for your Pitbull’s growth but also helps in preventing them from the common diseases caused by poor diet.
Preventive care is always better than treatment. For your dog to have optimum and healthy growth, you need to map out his diet plan as early as possible.
Good food makes them healthier, happier, stronger, and more intelligent.
Pitbull puppies require a minimum of 23% protein and 8% fat in their food for the ideal growth rate. When they get to the adult stage, this intake should be reduced to 18% protein and 5% of fat.
These nutritional requirements are necessary to give your Pitbull the best health and growth opportunity. Your Pitbull also needs vitamins, carbs, and essential minerals to get his complete balanced diet.
You should never forget to give them clean drinking water to complete their nutritional requirements for the best possible growth.
You have already seen that your Pitbull requires more protein than all other nutrients. Pitbulls require proteins because of the amino acids that help in maintaining their strong bodies.
These are some of the benefits that proteins have to them:
- Provides the nutrients needed for bodybuilding.
- Repaired his muscles.
- Helps to create new skin and coat.
- Strengthens your dog’s immune system.
- Maintains a strong musculoskeletal system.
The following are some of the healthy animal protein foods you can give your Pitbull: Chicken, salmon, tuna, beef, fish, lamb, and pork.
The protein content in these foods is not equal. You should check your dog’s food packaging to ascertain the exact amount of nutrients that you are giving him per serving.
Plant-based proteins do not have all the required amino acids that are required by Pitbulls. However, plant-based foods have other nutrients and vitamins that are lacking in animal-based foods.
The following are some of the plant-based foods that you can feed your Pitbull: Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, broccoli, mushroom, parsley, kale, and spinach. Always ensure that all plant-based foods are well cooked before giving your dog to eat.
What Not to Feed Your Pitbull
Some foods that might be safe for humans and other pets might not be so for pitties. These foods might be toxic and can introduce some health problems to your Pitbull.
These foods might not immediately cause noticeable changes to your dog’s health once consumed. The problem usually arises with repeated consumption of such foods. It is best to avoid them.
Most of these foods are plant-based and so you should be extra careful when feeding your Pit on a plant-based diet.
They include the following: green tomatoes, onions, leaks, hops, avocado, macadamia nuts, raisins, raw potatoes, nutmeg, cherries, grapes, cocoa, salt, starfruit, and garlic among others.
If your Pitbull consumes any toxic food, please call the Pet Poison Helpline and follow what they advise you.
In case of an emergency, you need to check your vet immediately to prevent any dangerous situation from happening.
Few Common Health Problems in Pitbulls
Your Pitbull might be predisposed to suffer some medical conditions because of their genetic predisposition and body form.
Some health problems are also more common as your dog advances in age. Attentive care should always be given to elderly dogs to ensure they don’t easily acquire those diseases.
The most common health problem that may affect your Pitbull due to age is arthritis.
Other medical conditions that may affect your Pitbull include the following:
- Skin problems
- Hip dysplasia
- Patella Luxation
- Thyroid diseases
- Common Pitbull allergies
I have made a comprehensive article that covers these, among the 10 common Pitbull health conditions, and how you can deal with them.
To Wrap Things Up
So when do Pitbulls stop growing? you can generally expect your Pitbull puppy to be fully grown by the time he is 18 months old. Several factors will come to play that decide his height and weight as he grows.
Being muscular and strong dogs, Pitbulls require regular exercise to keep their bodies in good shape. They are also susceptible to some common health conditions.
Providing your Pitbull with a healthy lifestyle will prevent him from becoming sick and gives him the perfect conditions for the best growth.
Thank you for reading through this article. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below and I will gladly answer them back.