So how big will your Australian Shepherd get? and more importantly, when will they stop growing? I receive a lot of size and growth-related questions from Aussie owners so this article is long overdue. Here’s everything you need to know.
Australian shepherds reach their full height by 10-12 months of age and their full weight by 1.5-3 years of age. The females will stop growing around 1.5-2 years, while males will continue to add weight until 2-3 years of age.
When Do Australian Shepherds Reach Full Size?
Although your Aussie might appear to keep growing forever, their full size isn’t too far away. The time goes quickly!
Australian shepherds, both male, and female typically reach their full height between 10-12 months. In rare cases, some Aussies might reach their height earlier or later, but 10-12 months is usually the sweet spot.
Australian shepherds keep gaining weight until around 1.5-3 years old. Females finish adding weight sooner than the males at around 1.5-2 years, whereas the males typically add weight and mass until 2-3 years old, albeit incredibly slowly.
For those that want a detailed chart of expected weight compared to age, there’s a detailed growth timeline below.
How Big Do Australian Shepherds Get?
Let’s clarify just how big your Aussie will get.
As well as going by the breed standard, I’ve asked several owners with adult Aussies ranging from 3-5 years old for their measurements as I feel it makes these ranges more credible.
Average size of male Australian Shepherds:
Height: 20-24.5 Inches
Weight: 52-65 lbs (21-29 kg)
Average size of female Australian Shepherds:
Height: 18-22 Inches
Weight: 43-55 lbs (19-25 kg)
The above ranges are very similar to the breed standard given by the AKC, with minor differences in male height, weight, and female weight.
The ranges given above are averages and most Aussies will fall somewhere between the low and high end. With that said, however, there will always be a few exceptions to this and some Aussies could grow to be bigger or smaller. When this is the case, it’s worth considering the possibility of mixed genes.
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Australian Shepherd Growth Timeline
Growth charts and timelines can be super valuable and I know many owners want to know how much their puppy should weigh by a certain age.
Side note: Although these charts can give you a good insight into where your puppy “should” be, don’t panic if your puppy doesn’t quite match up. I know people who have made unnecessary vet appointments simply because their puppy didn’t match up exactly to a chart they saw online. Some pups are slower or quicker growers than others, and this depends on a few factors that I explain further below.
Australian Shepherd Puppy Growth Chart:
|Age||Male Weight||Female Weight|
|3-4 months||18-25 lbs||12-18 lbs|
|4-5 months||25-32 lbs||18-25 lbs|
|5-6 months||31-39 lbs||24-32 lbs|
|6-7 months||37-45 lbs||30-36 lbs|
|7-8 months||42-50 lbs||34-38 lbs|
|8-9 months||47-53 lbs||36-40 lbs|
|9-10 months||50-55 lbs||38-41 lbs|
|10-12 months||51-56 lbs||40-43 lbs|
|12-18 months||52-57 lbs||41-44 lbs|
|24+ months||52-65 lbs||43-55 lbs|
The growth curve:
Something important we know from the charts is that the majority of growth happens between 4-9 months of age for both females and males. This is considered their major growth and development stage. The development of muscle mass and weight will continue long after 9 months, but at an increasingly slower rate as they age.
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4 Factors Impacting Growth & Development In Aussies
Let’s cover a few important factors that will impact how your Australian Shepherd grows and develops.
1. Diet, eating habits & nutrition
Feeding your pup a high-quality that their body digests well, will have an impact on their growth potential.
Puppies must consume a diet that is specifically made for puppies as this will contain higher levels of calcium, vitamin D, healthy fats, protein, and overall calories. Please avoid “all life stages” for growing pups.
Additionally, it’s crucial to opt for a high-quality reputable brand that prioritizes “fresh and whole” ingredients closer to their natural state. According to the Dog Food Advisor, kibbles must pass additional health and quality inspections in order to use the words “fresh and whole”. This ensures overall higher quality of food.
In terms of macronutrient breakdown, it’s important to opt for high protein, medium to high-fat, and low-carbs. One thing you find with inferior (low quality) kibbles, is that they bulk out their food with cheap carbohydrates that provide little to zero goodness. A wild-canine diet would have primarily been protein and fat with hardly any carbs, so it’s crucial to stick to this for the purpose of good digestion and health.
This takes me to the last point here, it’s vital that your puppy actually gets on well with the diet you are providing. If you notice any stomach upset, diarrhea, or food refusal, it should be investigated and rectified asap. If your pup isn’t getting on well with their food, then their body likely isn’t absorbing the nutrients they need.
2. Rest & recovery
Nearly all of your Aussie’s growth will happen when they are resting. Anything from laying down, napping, or deep sleeping counts as rest and recovery.
Growing pups can sleep anywhere between 16-20 hours per day! And all of this is completely necessary, so whenever your Aussie is napping or sleeping, don’t interrupt them!
Proper rest will equal proper growth.
3. Avoid overexercise
Exercising is as essential for puppies as it is for adults. Adequate exercise will help stimulate muscle growth and actually aid recovery.
But too much exercise is a serious problem for growing puppies. While they are still young, their joints, bones, muscles, and ligaments are fragile, and overloading them can cause short and long-term injury and negatively impact growth.
The best way to provide your Aussie with the correct amount of exercise is to follow the 5-minute method. Conveniently, I have an entire article about exercising your Aussie puppy here that explains everything.
4. Genetics and breeding
Ultimately, your Aussie’s genetics will have the biggest impact on their growth and how big they will eventually get. And that’s not something we have control over!
If your Aussie had particularly large parents then there’s a chance your Aussie will also grow to be on the large side. And of course, this works the other way around too.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, breeders may intentionally breed only large or small Aussies with each other in an attempt to change the potential growth size of the litter. This is known as selective breeding.
And lastly, if your Aussie ends up being unusually large or small, there’s a chance of mixed breeding somewhere down the blood lineage. Unless you have documentation proving purebred status, it’s worth considering.
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Key Points Summarized
Here are some of the essential takeaways from the entire article:
● Australian shepherds reach their full height by around 10-12 months (both male and female)
● Australian shepherds reach their full weight by 1.5-3 years old (females sooner than males)
● Male Australian shepherds grow to be between 52-65 lbs (average)
● Female Australian shepherds grow to be between 43-55 lbs (average)
● At 3 months old, male Aussies will weigh between 18-25 lbs, and females 12-18 lbs (average)
● At 6 months old, male Aussies will weigh between 37-45 lbs, and females 30-36 lbs (average)
● At 9 months old, male Aussies will weigh between 50-55 lbs, and females 38-41 lbs (average)
● The majority of growth happens between 4-9 months of age in both males and females
● Genetics and breeding will affect the size of your future Aussie the most
● Ensure your puppy is on a suitable diet and has no bad eating habits
● Allow maximum rest and recovery and encourage a calm environment
● Be careful not to overexercise a growing puppy
I hope this article was as helpful as I intended it to be. If you still have questions that I didn’t cover, please reach out to me and I’ll be sure to get back to you. Contact us
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