Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
A standard lab’s growth chart is one thing but when is a mini-lab full-grown and how big does a miniature Labrador get anyway? These smaller retrievers are also often called Teacup labs, Canoe labs, Runt labs, and Toy labs. However, if you know a bit about toy, mini, and teacup breeds you’ll know that these are usually very different designations. For example, a mini poodle is different from a toy poodle which is different from a teacup poodle.
The reason miniature Labradors can be called all those names is that there aren’t any actual toy, teacup, or canoe lab sub-breeds – it’s just standard labs and mini labs. So, how small exactly are those dogs?
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When Is A Mini Lab Full Grown and When Do Labs Stop Growing?
The standard height of a full-grown mini-lab is 18 inches (46 cm) which is about 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 cm) shorter than a standard Labrador. Right off the bat, you can see that the “mini-lab” is only mini compared to standard Labradors. Other than that, they are still pretty well-sized and bigger than many other breeds.
Weight-wise, these mini-labs can grow up to 30 or 40 pounds (13.5 to 18 kg) while standard labs can get as big as 55 or even 80 pounds (25 to 36 kg). That’s a difference of anywhere between 15 and 50 pounds (7 and 23 kg).
As to when exactly is a miniature labrador full-grown, that timeline is pretty similar to that of standard Labradors. A miniature Labrador will usually reach full height somewhere between its 11th and 13th months or a little bit later. By the 18th month, however, any mini lab should have maxed out its height.
With the weight, there can be a bit more delay. Most mini labs will reach max weight by their 18th month too but they can continue to “fill out” some more within their second year. Of course, that will also depend on how you feed the dog, how much exercise you give it, what type of food and treats you’re using, and so on.
Do keep in mind that – like standard Labradors – mini-labs are prone to obesity if you feed them too much but don’t play with them enough. Especially if you like using fatty treats for training motivation but the training itself isn’t too physically intensive.
How Much Exercise Does A Mini Lab Need So That It Doesn’t Get Overweight?
The bare minimum for a miniature Labrador is 30 to 45 minutes of outdoor playtime. This doesn’t mean a calm walk around the block but actual running and playtime. Like standard Labradors, mini-labs are also very social and active so going to the dog park is a great way to exercise them together with other dogs.
You should also ensure free access to a fenced yard or, at the very least, a lot of opportunities for indoor playtime. This way, your lab will always be well-exercised and in good physical shape.
Is The Mini Labrador Even A “Real Thing” Or Is This A Type Of Dwarfism?
Both, technically. When we’re talking about mini labs we mean actual miniature labs – this is a separate breed that isn’t the result of dwarfism, crossbreeds, or anything else.
However, it is true that Labradors can suffer from dwarfism as well. Also known as Skeletal Dysplasia 2 or SD2 this dwarfism is characterized with shorter legs, a larger head, an abnormal joint development, and a longer spinal cord. In other words – this isn’t what we mean when we talk about mini labs.
If your lab has Skeletal Dysplasia 2 then you’ve surely already consulted with a veterinarian. If not – you should. Labradors with Skeletal Dysplasia 2 can suffer from several additional health issues. However, with the right help and care, these labs can also lead fun and pleasant lives. You’ll kist need to prepare for some extra care and vet bills.
What About Mini Lab Crossbreeds?
Another way to get a “mini-lab” is to get a crossbreed between a standard Labrador and a smaller dog breed such as the King Charles Spaniel. Of course, these aren’t technically mini-labs but a lot of people call them that way. So, when someone is talking to you about miniature Labradors you should always ask what exactly they are talking about.
Do Miniature Labradors Suffer From Any Specific Ailments?
A mini-lab will have a risk of the same health conditions a standard Labrador will. These include:
- Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilation-Volvulus (Bloating)
- Laryngeal Paralysis
Do keep in mind, however, that many mini-labs are bred through Dward labs. A lot of unethical dog breeders do this to get more mini labs. They purposefully ignore the fact that this will lead to much more health issues down the line.
So, a “standard” mini-lab will have more or less the same health risks as a standard lab. However, just like a dwarf lab, a mini lab with dwarf lab lineage will also have drastically increased health risks. That’s why it’s important to always work with reputable breeders only. Such breeders will give you health certificates for both the pup you’re buying and its parents. This will all but guarantee the health and genetic predispositions of your dog.
Does Neutering Mini Labrador Dogs Slow Down Growth?
Not really, at least not to a significant degree. As with standard labs, many people speculate that neutering the dog will stunt its development. However, there are actually studies showing that neutering the dog before its 8th month can have the reverse effect and quicken its development. Either way, the difference is minimal and the final size of the dog will usually be the same.
So, When Is A Mini Lab Full Grown, Exactly?
Basically, your mini-lab will reach its full size somewhere between its 11th and 18th month at the maximum. If you’ve got a dwarf lab or a smaller crossbreed Labrador, this can vary a bit. Still, will likely be about the same.