Why is my Golden Retriever so small? – 5 Undeniable Solutions to Increase Size

It’s no secret that Golden Retrievers are one of the smallest dog breeds. In fact, when compared to other Retriever breeds like Labrador and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Goldens are downright tiny! Part of the reason for this could be genetics – after all, smaller dogs have been bred selectively over time because they require less food and space. But there are also a number of things you can do to help your Golden grow to their full size potential.

Why is my Golden Retriever so small?  Golden Retriever Size Comparison By Age

why is my golden retriever so small?

The average Golden Retriever will reach their full size at about 18-24 months old. However, there is a lot of variation within the breed, and some Goldens may not reach their full size until they’re two or three years old. So how can you tell if your Golden is on the small side? The easiest way to tell is by comparing your dog’s size to the average Golden Retriever size chart below.

Age of DogAverage Weight of Dog (in pounds)Length of Dog from Withers to Tail (in inches)
0-12 weeks12-1515-18
12-24 weeks18-2518-21
24-36 weeks25-3020-23
36 weeks to 12 months35-5022-26
12 months to 18 months50 and up24 and up

So if your Golden Retriever is over 18 months old, but still weighs less than 50 pounds, you may want to take a closer look at why they’re so small.

Is Your Golden Actually Small?  Reasons Why Goldens Are Small

There is no single reason why a dog can be small. It could simply be genetics – after all, some dogs naturally have smaller frames than others! But there are also many other factors that contribute to your Golden’s size (or lack thereof).

Inadequate Nutrition

The first thing to check is your dog’s diet. If they aren’t getting enough calories, protein or other nutrients, that could be a big factor in why they are small. However – overfeeding your Golden can also have an impact on their size! Obesity can result in smaller bones and joints, which will ultimately affect your dog’s size. So it’s important to find the right balance when feeding your Golden Retriever.

Lack of Exercise

A lack of exercise can also lead to smaller dogs, as they aren’t getting the physical activity they need to grow properly. Dogs that are inactive can also become obese, which will have a negative impact on their size.


Another possibility is that your Golden Retriever is small because of inbreeding. Inbred dogs are more likely to have smaller frames and less variation within the breed. This can be due to a number of factors, including tight breeding circles or popular sire syndrome.


Finally, the age of your dog can also affect their size. As Goldens get older, they typically lose muscle mass and gain weight. This can lead to a decrease in overall size, even if they were once a larger dog.

How to Increase Your Golden Retriever’s Size  – Solutions to Increase Size

Now that you know why your Golden Retriever is small, let’s look at how to increase their size. There are many things you can do to help your dog grow as large as possible!


The first thing to consider is nutrition – and not just calories or protein content. Your dog needs a proper balance of vitamins and minerals in order to grow properly. You’ll want to make sure that their food contains all the essential nutrients they need, such as calcium and vitamin D for bone growth or zinc for skeletal muscle development.

You can get these nutrients from your dog’s food, but it’s also important that they get a variety of whole foods in their diet. Adding things like raw eggs, meat scraps or organ meats to your dog’s meals will help round out the nutrients they need for growth.


Physical activity is another important factor in your Golden Retriever’s size and weight gain. The more active your dog is, the more muscle they will build and the bigger they will grow. So make sure your Golden gets plenty of exercise – at least an hour a day is recommended.

You can also help by giving them food that is high in protein and calories. These extra nutrients will help your dog put on weight and muscle mass.

Avoid Overfeeding

While it’s important to ensure your dog is getting the right amount of food, you don’t want to overfeed them. This can lead to obesity and smaller bones and joints – not what we want for our growing Golden Retrievers! Make sure you follow the feeding guidelines on your pet food package, and check with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Avoid Inbreeding

If you suspect that inbreeding may be the cause of your dog’s small size, then it’s important to avoid this when breeding them yourself! Make sure both parents are unrelated by two generations at least (and preferably three), and that there’s no history of inbreeding within their immediate family line.

Breed for Size

Finally, if you are breeding your Golden Retriever to produce puppies with a specific size or weight range, make sure they have the genes necessary for this type of growth! You can do this by choosing parents who both exhibit large size, or by screening your dog’s DNA for the right markers.

When Will My Golden Retriever Reach Their Full Size?

why is my golden retriever so small? Full grown Golden Retriever

So now you know that there are a number of things that can affect your Golden Retriever’s size – from nutrition to age to inbreeding. But what is the typical range for a Golden Retriever’s size? And when will they reach their full adult size?

According to the AKC, most Goldens will reach their full size by the age of two. However, there is significant variation within the breed, and some dogs may not reach their maximum size until they are four or five years old. The typical adult weight for a Golden Retriever is between 55 and 65 pounds, with females tending to be smaller than males.

When Should I Be Worried About My Dog’s Size?

If you’re concerned about your Golden Retriever’s size or growth rate, it may be helpful to consult with your veterinarian. They can help you determine whether your dog is within the normal size range for their breed, and if there are any specific concerns that you should be aware of.

In general, you should be worried about your Golden Retriever’s size if they are smaller than average for their breed, or if they are not growing at the expected rate. You may also want to consult with your vet if your dog is having difficulty moving or seems to be in pain.

Thankfully, most Goldens will reach their full size by the age of two, so you don’t have to worry about them for too long! Just make sure you are providing them with a good quality diet and plenty of exercise, and they will be just fine.

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America – but they can also suffer from a variety of health issues that may affect their size and growth rate! Thankfully, there are many things you can do to help your Golden reach their full size, including providing them with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. And if you’re concerned about their health or want more information on how to help your dog reach their full size, contact your veterinarian today!


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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