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Old 01-13-2014, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is My Male GSD Too Small for his Age?

I feel like my puppy is way too small for his age. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I feel like he should be bigger.

He is 8, almost 9 months old and he is only in the 50lb range and he's been there for months without much change. People are always commenting on how small he is. He is a thin shepherd, but not skinny. He's got muscle and meat, just very lean. He eats everyday. I don't measure, but he's not an over-eater.

He get's exercise, though right now It's winter where I live so he doesn't get outside as much as I'd like.

His mother is a very small shepherd and hi[IMG][/IMG]s dad is above average in size. I'm not sure what to think. He was taken off puppy food at 7 months (and please don't everyone start screaming at me all at once!). I had to, because the my other senior dog was constantly stealing his food and gaining an unhealthy amount of weight and because my puppy doesn't eat his food all at once it was just too hard to supervise the food dish 24/7. The senior dog would even eat the food if we put the dish on the counter, it just became impossible to manage. However, they are on very high quality food. Oh, and don't bring up how my senior dog needs senior dog food either please, he gets senior vitamins to make up for that fact.

I know a big dog can take up to 2 years to reach full size and weight, but I just feel like maybe he's too small? He is also unfixed and has not started lifting his leg...idk if that's normal either..I've only had one other un-fixed male dog, but it was a small dog of another breed.

Is any of this normal?

This is the best picture I could do that was recent.


Last edited by design.mhuff; 01-13-2014 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Need to add picture
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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genetics play into his size, can you post his pedigree?
Quality nutrition helps with growth, and slow growth is best as long as the dog is healthy(no parasites or digestive issues).
No need to pack on added weight if his structure is muscled and healthy.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He is not a registered dog. He came from a one-off litter of a friend. Both parents are purebred, but I was looking for a companion, not a show quality dog, so pedigree was not something I cared about. He is very healthy and has all the proper checks. He is also on Trifexis.
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Old 01-13-2014, 08:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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wouldn't worry. He'll fill out and gain muscle mass as he gets older.

My female is 20 lbs lighter than my male, but she can outrun and out tussle him.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is sorta off topic but he looks just like my female!!

Is My Male GSD Too Small for his Age?-imageuploadedbypg-free1389665639.776659.jpg
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That is about the weight my male was as that age, now he is 16 months and 65lbs... Small end for a male but still normal and I imagine he might eventually hit 70-75 around 2 or 3 years old. Since I am only 5'1 myself and we do sports I prefer him smaller.

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Old 01-13-2014, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by design.mhuff View Post
He is not a registered dog. He came from a one-off litter of a friend. Both parents are purebred, but I was looking for a companion, not a show quality dog, so pedigree was not something I cared about. He is very healthy and has all the proper checks. He is also on Trifexis.
Wonderful! You have yourself a healthy happy friend . Outside of that what can be said. Drago was 57 pounds at 9 months and has not put on too much weight since then from looking at him.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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At 50 pounds, he is the average weight for a 5 month old GSD male, being 9 months you would want to see him around 63 to 70 pounds.

I don't see anything wrong with putting him on adult food at 7 months, mine were put on adult food at around 16 to 18 weeks. Many professionals are recommending to put GSD puppies on adult food whilst still young as there is plenty of evidence on the benefits of growing a GSD puppy slowly for health reasons.

He is only 9 months old and is yet to reach his height, which he should achieve at around 12 months and still has plenty of filling out to do (by about 3 years old) so if it were me, I would continue with everything you are doing and just monitor him.

Also, keep an eye on the amount of food he is eating and whether or not he is continuing to gain weight. If at any stage you feel he is eating lots but not gaining weight, then consider testing him for EPI.
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

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Old 01-14-2014, 02:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If he's healthy, has energy and good muscle tone, his coat is shiny, he eats well, and he's having normal bowel movements, I wouldn't worry about a thing. Genetics control both the size and growth rate of puppies, and the slower they grow, the better. He may not reach his full size and weight for 3 years. So be patient, don't worry, and let him grow at his own pace. I don't think there is a thing wrong with him, he's just on the smaller side of the standard. Don't let him get overweight.

Here in the US, for some reason, there's a belief that "bigger is better", and everyone wants their GSDs to be HUGE. Don't buy into that. The smaller dogs are generally healthier, more agile, and longer-lived than their oversize brethren.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Xtramile & Liz&Anna you both have very beautiful dogs! Also, thank you for all the advice, it does help alleviate some worries. I never expected him to be huge and I do like a more agile dog myself, I just got a bit worried. Honestly, I like his breeding a lot and the people I got him from took their time matching their female to a good a stud. The woman's husband is very into German Shepherd history and they wanted to breed for more original body type (working and not show). Roman looks a lot like his mother, but he is very much his father in personality.

I also did have a dog once that had EPI and she unfortunately had to be put to sleep young (though she had other disorders on top of that). So yes that is something I keep an eye on, but he has showed no symptoms of it, he is just a light eater.

Today i just contacted a facility to possibly start training him in agility. So, I hope in the coming months I can start getting him out and working him properly. He is a very special dog to me and I'll love him no matter how big or small he is
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