There’s no denying it. Few things can be as cute as a pitbull puppy, and few dogs can boast the athletic physique of a full-grown one. Our pitbull growth chart will help you to follow and predict your pup’s development to adulthood. We hope it will add to the fun of being a proud pitbull “parent!”
We’ll also deal with a few frequently asked questions such as “When do pitbulls stop growing?” It’s a question many a puppy’s adopted parents may ask – especially when they see their cute little one growing so fast you can almost see it happening! We’ll also touch on a few facts about pitbull genetics, behavior, and nutrition.
Do you have what it takes to bring out the best in your pitbull? Our guide will be a good tool for prospective pitbull owners who are considering their breed options as well as those of you who are already raising a pitbull pup.
When Do Pitbulls Stop Growing?
However, the answer to “When do pitbulls stop growing?” is a little more complex than our pitbull growth chart may lead you to believe. While your dog is as tall as it is likely to get within one year, it will continue to bulk out for some time.
In general, we can say that ultimate weight is only reached at about the age of two or three years.
Best Dog Food For Pitbull Puppies
Pitbull Weight Chart
This easy-to-use pitbull puppy growth chart lists the average weight of pitbulls during the first 12 months of their development. Please remember that pitbulls are a variable breed, so some dogs may fall outside the average parameters. Provided your dog is in good health, you can use the percentages of weight gained during growth to adjust the averages and more accurately reflect what you can expect of your particular dog.
Female pitbulls are smaller and have a lighter build than males, so use the columns for male and female animals in accordance with your pet’s gender.
While your pitbull is a puppy, you can easily estimate its weight by weighing yourself, then picking up the pup and weighing both of you together. The difference between the two weights will be a fairly accurate measurement.
If you’d like to check on height at the same time, remember that animals’ height is measured at the shoulder rather than the head. Use a comparison with your own body to gain an idea of what size your pitbull is.
|1 month||9.2 lb - 4.2 kg||7.2 lb - 3.3 kg||12.1%|
|2 months||19.9 lb - 9 kg||16.6 lb - 7.5 kg||26.18%|
|3 months||31.3 lb - 14.2 kg||26.7 lb - 12.1 kg||41.18%|
|4 months||41.8 lb - 19 kg||36.2 lb - 16.4 kg||55%|
|5 months||50.6 lb - 22.9 kg||44 lb - 20 kg||66.57%|
|6 months||57.4 lb - 26.1 kg||50.1 lb - 22.7 kg||75.52%|
|7 months||62.6 lb - 28.4 kg||54.4 lb - 24.7 kg||82.36%|
|8 months||66.4 lb - 30.1 kg||57.5 lb - 26.1 kg||87.36%|
|9 months||69.4 lb - 31.5 kg||59.7 lb - 27.1 kg||91.31%|
|10 months||72 lb - 32.7 kg||61.5 lb - 27.9 kg||94.73%|
|11 months||74.3 lb - 33.7 kg||63.1 lb - 28.6 kg||97.76%|
|12 months||76 lb - 34.5 kg||64.2 lb - 29.1 kg||100%|
Pitbull Growth Chart – What To Expect
Birth – 3 Weeks
Like other dogs, newborn pitbull pups can neither see or hear. Their eyes will be completely closed and they will be toothless. They find their mom by feel, and they are not yet ready for play and interaction. During this growth phase, a pup’s only priorities are feeding, sleeping, and growing.
At about two weeks, something magical happens! The puppies’ eyes begin to open! At three weeks, your pups begin to hear sounds and will begin to make proper barking noises themselves. You’ll also notice little white points coming through their gums as their first milk teeth begin to appear.
3 Weeks – 7 Weeks
While newborns are focussed on physical development, they start receiving and learning from inputs from the world around them during this stage of their growth. Pitbulls who are properly socialized make great pets, and this stage of their learning is vitally important. Pitbull pups will learn from their mom, their littermates, and from interactions with you.
However, although the little ones are becoming more active, they are still babies. Keep your input positive and remember that they aren’t being naughty if their attention tends to wonder. It will help if your pitbull puppy gets a chance to play with people other than you including family members and friends.
The weaning process begins, and you can take some of the pressure off mommy pitbull by providing puppy food. By the age of seven weeks, you have a pup who barks, plays, wags his tail and eats solids.
7 Weeks – 12 Weeks
In theory, you can home out a pitbull at seven weeks, but 10 weeks will give him a better chance to develop into a well-adjusted dog. Socialization becomes even more important, and puppy classes provide a great opportunity for your pitbull puppy to meet other dogs and their owners.
If you decide to train your pitbull yourself, do invite people around to meet him and look for opportunities where your pitbull puppy can enjoy play with dogs outside of the family circle. The message that you want to get across is that other people and animals are not a threat and not “prey.”
With the right treatment during these crucial weeks, you will stand a good chance of having an easygoing pitty that can be trusted around kids, guests, and other animals he may meet.
3 Months – 4 Months
Uh oh! This growth stage is equivalent to human teens and tweens. You guessed it! Your pup is going to test his boundaries and may seem genuinely naughty at times. Training is more important than ever now.
Doggie school is the best option for training pitbulls, and for teaching their owners how to cope with an active pitbull youngster. If you are training at home, consult as many sources as you can and try to keep training a positive experience even though you may find yourself becoming impatient at times.
Your pup is teething once again – this time exchanging milk teeth for permanent teeth, so chewing is to be expected. Keep things you don’t want chewed away from your pup and provide lots of chewy toys to deal with those itchy pitbull gums!
4 Months – 10 Months
Your pitbull has been growing fast, and it will continue to do so during this developmental stage. It’s around now that interested pet owners start asking “How long do pitbulls grow?” After all, their tiny puppy has come a long way and there seems to be no end of growth still to come.
Keep up the training and be firm about discouraging “mouthiness” or chewing of people. During this time the range of your commands your dog can understand becomes greater, so don’t neglect regular practice sessions.
At about six months, it’s time to spay or neuter. Yes, puppies are cute, but you don’t want males wandering or getting into dogfights. As for the females, unwanted puppies are a real problem, and a lot of the health issues that can shorten its lifespan can be avoided if you spay your dog in good time.
10 Months – 1 year
By now, your pitbull is starting to look like an adult dog, but it is still a puppy at heart. Reprimand your dog with your tone of voice rather than physical discipline and reinforce good behavior by providing yummy treats and lots of attention.
Regular exercise and lots of room to let off steam are especially important. Bored pitbulls with no outlet for their energy will be very inclined towards bad behavior. Dog walking and games of fetch are a great way to keep your dog happy and entertained. Ensure that there is plenty of garden space for free play – your dog has far more energy than you do!
Once your dog is over a year old, you can safely call it an adult pitbull, but it is still gaining bulk in the form of muscle. The changes are slower now, but good nutrition remains a priority. Choose a good adult dog food and make a gradual transition between puppy and adult food by mixing the two at first and then reducing the amount of puppy food in the mix over time.
Throughout his or her life, your pitbull will need training and opportunities to socialize to keep it well-adjusted and easy to live with. Exercise and space to run and play will remain important all the way through to your pitbull’s golden years, when its habits will gradually become more sedentary.
Anatomy Of A Pitbull
As previously mentioned, pitbulls are members of quite a diverse breed. That’s good news since genetic diversity means hybrid vigor and less inclination towards inherited health problems from recessive genes.
The most obvious feature of this dog, and the one that may have contributed to an unfair reputation for viciousness, is its powerful, wide jaw. A properly raised dog will never turn on his owners, their family, or their friends. So although that jaw has potential to deal damage it is not a sign of aggression, merely a physical characteristic.
The dog’s build will be stocky and muscular while the short coat makes for minimal mess when your Pitbull is shedding, and low-maintenance grooming. The tail is long, pointed and whippy – waggy if it is a happy pet!
Factors That Can Affect Pitbull Puppy Growth
Depending on the pitbull’s genetics and gender, it will be a medium to large dog. Since size diversity enters into the mix of pitbull characteristics, knowing the parents of your pitbull will give you a good idea of what to expect from your pup when it is grown up. After all, that’s where genes come from!
No living creature, be it a plant, a person, or a pitbull, will reach its full genetic potential without proper nutrition. The genes are only the basis for what can be achieved. The fulfilment of that potential has a lot to do with environmental factors and in this instance, nutrition.
Puppyhood is the most sensitive stage, so choose a good puppy food as an investment in your dog’s future.
Spaying and Neutering
There’s some debate as to whether spayed or neutered pitbulls get bigger than their contemporaries. Research is ongoing. However, sterilizing your pitbull will make it a better pet.
It’s a myth that spayed females will automatically get fat – that’s a function of overfeeding and insufficient exercise, not spaying. If a Pitbull female falls pregnant as soon as she is physically able, she is not yet fully grown, and the physical stress of pregnancy is almost sure to affect her ultimate size.
As for the males, there is some debate as to whether they should be neutered at six months old or left to mature a little more. It’s possible that they will be bulkier if you delay a little. But be aware that once they have pursued the mating urge (with dogfights as a real possibility) neutering can make little or no difference, leaving you with a dog with behavioral issues.
Any form of physical stress during a puppy’s development can prevent it from reaching its full potential. Injury or illness is no exception.
Of course, any good pet owner will do his or her utmost to prevent their puppy from being injured. However, if your puppy has been hurt, be sure to consult a veterinarian, even if the injury looks mild. Protect your dog from internal and external parasites, and be sure to keep inoculations up-to-date.
How Long Are Pitbulls Pregnant?
Most pitbulls will be pregnant for 8 to 9 weeks (with some variations). During her pregnancy, do have a vet check out your pitbull to ensure she is healthy. You can also use the opportunity to find out about additional nutrition since she will be eating for more than two.
As her time draws nearer, don’t be surprised if you find her trying to build a nest for herself in some safe corner! This is instinctive, and you shouldn’t discourage her unnecessarily. If the spot, and the nesting materials, suit you, consider letting her use this space when she gives birth – after all, she chose it herself!
How Many Puppies Do Pitbulls Have?
On average, pitbull females will give birth to six puppies, but they can have as many as fourteen at a time. The more puppies there are in the litter, the more vigilant you must be.
For example, stronger puppies may prevent weaker ones from feeding off Mom pitbull. She only has ten nipples, so that’s the maximum she can feed at a time. Usually, all the little ones will find a turn to feed, but if you suspect that some are not getting their fair share, consult your veterinarian.
If you want to prepare yourself mentally for your pet grandparenthood, ask the vet to give your dog a scan when you take her for her pregnancy checkup.
What If My Pitbull Is Not The Right Weight
Our pitbull weight chart can be used as an indicator of the health of your pitbull. But averages are not absolutes. Your pup or adult pitbull could just be rather larger or smaller than average.
If you are concerned about your dog’s weight, you should also look at its condition. Because of their short coats, it’s easy to see if a pitbull is underweight. You should be able to feel the ribs, but not see them.
The shape of your dog helps to show if he or she is overweight. A healthy pitbull should have a pronounced waist and a firm, muscular physique without too much padding. If you’re unsure of whether your dog is the right weight, consider a vet’s visit. While it could just mean you need to adjust diet and exercise, it could also be a symptom of hypothyroidism
An underweight dog who is nevertheless eating well could have health issues. An overweight dog has an increased chance of developing health problems. Your vet can help you to make the judgement call.
What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Pitbull?
Pitbull life-expectancy is as variable as their genetics. In general, you can count on eight to fifteen years with your doggy friend. A little further on, we will look at common pitbull health problems. Sadly, if your dog exhibits certain of these ailments, you can look at the lower end of the life-expectancy scale.
Broadly speaking, smaller pitbulls do have the potential to live a little longer than bigger ones, but other factors like diet and exercise will have a role to play.
As a pet owner, you can do your best to extend your pitbull’s lifespan by keeping its vaccinations up to date, providing good quality food, and making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
How Much Does It Cost To Own A Pitbull?
It’s wise to ask the cost of pitbull ownership before committing to one. It will certainly be a lot more than just the cost of getting a pitbull puppy. A pitbull from a really good breeder who puts time and effort into the selection of bloodlines and the care of his or her dogs may ask anything from $2,000 to $20,000 for a pup.
You can get pitbull pups for less, but you should be aware that this may mean that they do not come from the best bloodlines. They may not be purebred, or they may even have genetic faults that could affect their health.
Keeping a pitbull adds further costs to the equation. Do some thinking before making the final commitment. We highly recommend choosing one of the higher-quality dog foods for your pet. They really do have superior nutritional value and better quality control. Of course, this comes at a price.
Veterinary costs as well as tick and flea prevention also enter the picture. At the very least, you will be looking at annual checkups and vaccinations and regular parasite protection, but if your dog becomes ill, costs can run into thousands of dollars.
Preventing tick and flea infestations isn’t just good for your health, it also protects your dogs from parasite-borne diseases. Choose a vet-approved product and not just one off the supermarket shelves.
There are a lot of variables in all of this, but researchers say that you can expect to spend $153 on your pet every month – and that’s an uneventful month!
Pitbull Genetics and Common Health Problems
Pitbulls were originally bred from bulldogs and terriers, and their genetic weaknesses can be traced back to their ancestry. However, they are generally strong dogs with few health problems – provided you choose a reputable breeder who focuses on good genes.
Hip dysplasia is a common problem across larger, active breeds, and it is inherited. If it is bad enough, it will drastically reduce the amount of time your dog can enjoy life. Fortunately, puppies can be tested for hip dysplasia and some breeders will provide certification of healthy hips.
An underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism, can also be problematic for pitties. Fortunately, this condition can be treated with supplementary hormones. Ask your vet to test for thyroid issues if your dog starts to gain weight despite a controlled diet, or gets moody.
Allergies, sunburn, and skin infections can be a problem too. If you notice sores or skin flakes, be sure to consult your vet to discover and address the cause. Dogs with low pigmentation – those that are white or have a lot of white in their coloring, are more prone to skin problems.
Heart problems are among the issues to have checked out annually. Pitbulls are somewhat prone to this problem, so getting treatment in time can make all the difference.
Cataracts are rather common too. You’ll notice it as a milkiness of the eyes. Fortunately, this condition need not lead to blindness since it is treatable.
Despite this seemingly-long litany of ills, many pitbulls will never develop any of these problems, especially if they are well-cared-for. Overall, the breed is physically strong and likely to deliver a relatively long and happy lifespan in which you can enjoy your time together.