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Golden Retriever Growth Sequence in the 1st Year

Updated on October 15, 2014

The Growth of Your Golden Retriever Puppy

As your golden retriever matures from a puppy to a full-grown dog, it will go through sudden spurts of growth.
As your golden retriever matures from a puppy to a full-grown dog, it will go through sudden spurts of growth.

Golden retrievers are a widely sought after breed of dog. The reason for their popularity lies in their versatility. Goldens make great family pets because of their natural dispositions, but they are also good hunting and show dogs.

A golden retriever's growth throughout different stages of its puppyhood can be so irregular that it's easy to wonder if something is wrong. In general, the answer is no; growth is not linear for any breed of dog, but instead occurs in spurts throughout the first 24 months of life. Nevertheless, it is important to carefully monitor your puppy during this delicate stage of its life, so it is both fun and educational to know the growth sequence of your golden retriever.

Your Puppy's First Year of Growth

Immediately after Birth to Five Months Old

The first five months of a puppy's lifetime are its most impressionable. This is when you can really shape your puppy's personality.

During its first seven few weeks of life, the new puppy will struggle to walk, staggering and falling at intervals. A few weeks after birth, the puppy will achieve stability while walking. It is very important for a puppy to be with its mother and litter during this time, because they will teach the pup necessary behaviors. During this period, the mother will instill the importance of obedience and affection in the puppy. Carefully socialize the infant dog without removing it from the litter to get it used to human contact.

The third month of a puppy's life is the perfect time to introduce it to its permanent human family. Spend a lot of time with the new puppy to socialize it. However, be careful during the puppy's move—around eight weeks or slightly later, the puppy will experience its first fear-impact period. During this time, any frightening experience will have a long-lasting impact on the puppy. Work to prevent these frightening experiences, and if they do occur, remove the puppy from whatever is causing the fear immediately.

During the fourth, fifth, and sometimes sixth month is when the puppy will really begin acting like a puppy—full of boundless energy and plagued by growing teeth. Set good habits for the puppy by enforcing consistent rules. Be careful for the puppy's second fear-impact period, which generally occurs around the fifth month or later.

Five Months Old to One Year Old

A four- or five-month-old puppy will have amazingly progressed into a furry young dog. At this stage, the tail and legs of the golden retriever puppy look very long; in fact, it's really a funny look, because they seem a mismatch to its torso. Also within this period, the nose and ears of this special breed grow out (don't worry, the rest of its body will catch up and it will soon be an adorable ball of fur). You may even notice that at a point, the golden retriever’s front legs will appear shorter than the hind legs. But it will soon normalize, and irregular pace of growth is normal.

Golden retrievers grow very quickly within their second six months. During this time, the puppy's joints and bones become vulnerable. Avoid anything that will exert too much pressure on the dog's joints, such as long walks, abrupt stops while running, and bounding down the stairs. If the dog must be allowed to come down the stairs, assist it with a leash.

Proper Nutrition and the Danger Associated with Growing Too Quickly

Dog growth occurs in spurts and depends on the individual—no dog will exactly match the averages in the following charts. However, in general, you are looking for slow growth. There are dangers associated with your dog growing too quickly. These risks include bone disease and arthritis, and occur more often large breeds such as golden retrievers.

Growing too quickly is caused by overfeeding and low-quality food. When you read the ingredients on your puppy's dog food, the first ingredient should be an animal protein. If you puppy looks like it is gaining fat, cut back on the food.

In the following growth charts, the smallest and largest puppy weights are there to illustrate the wide range of golden retriever sizes. However, remember, bigger is not always better! Aim to keep your dog looking healthy and fit.

Golden Retriever Female Puppy Weight Chart

Age
Smallest
Largest
Average
7 weeks
5 lb
17 lb
9 lb
8 weeks
5 lb
17 lb
10 lb
9 weeks
8 lb
17 lb
12 lb
10 weeks
13 lb
22 lb
15 lb
11 weeks
12 lb
22 lb
17 lb
3 months
16 lb
43 lb
22 lb
4 months
25 lb
44 lb
30 lb
5 months
25 lb
57 lb
40 lb
6 months
27 lb
72 lb
44 lb
7 months
27 lb
67 lb
45 lb
8 months
40 lb
67 lb
52 lb
9 months
44 lb
68 lb
52 lb
10 months
50 lb
68 lb
60 lb
11 months
52 lb
80 lb
65 lb
1 year
55 lb
90 lb
70 lb
2 years
55 lb
90 lb
70 lb
Information gathered by the author and Genuine Goldens.

Golden Retriever Male Puppy Weight Chart

Age
Smallest
Largest
Average
7 weeks
3 lb
25 lb
9 lb
8 weeks
3 lb
27 lb
11 lb
9 weeks
7 lb
27 lb
13 lb
10 weeks
10 lb
28 lb
17 lb
11 weeks
6 lb
24 lb
17 lb
3 months
9 lb
34 lb
23 lb
4 months
15 lb
55 lb
33 lb
5 months
20 lb
67 lb
42 lb
6 months
38 lb
75 lb
52 lb
7 months
35 lb
75 lb
59 lb
8 months
40 lb
77 lb
61 lb
9 months
45 lb
77 lb
61 lb
10 months
50 lb
77 lb
63 lb
11 months
55 lb
77 lb
66 lb
1 year
65 lb
77 lb
68 lb
2 years
65 lb
80 lb
73 lb
Information gathered by the author and Genuine Goldens.

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    • profile image

      sryan944 7 years ago

      Golden Retriever are so popular because of their enormous good traits.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 7 years ago from Georgia

      Remember not all dogs grow at the same rate, so you can't always go by a growth chart for puppies. Some puppies are slow growers, whereas others may have early growth spurts and slow their growth as they age.

      Most medium sized dogs, Golden Retrievers included, actually reach full growth by 12-18 months, not two years.

    • kristen stevens profile image
      Author

      kristen stevens 7 years ago from New York, USA

      Yes this is true. And just they do have good traits!

    • profile image

      DennisA 5 years ago

      My golden I got at around 14 months and a few months down the road he grew taller and stronger, I think he is a slow grower : ) looking at his hide and bones I think he prob will continue to grow until he is two. Nice breed, never had one, I normally get tough breeds to guard the property but have kids now and they needed a dog that was more like a human : ) Not the best guard dog but hey he is amazing with the kids and even great with the other dogs who took him in and great with cats, I really think its the best family dog, He still acts a little skiddish on a leash but working on it, he tends to want to go in circles or lays down like if the last owner hit him, but without a leash he is wonderful, also can handle my long walks, So for those who are looking into this breed for there next dog, I would recommend it 100%, great indoor, outdoor family dog, acts like no other breed, and all in good areas, very kind with animals, people, kids, babies, great all around dog : ) Unless you live in a bad area where thugs are climbing your fence he might make new friends : ) hehe But they do bark to let you know hey someone is here.

    • Pam Miears-Ennis profile image

      Pam Miears-Ennis 5 years ago

      @DennisA our golden is now retired, at 16 she lays on the rug all day and accepts her just dues. It was tough to convince my husband way back when that we should get a golden retriever and not another shepherd. The kids were little and I wanted a dog that would love them and play with them and I wouldn't have to worry about their friends around it. Best decision we ever made concerning getting a dog. She has given more love to more children than I can count. As for bad guard dogs don't underestimate them, we used to joke that all a thief had to do was bring a baby for her to love on. Then one late night when my husband was at work our locked front door suddenly slammed open and hit the wall with amazing force. Before I even could register that someone had just broken down the door my 80 pound retriever, that had been in bed with one of the kids, came flying down the hall, all teeth and claws and went after the guy, right out the front door. They found her two blocks away apparently waiting for a ride home. I think she was sitting outside the house of the guy who broke the door open. New dead bolts,new door, gun refresher course later I still had a new respect for my "harmless" golden retriever. And no we didn't live in a bad neighborhood, very upper middle class in fact, but we were reminded that bad people can move in anywhere.

    • profile image

      Nducons 5 years ago

      Golden retrievers are good and as for me, i have 1 which is now 7 months and 13 inches tall. Her name is shaggy. I trained her by myself. She can sit, stand, lye down, shake with her right hand, jump, retrieve and many others. She cant eat until you command her. Unlike other goldens she hate to see visitors near me or touch her unless they want to shake her. I love shaggy but she is not fast grower, she is lazy to eat unless you are begging her or after her play time. I have worm her but that still continue and that irritaters me because any time i buy food half will spoil but she dont care. But i still love her with many reasons. She is submisive, she know when you are angry or happy, she is not a housebreaker, she always love to be neat.

    • profile image

      rosemary 4 years ago

      does a goldon reteriver pups found that his bones are growing to fast for his body is ther such a thing

    • Pam Miears-Ennis profile image

      Pam Miears-Ennis 4 years ago

      @Rosemary I think you are asking, " Can they grow to fast?" The answer is yes, that is why a good quality puppy food is important. Science diet, blue, Iams, are a few of the better ones. The better ones cost more for the initial bag but you actually are able to feed them less, so the bag goes further. Buying a costco or wal-mart brand dog food is a bad idea. these unbalanced poor nutrition foods lead to the problems like rapid growth and digestive upset. To rapid of growth can lead to problems in the fore legs and hips. With medium/large dogs like goldens and labs it essential to limit how much they run up and down stairs and such as well during the early growth stages. We have kept members of the breed for twenty years now and they have all been my running partners but none start running with me until they are over a year and definitely done growing.

    • profile image

      kit 4 years ago

      My wife and I recently adopted an abandoned golden from the Human Society. We had one for eight years before he died untimely and wanted another for many of the reasons listed above. My question: Jake is two years old and about 75 pounds. He is longer and taller than our previous retriever. He appears longer today than he did yesterday, as if he had a growth spurt. We had human boys who had evident growth spurts as teenagers. Has anyone else experienced such a radical growth with their dog?

    • Pam Miears-Ennis profile image

      Pam Miears-Ennis 4 years ago

      @ Kit, oh yes we definitely have. Both with our older female, that was 24 inches at the withers and 75 pounds,until she started shrinking and now with our puppy. Keep-Her is a rescue dog, so we are unsure of her ancestry. Her mother was a golden retriever puppy that we fostered through the birth to weaning of the pups. We were unable to keep Foster so we kept a pup. They appeared to have had a black lab father, but we are unsure.Keep-Her is on the small side, at 8 months she is only 19 inches at the withers and 44 pounds, but even with her we have seen sudden growth spurts. They are fairly normal,but as I said before you want to avoid to rapid of growth and the best way to do that is quality food and a balanced diet. Every one of our dogs has loved carrots and broccoli, except maybe Foster,but we think she was caged all her life, before she was rescued and was completely unfamiliar with "human food"or even grass, till she came to us. However you are probably passed the point where that would be a concern.

    • profile image

      Barbs Fortin 2 years ago

      My first Golden was given to us in his adult years.. Auesome! Loved the water behind the house. My last one died a year ago, and suceeded at all she set out to do! Skated with Papa, and was an SD for me and my doc told me to keep her with me. She sensed things before I adid with my health and so forth, always loving and a puppy at play! This one at 10 months, had Ovarian Cysts at 6 month and WOW acting out. She is a hand ful, chewing up bedroom set, car interior, Hudini, digging to china and the training is lost in limbo, I wonder if she retainedc anytthing.. She licks all to all continually and thinks she is a lap dog!

      All three have papers, all three different night as day!

    • profile image

      Rollo's Mom 2 years ago

      In early June we got a golden from a rescue. He had been in a pound near the Mexican border and was full of parsites. The pound estimated he was born in mid - late Feb of this year, the rescue said late March and our vet estimated early to mid Feb. Regardless he was (and still is) tiny for a Golden. He has grown a lot in the 2 months we've had him, but as of Aug 5, he is only 27 lbs. Does anybody have any expierence with such puppies ever growing to full size? Or will he be pemanently stunted?

    • profile image

      rick kraemer 18 months ago

      well I use to breed goldens and what comes to mind females are always well usually males are larger, and is it really a pure golden so if he was the runt of the litter, it will most likely remain on the small sise( dont worry I just paid 2200 for a female 3 months later the breeder tells me she was the runt, so somebody should in there ads that oh buy the way she is the runt I can pretty much tell age from teeth, your vet is more qualified than myself just that I rasied 60 of the little guys 20 to 30 years ago so we sold 95 of them never charged more than 350 now by the way these where wshow quality and the parents where rated VG to EL OFA best of luck just injoy her OK Rick Kraemer 6505871539

    • profile image

      Ravi 11 months ago

      I have a Golden Retriever male puppy which is 5 months old now whose height is 20 inches and weight is 55 lbs. I don't see much hairs on it. It's looks lesser than usual puppies. Can someone tell me what to do make it's hair grow

    • profile image

      AC 10 months ago

      Why my female golden retriver only 43 pounds at 10 months old. I asked the vet.. they said she is healthy and look just nice (not overweight, not skinny). But when she compares to 10/10 other goldens... she is the skinnest... why?

    • profile image

      LuckyCharmGoldenRetrievers 7 months ago

      I would also like to mention that indeed growth rates are not the same for all goldens. Some may appear smaller than mentioned and be totally normal.

    • profile image

      Candida Bose 6 months ago

      Thank you for this amazing article! It was really helpful. Appreciate your efforts in posting this.

      -Candida.

    • profile image

      Kimber 5 months ago

      I have a prebreed reddish brown golden retriever 11 months she is almost 1 only 45 lbs I have been feedin her lamb and rice pureina one first 3 ingredients is lamb,rice,whole grain wheat I have switched her to purina beneful

    • profile image

      Charliesmommy 4 months ago

      I adopted my puppy when he was 8 weeks old he's 6 months and 53lbs so right on the average. He has developed a limp and I got him X-rays. They said it could be elbow displacia or Panasteitis (inflammation of the bones effecting the tendons) apparently both of these are common in goldens . Has anyone else been through either? I am leaning toward panateitis because I think the limp changed legs (it's so hard to tell). Has anyone's dog developed s sudddn limp then been fine a couple months later ? Or been diagnosed with either of those two things? Thank you,just worried about my fur baby

    • profile image

      joseph 2 months ago

      coooooooooooooooooool

    • profile image

      Nancy 2 months ago

      Why are the male weights lower than the female weights?

    • profile image

      Ollie Wahm 2 months ago

      I have an English Cremè Golden Retriever puppy that is 5 1/2 months old and weighs 50 pounds. Is that considered too big? I mean he's not fat but he has a thick skeletal structure.

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      jurnee 5 weeks ago

      you forgot to mention they also make great service and therapy animals!

    • profile image

      Logan 4 weeks ago

      Me and my family got a golden retriever from a family friend her name is Maggie she's very lovable and smart but is very shy I don't know if I should be worried or not. She's medium size but I wonder if she will grow more she is only 8 months and weighs around 44 pounds. I'm not quite sure if she's 100% full blooded but either way I love her she is the best dog so far and I hope in the future I can get her to come out of her shell and become a more social dog

    • profile image

      Rocky 2 weeks ago

      Our Golden. Sophie Bear was born without her left paw any advice on what to be carefull with let me know she is only 5 months old. follow her on Facebook (Sophie Bear)

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