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Old 15th April 2011, 12:56 PM
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Age Old Questions on Boxer Size

Jack is an 8 month old brindle, today is his birthday. He weighs in at 47 lbs and is 21.5 inches at the withers. I know boxers grow slowly and unpredictably, in spurts and plateaus. I know they grow in height for about the first year or 15 months and then they fill out over the second year. I have two questions. First, does anyone have any guesses on if Jack will make 70 lbs? I know there is no scientific answer but am looking for some "best guesses." Second, I have read many threads that discuss the growth plates or growth "bumps" that are on the limbs. These plates are visible until the boxer stops growing. My question is where exactly are these growth plates, and what do they look like? I'm curious to see if Jack is still growing vertically.
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  #2  
Old 19th April 2011, 04:38 AM
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At 8 months of age, he is almost certainly still growing vertically - though not as quickly as he would have as a younger puppy. At a rough guess, I'd say he'll probably grow another couple of inches.

It's hard to recall exactly, but I think my dog was about that height - possibly 22" - at that age. He ended up right in the middle of the standard, 24" tall and weighing around 31-32kg (though technically he's a bit overweight at 32kg - 30-31 is more ideal). 32kg is about 70lb, btw.

As for the growth plates, those are the soft areas of bone that exist at the ends of all the long bones. The most obvious, I think, are the ones at the dog's wrists - they're big and bulbous on young puppies, gradually diminishing until the adult dog (with closed/hardened plates) has a pretty smooth outline on the legs. Here are a few photos from Henri's youth where the growth plates might be obvious enough to see the changes:
5 months - quite large lumps by the pasterns: Boxer Dog Photo Gallery & Postcard - Henri, cutie
11 months - reasonably smooth pasterns: Boxer Dog Photo Gallery & Postcard - Happy dogs
Adult - no sign of growth plates: Boxer Dog Photo Gallery & Postcard - Henri - squirrel up a tree
Boxer Dog Photo Gallery & Postcard - Impatient

In both adult pictures, incidentally, he is about 30kg - perfect weight for his size It's more toward middle age that he crept up in weight, and I have to monitor his food carefully now to keep him below 32kg. For a dog of his size/build, 70lb is overweight.

In case useful, here's a previous thread on the same topic. The link to the skeletal drawing might be useful to help locate the pastern joint where the growth plate is evident Question about Determining Age and other questions (long sorry)
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  #3  
Old 23rd April 2011, 12:00 PM
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Smile Thank you

Thank you so much for the advice! The pictures were very illustrative and it is always fun to look at pictures of Henri because he is so gorgeous. After reading hundreds of threads on this site, I value your advice tremendously. I took a good look at Jack and was clearly able to see the growth plates. Its also reassuring to know that Jack still has a couple of inches to grow (and hopefully fill out too!).

It is especially reassuring after comments made by the veterinarian assistant yesterday when Jack was neutered (poor guy!). The vet assistant said that Jack was one of the smallest boxers, even at that age, that she had seen. (I live in Missouri right now and there are a ton of byb who breed over-sized boxers in this state) She noted that his paws were also incredibly small and predicted that not much more growth would occur. We conversed for a while and I responded to her with a good deal of information that I have learned from extensive reading of these forum threads regarding how long it takes for boxers to reach their full size and how unpredictable their growth patterns are. I do acknowledge that Jack's paws are small, to the point that it feels as though I am being poked with two small dense sticks whenever he walks on my lap. The vet assistant has a female brindle boxer puppy who was 10 months old. To illustrate how small Jack is, she brought her puppy in from home for me to see when I picked up Jack from the neutering operation. Jack was groggy and vulnerable after the surgery. She brought in her puppy who towered over Jack and then proceeded to unintentionally bully my poor groggy puppy. After all of that I maintained to her that Jack was a "normal" sized boxer for his age.

I say all this, not to elicit further reassurances of my dog's "normality," but to show that I was already reassured before going to the vet, and that I was properly equipped to respond to comments on my puppy's size. Thank you gmacleod and thank you boxerworld.