How Do I Know My Dog’s Size?

Whether you’re choosing a coat for your dog in the frigid winter months or you need to buy a crate for safe automotive travel, one day you’re going to need to know the size of your dog! Dog sizes can get confusing because the rules change depending on who you ask, and there are several ways of defining “size”.

In this article, you’ll get an idea of the general consensus on dog sizes and learn about the three most important methods for determining size: weight, length, and height!

Weight

Knowing your dog’s weight is important for several reasons. Many apartment complexes and dog parks have weight restrictions, and tracking weight can help your veterinarian maintain your dog’s health. While weight alone isn’t the best way of figuring out your dog’s size, it is a very common way of doing so. Here are the general weight and size categories:

  • Small dogs: under 22 pounds (this number can vary from 20 to 25 depending on who you ask)
    • Toy dogs: 5 to 12 pounds
    • Teacup dogs: Under 5 pounds
  • Medium dogs: 23 to 59 pounds
  • Large dogs: 60 – 99 pounds
  • Extra large (giant) dogs: More than 100 pounds

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Length

If you ever need to buy clothing for your dog, length will come into play. When it comes to length, there’s even less agreement on what constitutes a small, medium, or large dog. Though it’s obvious that a Great Dane and a Chihuahua will have different lengths, there can be a lot of variance between individual dogs, and it isn’t a great metric to go by. 

In the event that you need to know your dog’s length in order to buy clothing for them, most retailers will have you measure the distance between the base of their neck and the base of their tail. Depending on the exact brand, the sizing chart may differ. 

ALSO READ: Dog sizes – The Ultimate Dog Size Guide

Height

Just like length, height can be extremely variable and there isn’t as much consistency in the categories of small, medium, and large. 

Each breed does have an average height (measured to the top of the shoulders) that can help you visualize the breed you’re looking into or get a feel for where your dog lies on the spectrum! Though it’s a tricky business to categorize dog sizes by height, there will be some overlap with weight, which means the general trend will go upwards as weight does.

It’s important to note that if you plan on getting a training device like a crate, height will play an important role. Measuring both the length and the height of your dog is necessary to ensure that they will be comfortable and happy in a correctly sized crate.

The difficulty with using any one method to determine your dog’s size is the possibility for outliers. Additionally, different ways of measuring size are used depending on the situation.

With that said, it’s also likely that your dog will match the average specifications. This means it shouldn’t be too hard to get an understanding of your dog’s size, especially if you take all three forms of measurement into account!

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