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How to tell how big a puppy will get?

I’m adopting a puppy soon, but I don’t live in a very big house, so I don’t want a giant dog. Well, most dogs at the pound are mixed breeds so I don’t know how to tell how big they’ll get. Is there a way to tell? Also is there any other way to potty train a dog without crate- training them?
We’re adopting. No breeders.

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14 comments to How to tell how big a puppy will get?

  • bayou_babe1111

    well, in my experience females are much easier to potty train. also, if your really worried about their size, you might consider adopting an adult dog! congrats!

  • {Becca's Mama}

    take a look at their paws. when they are puppies their paws will show you how big they will get.

  • racefangirl99

    look at their skin and their paws. sometimes those are good indicators of how much they are going to grow. our dog is huge and when she was a pup she had big paws and a ton of extra skin. it was quite comical. also if you can see the parents, look at their size. sometimes that can help give you an idea of how big they could get.
    anyway, i would crate-train if i were you. it is the best way really.

  • Bill L

    Take dog out every two or three hours. Give it a treat and lots of praise every time it goes.


  • Erika ?? Luv My Labs ??

    With mixed breeds it’s hard to tell how big they will get. What is great about adopting a puppy is if you know what breeds they are mixed with – you can get a general idea by finding out how big each of the breeds gets. But that is just an idea.

    As for potty training – I took mine out every hour saying “let’s go potty”! If he went outside, I gave lots of praise “good boy, good potty”. If he went in the house, I would pick it up and carry it and him outside saying “let’s go potty”. Drop the mess on the ground and say “good boy, good potty”.

    It is possible but you have to remain diligent.

  • Butterflytatts

    Hi there,

    Most of the time, the shelters have a good idea of the mix breed and they will post it. Just be familiar with how big each breed will get. If they don’t know, find out how old the dog is and you can determine how big they will be that way. Look at the paws too! If they are awkwardly big, more than likely, you have a good 60-90 pound pooch.

    To potty train without the crate (though i HIGHLY recommend it) what you want to do especially if they are like 8 weeks old is every 30-45 minutes, tell the puppy ‘Outside’ or ‘Potty’ . . whatever word you want him to associate going to the bathroom with. Take him out the same door every time and just be consistent with it. There will be accidents..of course ..but if you stay on top of it and be consistent, you will find in no time, your baby standing at the door telling you they have to go out.

    Good Luck.

  • Mutt for the Truth

    When it comes to shelter dogs, the only way to be sure of small size is to get an adult. We get tons of puppies in that LOOK like they won’t be big….. but without know the mix you can never be sure. Tiny size as a puppy does not ensure that as an adult it will STAY small.

    As for house training – unless you can take the animal out every hour (slowly increasing length between outside visits using the one hour per month of age rule) then crate training is your best bet. Constant supervision, ability to read the potty signs, and consistency would be the key.

    It’s of my opinion that all dogs should be crate trained as they will almost HAVE to be in a crate at some point in their life (vet, groomer, travel, etc) and it’s best to train early in a non-stressful situation.

  • Les_Football_Mom

    Not unless the shelter knows for sure the breed(s) of the dog. To guesstimate…the size of the paws can give you a clue.

    Also remember, small houses and apartments don’t always mean a small dog. It’s more activity level. I would rather have a Grey hound (who’s a couch potato most of the day with bursts of energy) or a Great Dane in small house…then say a Jack Russell Terrier, who has way to much energy for such a small dog.

    I’ve always used crate and umbilical cord training.

    ADD: Crate training is more for safety, than it is for potty training


    If you know what hate mix is, research those breeds and find an average.
    If not, look at the paws and the head how big are they? the puppy will grow into them. Most dogs get their size in the first 10 months, consider an older puppy or adult.
    *I have had great success with bells, attach them to your door. When you put the puppy out first take his/her paw and swipe the bells say “Good boy/girl” then open the door. It does not take long for them to put it together.

  • Schockolade ist fantatisch!

    Well first off look up, on yahoo or google or something, small and medium dogs. From there, you can choose a breed and everything. For more detailed inormation look up speciic breeds and visit veternarians, and ask them about the projectory rate at which thata certain breed grows. WHile, you are there you can find out health issues, and how well they might do in a smaller home. Even the vet would know how big they get.
    You can potty train a dog by paper training it or by letting them go outside. However, by not crate trainng your new dog you will have many mnay many more accidents than anyone would be expecting. SO i would ighly reccomend crate traing and before you know it they wont even need a crate after a year or two i have wwith both of my dogs and it was very worth it.

  • RP-MK

    Examine both the mother and father to see the general size if possible. Also look at their paws. A German Shepherd for instance will have paws that look to big for it as a puppy. Also look at the breed and research how big those dogs generally grow.

    It is possible to potty train them. Take them out at least once every hour or so and say go potty or however you want to call it. Then when it goes praise it so it realizes that it is a good thing to go outside. Make sure that if it starts sniffing a lot, it probably has to go out.

  • abby4nikky

    We just got a 5 month old puppy (Cairn Terrier/Shih Tzu mix) and the vet said she would not get much bigger (6 lbs right now). It has been my experience that by 5 – 8 months old you or the vet will be able to tell how big the puppy will get so you might want get a puppy in that age range. Or as another person suggested get an adult dog. Also research breeds and on Petfinder.com you can search by breed.

    I would recommend getting a mutt as they are the most lovable dogs…but of course that is my personal opinion ;-).

    Good Luck!

  • nonshowing breeders breed crap

    there’s really no way to accuratly tell how big a puppy will get. Sometimes you can take a guess based on the age and current size, compare to purebred pups and see what size ranges they are at that particular age.. puppies all grow and develop at different rates tho.

    Perhaps if you adopt a slightly older puppy, say around 6 months or so, you will have a better idea of the adult size.

    training without crate training is pretty much impossible.. not unless you are constantly supervising and right on top of that puppy at all times, taking it out frequently.. you almost need a crate to contain the pup at nite and when you cannot supervise.

  • felicia

    good for you on adopting! it’s kinda hard to tell how big they will be. the paws are not the way to tell!!! it’s a common misconception. you can kinda guestimate by knowing what it’s mix is. but that’s about it. or you can adopt an older pup. they’re almost fully grown by the time they’re 7-8 months 🙂

    good luck and once again, GOOD FOR YOU FOR ADOPTING! you’re doing a wonderful thing 🙂

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