Two major factors determine growth in dogs; Genetic make-up and Management/Husbandry. Growth in dogs, most times is always discussed in terms of the size, although adequate or healthy growth is not directly equal to the size of the dog. For example, an obese German shepherd might appear to have the same size as a Boerboel and that won’t be judged as growing well medically.  

The genetic make-up of a dog determines the growth (size) irrespective of what you feed the dog. Based on the dog’s gene, we have the small breed dogs, medium breed, and large breed dogs. If dogs from these three breed groups are given the same management of feeding and exercise, they won’t still end up with the same size due to their genes. This also applies to dogs within the same breed; two adult Boerboel may not attain the same weight at adulthood if they are from different sources and if one of them has a purer line. 

Aside from the genotype, feeding management is the major factor that determines dog growth. Feeding the right food for the right age and at the right time contributes majorly to growth in dogs. Feeding balanced and nutritionally complete food enhances growth. Dogs should also be fed enough food to sustain their physical activity and exercise. It is recommended to discuss your dog’s nutrition plan with your Veterinarian to help you achieve your dog’s growth plan.