How big will my Australian Shepherd get? Australian Shepherd growth chart

Australian Shepherd Growth Chart: How Big Will Your Australian Shepherd Get?

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Most Aussies are medium-sized dogs, but when you get your new puppy, you may wonder how big he or she will get. We consulted with our veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Coates, who reviewed and approved data about puppy weights and sizes, which we then used to create a convenient puppy growth chart. You can use this as a reference to see how your puppy compares to the average.

The chart shows you an Australian Shepherd’s monthly average weight range during the growing phase. You can also refer to the puppy weight calculator to get an idea of how big your puppy is likely to get.

Australian Shepherd Growth Chart

Australian Shepherd growth chart

  • 1 year: 36-65 pounds, 18-23 inches
  • Fully grown males: 50-65 pounds, 20-23 inches
  • Fully grown females: 40-55 pounds, 18-21 inches

Text Transcript of the Australian Shepherd Growth Chart

Australian Shepherd – Age Weight Height
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months

1 year
Fully grown males
Fully grown females

4-7 pounds
14-27 pounds
19-35 pounds
23-43 pounds
26-49 pounds
29-55 pounds
31-58 pounds
33-63 pounds
34-65 pounds
35-65 pounds

36-65 pounds
50-65 pounds
40-55 pounds

3-5”
11-13”
11-14”
12-15”
13-17”
14-18”
15-19”
16-20”
17-21”
18-22”

18-23 inches
20-23 inches
18-21 inches

About Australian Shepherds

A “lean, tough ranch dog” is how the American Kennel Club (AKC) describes the Australian shepherd.1 The cowboy’s herding dog of choice, the “Aussie” has an irresistible impulse to herd just about anything, from sheep and cattle to birds and kids.

Remarkably intelligent and athletic, this pup can be “too much dog for a sedentary owner,” but if you’re up for a tireless, trainable partner, you’ve made the right choice.

The Australian Shepherd is descended from a line of herding dogs in Europe. The indigenous people known as the Basque raised their predecessors near the Pyrenees Mountains. In the early 1800s, they sailed to Australia, and there the breed was carefully refined by crossing it with Collies and Border Collies, among other breeds.

Eventually, the Basque people, with their dogs in tow, make their way to California. Ranchers there admired the herding dogs and assuming they were from Australia, named them as such.

Since then, the dogs have been a mainstay of western culture, used consistently in herding and as rodeo performers. They also make great drug detectors, service dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, and therapy dogs.

Known by other names like “Blue Heeler” and “California Shepherds” the Aussie is unique among breeds as it commonly (though not always) has two differently colored eyes. Those with pale blue eyes were considered sacred among the Native Americans, who called them “ghost eyes.”2

What Are the Growth Stages of an Australian Shepherd?

Your new puppy will experience her most rapid period of growth during the first two weeks of life. During that time, she will double her birth weight. By one-month old, your puppy will open her eyes and ears and will begin to socialize with other puppies in the litter. (Aussies typically have six to seven puppies per litter.)

2 Months to 4 Months

At 8 weeks old, her puppy teeth will have come in and she’ll know how to wag her tail and bark. This is when most puppies are weaned to go home with their new owners. This is the time to start socializing them—introducing them to new environments and people so they become accustomed to them.

This is also when your pup will begin her intense chewing age, so give her toys she can safely chew on while teaching her to leave other things (like that neighbor’s shoe) alone.

4 Months to 6 Months

At four months old, your puppy will start to resemble the adult dog she will become. Her ears may be floppy or may stand up, and she’s likely to weigh between 23 and 32 pounds, but only stand about 12-14 inches tall. She’ll have a lot of energy, but her bones will still be growing, so it’s important to use only gentle forms of exercise to avoid potential joint problems later in life.

6 Months to 8 Months

The six-month point marks the time when your Aussie will be about half of her adult size—usually 33-45 pounds and 15-17 inches tall. This is also when puppies reach their sexual maturity, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on them to avoid unwanted puppies down the road. Talk to your veterinarian about spaying and neutering. Doing so too early can affect bone and joint growth.

8 Months to 12 Months

Between eight and 12 months, your Aussie should reach close to her full adult size. Her bones will become heavier and her muscles will develop, while her growth rate will slow. She is likely to keep filling out until she reaches around 16 months of age.

Proper Nutrition for Your Australian Shepherd Puppy

Picture of an Australian Shepherd eating

Until your dog reaches a year of age, be sure to choose a quality puppy-food variety that will have all the nutrients he needs for optimal growth. Small kibbles are best to match his tiny mouth and teeth.

The food you select should have a foundation of real meat for protein, as that will help support your pup’s growth and development while maintaining lean muscle mass. Look for a minimum of 22 percent protein (26 percent is better for active pups) and at least 8 percent fat, though your puppy will do well on more while growing and developing (12-16 percent).3 Healthy fats help support growth and development as well as nourished skin and coat.

The fat content should include omega fatty acids, such as salmon meals, fish oil, flaxseed, and chicken fat. If your Aussie is very active, consider an active or working breed formula.

Avoid foods that contain by-products, fillers, and artificial additives. An ingredient list that’s on the short side and contains mostly ingredients you can pronounce and understand is best. And though you may want to add some wet or canned food for moisture, don’t rely on canned food entirely. Dry food helps keep your puppy’s teeth clean.

Avoid feeding dairy products, chocolate, grapes, raisins, and other people food. Cooked bones from chicken, turkey, and pork are dangerous as they can potentially splinter and injure your dog. Give only medium-length beef marrow bones.

As your dog grows, keep an eye on her weight. Overweight and obesity in puppies can lead to health problems later in life. A good rule of thumb is to feed puppy-specific foods until your pup reaches full growth, which is usually around 12-16 months of age, then switch to an adult formula.

You can also check for ideal weight by examining the ribs and waist. You should be able to easily feel but not see the ribs and note a well-proportioned waist when looking at your dog from the top. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) offers some helpful illustrations of proper body condition.

How Big Do Australian Shepherds Get?

To estimate how big your dog will get, first, take a look at his parents if you can. Genetics play a powerful role in weight and height. Your female pup should grow to a similar size as her mother, and a male pup will more closely resemble its father.

If you don’t have access to information about the parents, there are other ways to estimate your dog’s final size. In general, females will be smaller than males.4 Whereas females can reach up to 40-55 pounds, males can grow from 50-65 pounds.

Then take a look at your puppy’s paws. If they look out of proportion when related to the rest of his body, he’s still growing and will eventually “grow into” those paws.

Another way to estimate your puppy’s final growth weight is to use this simple formula:5

(Current weight/Age in weeks) x 52.

For example, if your pup is 25 pounds at 16 weeks of age, the formula would look like this:

  • (25/16) = 1.57 (rounded up)
  • 1.57 x 52 = 82 (rounded up)

The best time to check your Australian Shepherd with this formula is when they reach about 16 weeks of age.

Australian Shepherds will reach their full adult size at around 16 months of age. If your pup is still younger than that, you can expect him to keep growing.

When Will My Australian Shepherd Stop Growing?

You can expect that your Australian Shepherd will stop growing at around 16 months old. He’ll reach his full height at around one year, but then will continue to fill out for another four months after that.

The most rapid period of growth occurs during the first six months, then slows down significantly at eight months.

Things That Affect Growth

According to the Australian Shepherd Club of America, Australian Shepherds are vulnerable to the following health issues:6

  • Autoimmune thyroiditis—a thyroid disease that is easily treatable with medication
  • Cancers (hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma)
  • Cataracts
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • MDR1-related drug sensitivity
  • Moderate to severe allergies

Most of these will not affect growth except for allergies. You may notice digestive problems in some dogs, but most with allergies will display skin itch. She may continually scratch, bite, rub, and lick parts of her skin. Over time, this can cause infections. If you notice these signs, check with your veterinarian for suggestions.

It’s also important not to over-exercise your young Australian Shepherd, as that could exacerbate joint problems in the future. Her bones are still developing through the first year, so wait until after that to make your puppy your regular running partner. Stick with gentler forms of exercise like fetch and daily walks on soft surfaces (try to avoid excessive exercise on asphalt and pavement).

Spaying and neutering can also affect growth, depending on when the surgeries are done. Doing so earlier in the puppy’s life will increase the amount of time that the bones have to grow, which may make your puppy taller. The concern is that this will negatively affect the dog’s joints, causing them not to align properly, which could cause problems down the road. Check with your veterinarian on the best time to spay or neuter your dog.

Most veterinarians recommend that you test your dog for the MDR1 gene, as it’s extremely common in this breed and can make a dog sensitive to some medications. If both of the dog’s parents have been tested and are clear, you don’t need to test yours.

Finally, overfeeding your puppy could negatively affect growth. Too much weight too soon can stress the bones and joints while weakening tendons and muscles. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) offers some helpful illustrations of proper body condition.

Australian Shepherd Weight Calculator

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Frequently Asked Questions

How big should my Australian Shepherd be at 6 months?

At six months old, a female Australian Shepherd will range from 26-39 pounds and 13-15 inches tall at the shoulder. A male will range from 38-49 pounds and 15-17 inches tall at the shoulder.

How big will my Australian Shepherd puppy get?

When fully grown, your female Australian will be between 40-55 pounds and 18-21 inches. Males will range from 50 to 65 pounds and stand 20-23 inches tall.

How much should a 7-month-old Australian Shepherd weigh?

At 7 months, your female Australian Shepherd will weigh between 29-44 pounds and stand 14-16 inches tall. Your male will be 44-55 pounds and stand 16-18 inches tall.

At what age do Australian Shepherds calm down?

Australian Shepherds are known for their amazing energy. They are up before you are, constantly ready for action, and still going when you’re ready to hit the sack. On those days when you just can’t keep up, remember that this is what your dog was bred for—all-day work. So she can’t really put a lid on it even if you may want her to.

According to the Aussie University, most Australian Shepherds should begin calming down at about two years of age.7 At that point, they’re considered mature dogs. Not all will seem calmer at this age, though. Some may take longer for their high energy to drop off, but after the age of two, they should be able to at least better manage themselves.

You can cope by giving your dog plenty of exercise. Take him out to walk on the trails, play fetch, let him play in your backyard, and take him for a visit to the dog park.

How tall should a 5-month-old Aussie be?

At five months, your female Aussie will range from 14-16 inches high at the shoulder, while your male will be between 16-18 inches.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking for more information about dog growth in general, we’ve created a puppy weight calculator, an in-depth guide to how heavy your dog should be, and a series of growth charts for different breeds (and dogs and mixed breeds in general):

Article Sources

Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Australian shepherd dog breed information. (n.d.). American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd/
  2. Reisen, J. (2020, December 16). 9 things you might not know about the Australian shepherd – American Kennel Club. American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd-facts/
  3. Table: AAFCO nutrient requirements for dogs a. (n.d.). Merck Veterinary Manual. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/multimedia/table/aafco-nutrient-requirements-for-dogs
  4. Staff, A. (2017, May 11). Breed weight chart – American Kennel Club. American Kennel Club. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/breed-weight-chart/
  5. Puppy growth: What you need to know. (n.d.). Bond Vet. https://bondvet.com/b/puppy-growth
  6. Diseases and defects. (2022, August 30). ASCA. https://asca.org/aussies/about-aussies/health-and-genetics/diseases-and-defects/
  7. At what age do Australian shepherds calm down? (2020, September 18). Aussie University. https://aussieuniversity.com/at-what-age-do-australian-shepherds-calm-down/
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