Growth plates are soft cartilage tissues at the end of a dog’s long bones, whose cells multiply allowing the bones of a dog to grow, increasing a dog’s height. The plates close once a dog reaches puberty. The closing of the growth plate shows how dogs grow.
So, when do Great Danes’ growth plates close? The Great Dane’s growth plate closes between the age of 18 to 24 months. Once the Great Dane matures at this age, the growth plate hardens, turns into bone and Great Dane reaches their full height.
In this article, you will learn more about the growth plate in Great Danes, the effect of early neutering on the growth plate, and the growth rate of a Great Dane.
Where are growth plates in dogs?
Growth plates in dogs are located at the end of their long bones such as the shinbone and tibia, a few centimeters from the adjacent joints. They multiply in cells, forming bone and increasing a dog’s height.
At puberty depending on a dog-specific breed, the plates close, form into bone completing the bone growth and a dog reaches their maximum height for their breed.
At what age does a Great Dane stop growing?
A Great Dane stops growing between the age of 18 to 24 months when their growth plate closes and they attain their full height thereafter they continue to build muscles into the second year.
Compared to small breed dogs which stop growing approximately at 1 year, giant or large breed dogs have a much longer time until they stop growing.
During a Great Dane’s puppy growth up until they stop growing, it is important not to exert them to strenuous exercise or have the males neutered early.
The growth plate cartilage is very soft and delicate and any injury to it can affect a puppy’s normal growth. Injury can lead to limb lameness and disorders due to the development of joint health problems.
What happens when you neuter a dog early?
When a dog is neutered early, there is a delay in the closing of its growth plates which results in continued growth leading them to grow taller than they ought to.
In large breed dogs such as the Great Dane, this brings on health issues associated with their bones such as the development of hip dysplasia and other joint health problems.
Hormonal changes in a dog during growth acts as a growth regulator allowing growth to take place at a steady pace. When a dog is neutered early, this regulatory mechanism is stripped away resulting in the delay of closure of the growth plate which continues bone growth.
This is why it is not recommended to neuter a dog earlier than the appropriate age which is after their key development phase is completed.
Read More: When should a male Great Dane be neutered?
Frequently Asked Questions
How big is a 6 week old Great Dane?
The majority of Great Danes at 6 weeks old will weigh between 10 to 20 pounds. This is an average weight because puppies grow at different rates. A puppy may fall within this estimate or be slightly below or above, which is quite normal.
At 6 weeks old, the Great Dane puppy is also still in the care of the mother at the breeder’s facility until they are about 8 weeks old when they are ready to be adopted.
How much do Great Danes grow after 1 year?
After one year Great Danes grow to an average weight of 95 to 100 pounds and with an average height of 29 to 36 inches. After their first year up to 18 months, most Great Danes have attained their maximum height, and going into their second year, they add on more muscle mass.
These are also average weights and height estimates because different dogs grow at different rates and there may be variances to a small degree for individual dogs.
In this post, you got to learn when the Great Danes’ growth plates close the growth rate and the effect of neutering early on growth plates.
By understanding your Great Dane’s growth stages, you are more informed on making better choices for them in consultation with your vet which empowers you to better care for them.
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