Pit Bulls are strong, muscular dogs. Their physical build can differ slightly depending on various factors, but overall they are that are known for their robust build and athletic abilities. It’s important for Pit Bull owners to an eye on their dog’s growth because it is a good indication of its health.
So, when does a Pit Bull stop growing? A Pit Bull stops growing and reaches its full size at about 1 year old. Some Pit Bulls might take up to 18 months to reach their full size as dogs sometimes grow at different rates. There is an average rate for the healthy size of a Pit Bull, and not all of them have to reach a specific size at full growth.
Keep reading to learn more about the development stages of a Pit Bull’s life, their expected abilities at each age, and the size and weight they need to be to be considered healthy.
Pit Bull Growth And Development Stages
Not unlike children, Pit Bulls also have development stages that they need to reach each age. Reaching these stages is an indication that your Pit Bull is healthy mentally and physically, but keep in mind that not all breeds mature at the same rate.
Now, let’s break down the Pit Bull’s growth and development stages:
Stage 1: Birth to 3 weeks
Pit Bulls are born blind, deaf, and without teeth. In the first couple of weeks of their development, they will start to develop their senses and grow their teeth.
They will spend most of their time sleeping and eating in order to help with their growth.
By 2 weeks old, a Pit Bull puppy will start to open their eyes and explore the world around them. By 3 weeks old, they will start to bark and interact with others.
Stage 2: 3 to 7 weeks
During the second stage of a Pit Bull puppy’s development, they start to learn to socialize with their mother and littermates.
Their brothers and sisters will not tolerate their hard play or biting, and their mother will keep them away from the others every time they play too hard. That’s when the puppy learns the importance of controlling its bite and strength.
By the time the Pit Bull puppy reaches 7 weeks, they can start socializing with humans and start to learn bite inhibition around them as well.
Stage 3: 7 to 12 weeks
A Pit Bull puppy should stay with their mother at least until they are 7 weeks old. Their mother will teach them about important life skills and make sure they are emotionally healthy and well-behaved dogs.
At this stage, the puppy should start to learn to get along with humans, be properly socialized, and learn basic commands. They might be afraid of humans at the beginning, but with time, they will come to see the fun and entertainment playing with humans can provide them.
Stage 4: 12 to 16 weeks
From 12 to 16 weeks, your Pit Bull puppy will start to become more independent. They will start to challenge you and not listen to your commands or answer your calls. Think of it as their teenage years.
At this stage, it’s important to take your Pit Bull to obedience school, so they learn basic manners and rules.
Your Pit Bull puppy will also start to get their adult coat and adult teeth. They will be mouthing a lot and chewing on everything they get their paws on. Make sure you keep anything you don’t want them to chew out of their reach.
Stage 5: 16 to 40 weeks
The first thing to do at this stage is to get your Pit Bull spayed or neutered. This will protect them from many health problems and will save you the trouble of having to deal with unwanted new puppies.
At this stage, your Pit Bull will grow rapidly and change quickly.
They will continue to challenge you and test your limits, which means you need to be very firm and consistent with what is allowed and what is not allowed. They will also become more territorial and protective of their owners.
Obedience school will teach them to keep that in check and not take it too far.
You also need to make sure your Pit Bull has learned or is actively learning bite inhibition. Bite inhibition is when your Pit Bull is aware of the strength of their bite, and they learn to control to not hurt others around them purposely or by accident while playing.
Stage 6: 40 weeks to 1 year
During this stage, some Pit Bulls might reach maturity and become adults. But before that actually happens, your Pit Bull will look like an adult but act like a puppy for a while. They will be super active and have boundless puppy energy that will require two to three hours of daily exercise to get out.
As they reach maturity, you need to learn not to give an aggressive reaction to bad behavior but rather be firm and give consistent commands. Make sure to reward good behavior as well so they learn what is acceptable and what is not.
Stage 7: 1 to 2 years
Your Pit Bull is now an adult. Their growth will become much slower than in previous stages, and all your training and love will start to show their results in this stage.
Your Pit Bull will now need more vigorous exercise to keep up with the needs of its strong body. You can take them to dog parks for exercise and socialization. You can also switch not from puppy food to proper adult dog food.
Pit Bull Growth And Weight Chart
During the different developmental stages of a Pit Bull, its weight will change rapidly. Pit Bulls are not huge dogs in size, but they have a lot of muscle and are super strong. Their strength and speed are what make them good fighters and hard workers.
Here are the weights you can expect your Pit Bull to reach every development stage. Keep in mind that as long as your Pit Bull is around these weights, they are fine and healthy. You only need to worry if they are way off the charts.
|Stage||Male weight||Female weight|
|1 month old||3 – 5 lbs||2 – 4 lbs|
|2 months old||5 – 15 lbs||5 – 15 lbs|
|3 months old||10 – 20 lbs||10 – 20 lbs|
|4 months old||15 – 25 lbs||10 – 20 lbs|
|5 months old||15 – 30 lbs||15 – 25 lbs|
|6 months old||20 – 35 lbs||15 – 30 lbs|
|7 months old||20 – 40 lbs||15 – 35 lbs|
|8 months old||25 – 45 lbs||20 – 35 lbs|
|9 months old||25 – 50 lbs||20 – 40 lbs|
|10 months old||25 – 50 lbs||25 – 40 lbs|
|11 months old||30 – 55 lbs||25 – 45 lbs|
|12 months old||30 – 55 lbs||25 – 45 lbs|
|2 years old||35 – 60 lbs||30 – 50 lbs|
How Big Should Your Pit Bull Be At 3 Months Old?
At 3 months old, your Pit Bull should weigh from 10 to 20 lbs on average.
At this age, the Pit Bull’s weight does not differ whether they are male or female. But you need to keep in mind that weight might differ slightly from one Pit Bull breed to another.
How Big Should Your Pit Bull Be At 6 Months Old?
At 6 months old, a healthy male Pit Bull should weigh around 20 to 35 lbs, while a female Pit Bull should weigh around 15 to 30 lbs.
As they grow older, male Pit Bulls become a bit heavier and bulkier than female Pit Bulls.
How Big Should Your Pit Bull Be At 1 Year Old?
At 1 year old, your Pit Bull’s weight can vary between 30 to 60 lbs for males and 25 to 50 lbs for females. 1-year-old Pit Bulls are not fully mature yet, and their weight can still increase as they grow and develop more muscle.
When Is A Pit Bull Considered Fully Grown?
A Pit Bull can be considered fully grown at 1 year old, but larger Pit Bull breeds may take up to 18 months to reach their full size. The following is a chart of the average weight of a grown Pit Bull of different breeds:
|Pit Bull breed||Average Weight|
|American Pit Bull Terrier||30-65 lbs|
|American Staffordshire Terrier||40-70 lbs|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||24-39 lbs|
|American Bully||31-56 lbs|
You can learn more about the types of Pit Bulls in this article on the difference between Pit Bulls and Bulldogs.
5 Factors That Control Your Pit Bulls Growth
There are many factors that control how big and how fast your Pit Bull’s growth will be. These factors include genetics, diet, exercise, and more. Let’s break down each one of these factors and learn the best practice to help your dog grow.
Your Pit Bull’s ancestors will play a huge role in how big your Pit Bull will grow out to be. The breeds of your Pit Bull terrier’s parents and beyond control the average size and weight of your Pit Bull. Some breeds grow out to be big such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, and other are on the smaller end, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
There is nothing you can do to change your Pit Bull genetics, obviously. But taking a look into their ancestry, or at least their parents, if there is no log of their ancestry, will help you have an idea of how big your Pit Bull puppy will eventually become.
Diet and Nutrition
Your Pit Bull puppy’s diet has the most crucial effect on their growth, and it is all under your control. A high-quality diet is very important for your Pit Bull to reach a healthy size.
You need to keep an eye on how much your Pit Bull gets to eat in a day and the kind of food and treats you offer them.
The best diets will have high protein and fat levels to keep up with the Pit Bull’s muscle growth. If you feel confident in your ability to know the best diet for your Pit Bull, you can do it yourself. For example, you can start adding more protein-rich foods to their diets.
My pick for a high-protein dry food is the Blue Buffalo Blue Wilderness High Protein food. My dogs absolutely adore it and the quality of Blue Buffalo’s products is unmatched in general.
But if you need help deciding what food is best, just ask your vet for advice.
Exercise is very good for your Pit Bull’s overall health and growth. But you need to be very careful about how much exercise your dog has at every stage of its development.
Small Pit Bull puppies will tire quickly and will only endure a little bit of exercise each day.
Adult Pit Bulls are more likely to need and want more exercise to build muscle and endurance.
Pit Bulls can be beefed up with exercise and high-protein meals. But make sure not to overdo it, and keep checking with your vet to ensure that you are not harming your dog.
I have a guide on how much exercise Pitbulls need at every age here, make sure to check it out.
Neutering and Spaying
Neutering or spaying your Pit Bull will stop their sexual growth and solve a lot of issues, and it is generally recommended to do it unless you are planning on breeding your dog.
Going through this process at a young age may affect their growth and overall weight. Pit Bulls that have been neutered or spayed as small puppies will become leaner and less bulky than those who go through the process at an older age.
You can check out my guide on the best age to neuter a pit bull here.
Some health issues can stunt your Pit Bull’s growth. Issues such as intestinal worms, parasites, malnutrition, liver shunt, and canine dwarfism are some of the health problems your Pit Bull might go through that will stunt their growth.
Regularly deworming your Pit Bull can greatly help with avoiding parasites. The other issues should be discussed with a vet to decide the best way to move forward with your Pit Bull and help them become as strong as possible.
3 Things That Can Hinder Your Pit Bull’s Growth
The same factors that can help your Pit Bull grow into a strong and big dog can also hinder their growth and development if handled wrong.
If your Pit Bull doesn’t get enough high-protein food into their system regularly as they grow up, their growth may be hindered, and they might not reach their full or expected potential.
A bad diet or giving into the temptation of allowing your Pit Bull too many treats and snacks can seriously cause health issues that you will have to deal with later in life.
A diet may also seem good but be in fact bad for them, for example, many people believe that dogs are meant to have a raw diet, but this is not true, and your dog, just like you, needs to have a diet that has something of everything. I discuss this further in this article on whether Pit Bulls should eat raw meat.
I also have another guide on why Pitties can’t be vegan here, and it’s a highly-recommended read.
Not Getting Enough Exercise
As we mentioned, Pit Bulls are very physical dogs with a lot of energy.
They need a lot of exercise to help them build strong bones and muscles and reach their full physical potential.
Although you need to be careful of how much exercise you present your puppy with, you also need to make sure you are not holding them back.
Your Pit Bull might not be growing into the bulky dog you expected them to become simply because of their genetics.
Not all Pit Bulls are created equal, and depending on the type and bloodline of the Pit Bull, they may be slightly larger, heavier, or smaller than their counterparts of the same age and health conditions.
The best way to evaluate whether your Pit Bull’s different size is according to genetics or something else is to simply look at their parents and their sizes at each age.
This may be easier said than done because not all breeders keep a good record of such things, and your dog may be a rescue and this info just will not be available at all to you.
Common Pit Bull Health Issues To Keep An Eye Out For
Your Pit Bull might be predisposed to some health issues due to their breed. These health issues are pretty common among Pit Bulls, and as a Pittie owner, you should know to keep an eye out for them.
Hip dysplasia is very common among Pit Bulls, especially Staffordshire Terriers. The condition is explained as when the hip is improperly formed, or the dog’s thigh bone does not fit properly into the hip’s socket.
Hip dysplasia can cause your Pit Bull some serious pain and hinder their ability to walk, run or climb stairs.
You can help your dog through it by making them wear a hip brace, get rehab therapy, acupuncture or hydrotherapy. In severe cases, your Pit Bull might need medical surgery to help relocate the bone to its intended spot.
Due to their short coat that doesn’t provide much protection to their skin, Pit Bulls are prone to many skin problems.
Some of the skin disorders your Pit Bull might suffer from are sunburns, allergies, tumors, and, in worst-case scenarios, skin cancer.
You need to regularly groom your Pit Bull and brush and clean their coat.
Keep an eye out for excessive itching, skin blotches, or discoloration. If your Pit Bull is suffering from some kind of allergic reaction that causes them to itch, they might do it excessively and hurt themselves more or cause bleeding and infections. So make sure you catch skin conditions as early as possible.
Cranial Cruciate Ligament Problems
Pit Bulls are very active dogs, and this can sometimes cause injuries and knee problems. The cranial cruciate ligament is a thin tissue on a Pit bull’s knee that connects the thigh bone to the tibia.
High-level activity can sometimes cause the CCL to tear from a heavy load.
CCL usually starts with a partial tear, and you can spot it on your Pit Bull in the form of limping or showing signs of mild pain. A partial tear is cured by surgery and should be done as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the worse it gets.
Pit Bulls with CCL tears in one leg will unintentionally add all their weight on the other leg, ultimately causing it to tear as well.
Thyroid diseases are also very common among Pit Bulls. They are at high risk of hypothyroidism which is when your dog gains a lot of weight due to their thyroid glands not producing enough thyroid hormones.
Some of the symptoms of Thyroid disease is your Pit Bull gaining weight, having skin problems, being extra aggressive, and showing abnormal bad behavior. If you spot these signs, you need to take your dog to the vet to take some blood samples and see if they require thyroxine.
How To Make Sure Your Pit Bull Grows Healthy?
Making sure your Pit Bull is growing healthy is basically the ultimate goal for all of this. All you need to do is follow some simple guidelines and always remember that Pit Bulls differ in size and bulkiness. As long as your Pit Bull is healthy, then that’s all that matters.
Make sure they’re well fed
Well-fed does not mean that they eat a lot. It means that their meals are healthy, nutritious, and as frequent as their growing bodies need.
As your Pit Bull grows older, its body will burn food quicker, and it will need to replace the lost food to get energy.
Make sure they have routine meals and frequent snacks throughout the day to keep them healthy and full. Make sure they are also getting the right food for their age. For example, you should know when and how to switch them from puppy foods to adult foods (as explained here).
Provide plenty of exercise
Pit Bulls are very energetic dogs, and their physique not only helps them be active, but actually demands them to be active throughout the day, otherwise they will have a lot of pent-up energy and it will cause behavioral problems like destructive chewing of everything you love and hold dear (shoes, furniture, etc).
Even though having them as house pets are pretty awesome as they are friendly and very cuddly, your Pit Bull still needs to be exercised a lot.
Take them to dog parks with obstacle courses, so they find a way to challenge their abilities and exert energy. You can also go on regular walks around your neighborhood for daily exercise. You can learn more about how to exercise your Pit Bull here.
Prevention is better than treatment
Always keep this in mind. Leading a healthy life and getting routine checks from your vet is the best way to make sure your Pit Bull is always healthy.
Pit Bulls are prone to many diseases and injuries, but if you keep an eye out on them and get regular checks, you can catch them early and save your Pit a lot of pain.
Have a fixed schedule for your vet visits, and do not skip them even if your Pit Bull looks well and healthy.
How Heavy Do Pit Bulls Get?
Pit Bulls can get as heavy as 70 lbs, depending on their breed. They can also be as tall as 50 cm. Pit Bull’s weight and height differ significantly from one breed to another. The American Pit Bull Terrier is the biggest, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the smallest.
How Do You Know If Your Pit Bull Puppy Is Going to Be Big?
You can tell how big a Pit Bull puppy is going to be from looking at their ancestry or their parents. Some Pit Bull breeds are bigger than others, and genetics are the main indicator of how big your Pit Bull will eventually become.
When Does A Pit Bull Head Stop Growing?
A Pit Bull’s head will stop growing when they reach maturity. Most Pit Bulls reach maturity and are considered adults at 18 months old. You can tell if your Pit Bull will still grow more by looking at its paws. If they’re still too big compared to their body, then they’ll probably still grow.
How to Make Your Pit Bull More Muscular?
To make your Pit Bull more muscular, you need to provide it with healthy meals full of protein, carbs, and fats as well as regular exercise according to their age. You can also introduce weight training with games like tug of war or consult your vet about using supplements to help with muscle growth
PitbullsHome Personally-Tested Picks for Pitties:
- The Best foods for Pit Bull Puppies that are nutritious and delicious – Help them grow stronger without declaring bankruptcy 😉
- Training or entertaining? These treats for Pit Bulls are simply the best (with options for dogs with sensitive stomachs)
- According to my vet, these are the best foods for Pit Bulls with Skin Allergies.
- The Best Collars for Pitbulls (comfortable and dependable)
- The Best Pit Bull Leashes (Durable and Worth Every Penny)
- The Best Crates for Pitbulls (Affordable options for even the stronger Pitties)
- Best Muzzles for Pitbulls (Comfortable and Safe Muzzles)
- The Best Shampoos for Pitbulls (including shampoos for sensitive skin)
- The Best Chew Toys for Pit Bulls (That will actually stand their teeth)
- The Best Brushes for Pit Bulls (For amazing coats with the least grooming effort)
- The Most indestructible and comfiest Beds for Pit Bulls (That they will actually like and use)
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