The Ultimate Guide: How to Tell How Big a Mixed Puppy Will Get!

Bringing a mixed-breed puppy into your life is a joyous occasion. Those cute, floppy ears and wagging tails are irresistible! But dog owners often ask one common question: “How big will my mixed puppy get?” While it’s not an exact science, there are some fun and informative ways to make an educated guess about your pup’s potential size. So, grab your furry friend, and let’s embark on a journey to predict your mixed puppy’s future size!

How to Tell How Big a Mixed Puppy Will Get?

The Puppy Parents’ Pedigree

Understanding your mixed breed puppy’s potential size often begins with exploring their parental lineage. If you have information about the breeds in their family tree, you can start to piece together some clues. Each breed typically has a range of sizes associated with it, and by identifying these ranges, you can form a basic idea of what to expect.

Dachshund Black Labrador Mix

However, it’s crucial to remember that mixed-breed puppies are a genetic blend of their parents. This means they can inherit traits from both sides, and this inheritance is sometimes an even split. For example, if one parent is a large breed and the other is a small breed, your puppy may fall anywhere within that size spectrum.

The Size of the Paws

You can focus on your puppy’s paws if you’re in the mood for a little canine detective work. It’s intriguing that a puppy’s paws can provide hints about their potential adult size. The idea behind this is that, in many cases, a puppy’s paws are proportionate to the size they’ll eventually grow into.

French Bulldog Pomeranian Mix
French Bulldog Pomeranian Mix (Source: Pettible)

Of course, this is not an infallible method, but it can offer you a rough estimate. The theory is that if your puppy’s paws seem relatively large compared to their body, they may become a giant dog when they reach adulthood. On the flip side, if their paws seem small and dainty, it could indicate that they’ll remain on the smaller end of the size scale as an adult.

Growth Charts

Consulting a growth chart tailored to your puppy’s specific breed or breeds is valuable for estimating their future size. These charts are a resource designed to offer guidance and insight into your pup’s growth trajectory based on the average patterns of development seen in different breeds.

These charts are beneficial because they consider various dog breeds’ unique characteristics and growth rates. They believe in the differences in size between small, medium, and large breeds and the variations between toy, miniature, and standard sizes. This breed-specific approach makes the predictions more accurate than a one-size-fits-all method.

Typically, these growth charts will outline the average growth for each breed at different stages of development, from puppyhood to adulthood. They may provide information on the expected weight range and height for each age milestone, allowing you to track your puppy’s progress. By comparing your puppy’s growth to the chart, you can estimate their future size roughly.

poodle terrier mix
Poodle Terrier Mix

It’s important to note that while these charts help get a sense of what’s typical for a particular breed, there’s still room for variation. Individual factors, genetics, and environmental influences can affect your puppy’s ultimate size, as with any prediction method.

Age Matters

Another valuable clue in your quest to estimate your mixed puppy’s eventual size is their age. The age of your puppy can offer significant hints about their growth trajectory and potential adult size.

Like most creatures, puppies undergo a remarkable growth spurt in their early life. Typically, this period of rapid growth lasts for the first six months. During this time, you’ll notice significant changes in their size, weight, and overall appearance. It’s common for them to go from tiny, fragile creatures to robust and energetic youngsters.


After this initial burst of growth, you’ll notice that their rate of growth begins to slow down. During this phase, their size becomes more predictable. By observing your puppy’s growth patterns and tracking their development over time, you can form a reasonably accurate estimate of how big they’ll ultimately become.

As you monitor their growth, please pay attention to their weight, height, and overall body proportions. Regularly recording these measurements can create a growth trajectory specific to your puppy. This will give you a practical sense of how fast they’re growing and whether their size aligns with the expectations for their breed or breed mix.

Ask the Vet

Your veterinarian is an invaluable resource when predicting your mixed puppy’s size. Veterinarians are highly trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge about dogs and their growth patterns. Their expertise extends to various canine health and development aspects, including estimating a puppy’s future size.

Here’s how your veterinarian can help:

french bulldog yorkie mix
French Bulldog Yorkie Mix
  1. Growth Assessment: Veterinarians are skilled at assessing a puppy’s growth by measuring their weight, height, and overall body proportions. This information is crucial for tracking your pup’s development and estimating its potential adult size.
  2. Health Evaluation: In addition to assessing your puppy’s growth, veterinarians also evaluate their overall health. A healthy puppy is more likely to reach their genetic potential in size. Any health concerns or issues that could affect growth can be addressed, ensuring your pup’s growth is on the right track.
  3. Breed Knowledge: Veterinarians are knowledgeable about different dog breeds and their typical size ranges. They can use this knowledge to estimate what size your mixed pup may reach based on their appearance and genetic background.
  4. Diet and Nutrition Guidance: Nutrition plays a vital role in a puppy’s growth. Your vet can guide the best diet for your pup’s age and size, ensuring they receive the nutrients for healthy development.
  5. Customized Advice: Every dog is unique, and your vet can provide personalized advice based on your puppy’s specific circumstances. This may include recommendations on exercise, vaccinations, and preventive care tailored to your pup’s needs.

Genetics Roulette

Mixed-breed puppies are like a fascinating genetic puzzle, and they inherit unique traits from their parents. However, predicting their ultimate size can be like playing the genetic lottery. Here’s why:

  1. Genetic Mix: Mixed breed puppies inherit genes from both of their parents, and these genes determine a range of physical characteristics, including size. While it might be tempting to assume that if one parent is significant, the puppy will also be substantial, genetics don’t always work that way. The genetic mix can lead to unexpected outcomes.
  2. Unpredictable Combinations: Genetics is a complex and intricate field. Even with a solid understanding of the parental breeds and their typical sizes, it takes time to precisely predict how the combination of genes will play out in a mixed-breed puppy. The potential for genetic variation is vast and can produce surprising results.
  3. Size Variability: Many mixed-breed puppies can fall anywhere within the size range of their parental breeds. For example, if a giant breed and a small breed mate, their offspring might be small, large, or somewhere between. The exact combination of genes determines where they land on the size spectrum.
  4. Genetic Diversity: The diversity within mixed-breed dogs is part of what makes them so exciting and unique. Each mixed-breed puppy is a one-of-a-kind individual with a distinct genetic makeup. This diversity can lead to various appearances and characteristics, including size.
bernese mountain dog poodle mix cost
Bernese Mountain Dog Poodle Mix

Observe the Tail

The tail of your puppy can be a curious indicator when trying to estimate their future size. While it’s not a definitive method, it can offer subtle hints about what you can expect regarding their adult size. Here’s a closer look at how the length and thickness of a puppy’s tail can provide these clues:

  1. Tail Proportions: One way to use the tail as a hint is by considering the proportions. Smaller dog breeds often have longer, thinner tails than their body size, while larger breeds tend to have shorter, thicker tails. This proportionality can be a rough indicator of their future size. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t guaranteed, as other factors can influence tail size.
  2. Breed-Specific Characteristics: Different dog breeds have distinctive tail characteristics. For example, some breeds are known for having long, elegant tails, while others have naturally shorter, stouter tails. Observing your puppy’s tail about these breed-specific characteristics might give you insights into their genetic heritage and potential size range.
  3. Growth Potential: In some cases, the thickness and length of a puppy’s tail can hint at their growth potential. If the tail appears particularly large and thick about the rest of their body, it could suggest they have the genetic makeup for a larger size as they mature. Conversely, a thin and shorter tail might indicate they’ll stay on the smaller side.
American Staffordshire Terrier Weimaraner Mix

It’s important to emphasize that this method needs to be foolproof. The tail is just one of many factors contributing to a dog’s overall appearance, and the genetic interplay can lead to surprises. Other variables, such as the puppy’s diet, overall health, and environmental factors, influence their growth and ultimate size.

The Wonder of Weight

Keeping a close eye on your puppy’s weight and comparing it to breed-specific averages can be an informative way to gauge their potential size. It’s a practical method that can provide valuable insights into what to expect for your mixed-breed puppy as they grow.

  1. Regular Monitoring: Weighing your puppy regularly and maintaining a record of their weight over time is essential to this process. You’ll want to start when they’re young pups and continue tracking their weight as they progress through their developmental stages.
  2. Breed Averages: Understanding the typical weight range for the specific breed or breeds in your puppy’s mix is crucial. Many breeds have established average weight ranges based on age and sex. These averages serve as a reference point for your puppy’s growth.
  3. Steady Growth: If your puppy’s weight is consistently increasing within or close to the expected range for their breed mix, it’s a good indicator that they are likely to fall within that size category when they reach adulthood. Steady growth is often a positive sign of a healthy and appropriately developing puppy.
  4. Inconsistencies and Variables: It’s important to note that there can be variations and exceptions. Some puppies may experience growth spurts or slower phases, especially as they transition from puppyhood to adulthood. Genetics and other factors can also influence their development. A single measurement shouldn’t cause undue concern or overconfidence; instead, look for overall trends.
  5. Vet Consultation: While monitoring your puppy’s weight at home is helpful, consulting your veterinarian is highly recommended. They can guide healthy weight ranges, nutrition, and specific concerns about your puppy’s growth. Your vet can also help identify any potential issues early on and provide recommendations for maintaining your pup’s well-being.
Maltese Chihuahua Poodle Mix Puppy

Comparison to Littermates

Comparing your puppy’s size to their littermates can be an exciting way to gain insights into their potential future size. The rationale behind this approach is that because littermates share the same parents and, therefore, genetics, some patterns might emerge in size. However, it’s essential to recognize that this method has its limitations and should be viewed with a degree of caution.

maltese yorkie poodle mix
Maltese Yorkie Poodle Mix

Here’s a deeper look at this practice:

  1. Genetic Similarity: Littermates typically share a similar genetic background, as they come from the same parents. This genetic similarity can lead to specific shared characteristics, including size. If your puppy appears noticeably larger or smaller than their littermates, it might suggest they are predisposed to be larger or smaller in the future.
  2. Not a Guarantee: While comparing sizes among littermates can provide insights, it’s crucial to understand that it’s not a guarantee. Genetic diversity can still result in variations in size among siblings. Like in human families, siblings can vary widely in height and build, and the same principle applies to puppies.
  3. Other Factors at Play: Genetics is only one factor influencing size. Nutrition, overall health, and environmental conditions also play crucial roles in a puppy’s development. Therefore, two puppies with identical genetic backgrounds can still grow in different sizes if they experience other circumstances during their growth.
  4. Fun and Informative: Despite its limitations, comparing littermate sizes can be entertaining and informative. It gives you a sense of how your puppy fits within their genetic “peers.” It’s also an excellent opportunity to interact with other puppy owners, share experiences, and learn from one another.

The Wonders of Technology

Recent advancements in technology have made it easier than ever to unlock the genetic mysteries of mixed-breed dogs. Specifically, DNA tests have been developed to provide insight into the genetic makeup of your canine companion. While these tests may not accurately predict your pup’s ultimate size, they offer valuable information about their breed heritage and typical size range.

Here’s how DNA tests designed for mixed-breed dogs work and the benefits they provide:

  1. Genetic Profiling: These DNA tests work by examining your dog’s genetic profile. The test can identify the different breeds contributing to their heritage by analyzing your pup’s DNA. This process is based on genetic markers and traits unique to each breed.
  2. Breed Identification: Once the test is complete, it will provide a breakdown of the breeds in your dog’s genetic makeup. This information can be eye-opening, revealing the primary breeds and potential ones that may have contributed to your dog’s unique characteristics.
  3. Typical Size Ranges: With knowledge of the breeds in your dog’s heritage, you can research the standard size ranges associated with each breed. While mixed-breed dogs can vary within these ranges due to genetic diversity, having this information can offer a more accurate estimate of what to expect regarding size.
  4. Personalized Insights: DNA tests for mixed breed dogs provide a customized insight into your pup’s heritage. This can be particularly valuable in predicting not just size but also temperament, exercise needs, and potential health concerns associated with specific breeds in their genetic mix.
  5. Celebrating Diversity: These tests celebrate the diversity of mixed-breed dogs and help you embrace your pet’s uniqueness. Understanding your dog’s genetic makeup can deepen your bond and enhance your ability to cater to their needs and characteristics.
poodle terrier mix for adoption
Boston Terrier Poodle Mix


Predicting the size of a mixed-breed puppy is a fun and exciting part of welcoming them into your home. While no method is foolproof, a combination of factors like genetics, paws, age, and vet consultations can help you make an educated guess about their future size. However, it’s essential to remember that the most important thing is not their size but the love and care you provide them as they grow into your loyal companions. Enjoy every moment of their puppyhood, regardless of their ultimate size!