Midget Mia or Late Bloomer???

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dezmo's picture
Joined: 2010-01-08

Hi Guys,

Mia is a few days off turning 6 months old. A bloke I met the other day commented on how small she was, he said that his dogs were almost full height at 6 months. I've previously had somebody else make a similar comment.

I've since looked up doberman growth rates and seen a rough estimate as follows:

3 months 30lb

4 months 40lb

5 months 50lb

6 months 60lb

Mia presently weighs 40lb which seems to put her well below average. She's a quite a fine build but certainly not too skinny being well muscled through the chest etc. She's still quite short and not any where near usual doberman height but starting to look less puppyish. Most of her adult teeth seem to have come through now and I she lost her last milk tooth the other day.

Both of her parents were good sized dogs, certainly not small.

What do you think, is she going to be tiny or is she a late bloomer? Has anybody else's dobe been slow growing then had a late spurt?

She seems fit and healthy but could this be indicative of a health problem? She's getting 2 cups morning and night of a quality puppy food as well as some bones. Could diet be a problem?

Love to hear from you all. I'll try and put up some more recent pics for you soon!



Freyja's Dad's picture
Joined: 2009-09-03

Pet Profiles

Hi Dezmo,

I understand your concern, I have been through the same thing with Freyja.  Here's just some food for thought.

Dobermans are medium sized dogs.  Some tend to believe they are large dogs, but the US standard is clear that the Doberman is a medium sized dog.

Large size doesn't equate with better dog.  In fact size can be a problem for a dobie.  Dobies are meant to be very athletic dogs and large size tends to limit that athleticism.  To give an American football analogy, I've never seen a 300 pound wide receiver. 

Dobergirls are smaller than Doberboys, so be careful with averages that don't take sex into account.  On average it seems boys are about 2 inches and 15 pounds bigger than girls. 

With Freyja I quit worrying about weight and looked at height.  She is right at 24 inches tall, which puts her at the small side of normal, according to the US standard.  Her weight has steadily increased and she is now 60 pounds or a touch more at 20 months.  She looks lean, muscular (for a female), and the vet says she's healthy, so I'm happy.

At 6 months old I would still expect her to grow another inch or two.  I know Freyja did. 

You'll hear lots of comments from self proclaimed Doberman experts about how much bigger their dobies are/were, especially by people who "have had one before".  Most of the time if you listen closely to what they say they will show their ignorance of the breed.  Just yesterday Freyja and I were out when a lady mentioned to me that Freyja looked small.  She said she "had had a Doberman before" and he was much bigger, that he was a "warlock".  Her credibility went right out the door with that warlock comment.

One more point.  I've heard many people bragging about how big their dobie is but have never heard anyone brag about having one smaller than average.  Yet the term average means that half of all dobies are below average size.  As long as the vet says Mia is healthy, whether she's a late bloomer or simply a bit small, you'll love her and she'll love you back.  I know Freyja is on the small side, but she is one fantastic dog.  I wouldn't take ten 100 pounders for her.  I bet you feel the same about Mia. 

glengate's picture
Joined: 2009-07-22

The 10 lbs a month rule of thumb is for males.  Females are going to weigh less, probably by 5 - 10 lbs.

I've certainly had some cases where the parents were standard sized but some of the puppies were smaller than standard.  We could hypothesize about it all day but she's going to be who she's going to be, and you're just going to have to wait and see.  ;-)  If she has a fine build, sounds normal to me that she's going to weigh less. 

Yes, smallness *may* be indicative of a health problem.  The one that immediately comes to mind is a liver shunt.  However, it wouldn't be my first thought if she seems well otherwise. 

rgreen4's picture
Joined: 2008-10-26

Dezmo - I never really kept records on any of my Dobies until I got Princess. As she went into the vet's for anything, I recorded her weight. 

13 Weeks (3 Mo) 22.8 pounds

16 Weeks (~4 Mo) 28.2 pounds

5 Mo 42.2 pounds

6 Mo 50.0 pounds

9.8 Mo 69.2 pounds

15 Mo 72 pounds

Since then, she has pretty much ranged from 69 pounds to 71 pounds. She is a very picky eater and certainly has a lot of energy. She is slightly heavier than my first male Hans who weighed within a pound or so of 66 pounds his entire adult life.

I came home one evening to find him outside my fence holding off three chows from across the road who had gotten out of their fence. He was 10 years old at the time and his mate and three 6 month old pups were inside my fence. The chows did not seem to think he was too light. They took off when I showed up. He had a few small nicks but nothing major.

Then at the other end, you have my loveable lunk Red. He is 30" at the shoulder and currently weighs around 105 pounds. His peak weight was 147 at which point he was diagnosed with a thyroid condition. He was put on a treatment (he will take pills the rest of his life) and a diet to slowly bring down his weight. We got him down to 95 at which time the vet and I agreed he was too skinny. I try to maintain him around 105 pounds. He does run now although he can't keep up with Princess, and when he was 147, he never ran anywhere.

Trust me when I say I would rather have a 68 pound Dobie than an 88 pound Dobie. There are far fewer health problems. Also, a Dobie is not fully grown until amost two years of age. I had one that grew two inches and 10 pounds after he turned one year old.

SnoopyDobe's picture
Joined: 2009-07-01

Pet Profiles

I have been worried about Snoopy's size since I brought him home.  He has always been on the smaller size, but he has just grown more consistantly I think.  At 6 months old he was 36lbs and 24 inches at the withers.  Now he is 271/2 inches at the withers and 67lbs with a 141/2 inch neck(almost 18 months old).  He looks so tall for his weight.  My wife calls him "The Gangly Elbow" as he cannot sit with you without shoving a sharp edge into you, but we love him to death.  I would not worry too much as long he the vet says he is healthy and he is on a quality kibble.

I totally agree with Freyas dad. You really need to take words from others with a grain of salt. Like he mentioned their are many that claim to be experts but no nothing of our breed standard and what a true Doberman  should look like or be like. Just because someone brags that they have had them in the past means nothing.

My 6mo old boy is being fed the same amount as your girl and doing quite nicely on it, I wouldn't think that a quality diet is an issue. You cant make them grow taller or increase bone size by feeding more. All that would do is create an overweight puppy, that in itself could create health problems.

One thing that you can keep an eye on is the growth plates. If you look at your puppy's front legs you will notice a knobby knee appearance. This is where the growth plate is located. On adult dogs the knee is smoothe. If your puppy still has a knob appearance she is still going to grow in height, when it smoothes out she is done growing height wise. After you puppy is done growing in height she will keep maturing body wise with more muscle definition and filling out.

AlphaAdmin's picture
Joined: 2010-01-18

Pet Profiles

Dobermans keep growing in height until after one year of age, so Sofia has a ways to go. But don't worry about her not growing enough. The Doberman isn't suposed to be a larg breed. It's far better if she grows slowly.

I alway try to keep puppies hungry so they won't grow too fast. Dobermans already have growing pains and are at risk for a number of skelital problems - all of which are proven to increase when a puppy is allowed to "free feed" or is given suplements, expecially calcium.

dezmo's picture
Joined: 2010-01-08

Thank you all for your comments and replies.

I got out the tape measure last night and measured her. It turns out she is about 22 inches at the shoulder blades!. I was guessing she was much smaller than this. She looks small and I thought she would have been under 20 inches... From your experiences it seems like she will most probably grow another couple of inches which would bring her up to within the standard range.

I'll check the knobby knees when I get home.




I guarantee at 6mo old the growth plates are still open. The reason I mentioned the growth plate is so you could tell when they closed. Then you will know she is through growing at least in height. Enjoy your girl just the way she is, they grow way to fast anyways before you know it she wont be a puppy anymore.

dezmo's picture
Joined: 2010-01-08

Righto - that makes sense.

We are enjoying having a pup around and are not rushing her to be big. Seemed like only yesterday she spent the first night with us!


rgreen4's picture
Joined: 2008-10-26

Watching them grow from a little puppy to a young dog is a magic time and it does indeed go by very fast.