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Do Your Puppy’s Paws Really Indicate Their Size?


Puppies are the most adorable creatures in the universe. Their tiny paws and cute faces make people fall in love with them. Their playful nature keeps you entertained throughout the day. They spread the vibes of happiness and love. If you are a puppy fan, you might have wondered about the relationship between their adorable small paws and the relation to their size. You are in the right place to grasp the knowledge on this subject. 

Understanding Your Puppy’s Growth Stages

It is possible to understand the relationship between a puppy’s paw and the puppy’s size when one knows the growth stages that a puppy undergoes. Questions like how tall a puppy will be or how much weight it will gain are the curiosity queries responsible for getting you the answer. Studies and observations indicate that, on average, puppies take six to seven months to complete their body growth or maintain the same height.  

Puppy’s Five Stages Of Growth

Neonatal Period

The neonatal period in puppies begins right after birth and continues for about two weeks. It is a period comparable to infancy in humans. Therefore, in this period, puppies rely on the mother for warmth and care. They are dependent on the mother for sanitization, food, and care. In this period, puppies are inactive and are only capable of crawling. They are dormant and host energy for growth, which is why puppies tend to be stationary and cuddle with their mom while the world awaits another cute being to fool around with you.

Transitional Period

The onset of the transitional period begins two weeks after the birth of the puppy. This phase allows puppies to grow and become ready to face the world. In this period, puppies start developing their vision, hearing, and other sensory organs. They detach themselves from their mother only to wean afterward. They develop the skills of walking and begin wagging their tails. A friendly human is all it takes for them to wag their tail. This period lasts for about two to four weeks, and in the third week, their teeth develop to chew solid food.

Socialization Period

As the name suggests, this period develops skills in puppies to be experts in socialization and having fun. They have an unlimited energy source and play around the entire time. In this phase, they learn about manners and interact with their surrounding. This is the phase where puppies can learn manners from their human friend. At this stage, the puppies tend to be extroverts. Instead of being aggressive with strangers, they would rather run behind them, asking the stranger to play with them. The body is well developed and ideal for getting vaccinated in this period.

Ranking/Hierarchy Period

In this phase, puppies tend to find themselves the right group to fit in. They tend to assess the qualities that make the best match. This is analogous to human beings who try to find careers that best suit them. They develop feelings of fear induced by the insecurities of not finding the right fit. However, puppies kept at home isolated from other dogs tend to connect with their human friends. As every human knows, finding a friend makes life beautiful, puppies do care about friendship. 


Puppies tend to understand the details of their surroundings and human interactions induced by teaching and training. They tend to be in the learning phase but are capable and mature to live by themselves. But as they are faithful and loyal to their owners, they will never leave them.

The growth aspects of the puppy reach a peak where the curve plateaus throughout the puppy’s life. The puppy transforms into a dog capable of reproducing and interacting with its fellow dogs. In this period, the puppies tend to be hyperactive and crave physical activities like going for a walk and playing on the beach with a Frisbee.

However, the growth rate and the duration of the phases might differ in different breeds. For instance, a pug reaches maturity in nine months, whereas a labrador takes about nine to twelve months. 

Understanding The Logic Behind Paw And Size Relationship

The golden ratio is an important aspect of every living thing or the galaxy, or the universe agrees to the golden ratio. This makes a supporting argument for the logic behind this relationship between paws and size. Imagine this, a dog with a heavier and bigger body requires a wide surface area at the base to support its body framework.

Therefore, naturally, the bigger dogs like a retriever, labrador, or the Great Dane have a bigger paw size due to their heavy and tall bodies. On the other hand, chihuahuas or the pug are smaller in size and hence the smaller paw size. Such observation depicts that there exists a relation between paw size and the body dimensions of a puppy. 

The Reliability Of This Relationship

While naturally, this relationship might be accurate due to the law of nature. However, there are many exceptions to this assumption. Earlier, the inference was that the smaller paws indicate a smaller-sized puppy and vice versa. But all breeds do not agree with this assumption. For instance, bulldogs are shorter in size but have larger paws.

Similarly, the Dalmatian or the Doberman breed have taller but smaller paws. This contradicts the assumption, which may or may not be an assumption considering various dog breeds. The reliability of the relationship between paw and size prediction is lowered as the attribute of breed type is a variable. 

Scope Of The Reliability 

One can prove the reliability of this inference by applying this to the same set of breeds. This will make the variable breed attribute a constant making it easier to predict the puppy’s size. Furthermore, one can understand that the relationship is evident only in a specific breed type while it might not work with other breeds. Hence, one should find out about other reliable methods to predict the size of the puppy. The American Kennel Club website will help you increase accuracy in your prediction while determining size in the same breed. 

Increasing The Unknowns

The task becomes much easier when the puppy’s parent is identified. Based on the parent’s current size, you can predict the pup’s size. However, such is not the case in many scenarios. It is a daunting or challenging task to determine the parent of a mixed breed puppy. Mixed breeds bring about chaos in the gene pool, making it difficult to identify the records of the puppy’s origins. Therefore, it becomes difficult to predict the size and only rely on the paw size to determine. 

Fortunately, advancements in science have harnessed the ability to get traits and the genetic history of organisms using a single DNA strand. Online portals allow you to upload your puppy’s DNA and get detailed information about the parent’s breed type and traits. Thus, one can safely adopt from local shelters and rely on this method to increase the likeability of using the puppy’s relationship of paw and size. 


One can not rely on finding the puppy’s size concerning their paw as the results might be full of errors. However, determining the size of the puppy based on its paws is a fun and interesting activity. Other alternatives to consider are the elasticity of your puppy’s skin, breed records, and the parent’s information.