Worried...growing too fast? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Worried...growing too fast?

I just weighed Jake today at Petsmart and he gained 4 more pounds since Monday. He is 15 weeks old and is 39.4 pounds. My guess is he will be close to 100 pounds as an adult.

He is going to be a big male, has big bone structure so with that being said, I am concerned he is growing too fast and the long term health risks are weighing on my mind.

When I got Jake he was being fed RC baby max puppy food, as some of you know he got pretty sick two weeks ago as I was trying to change his food. Wound up to be a combo of heavy bacteria load (fecal) and trying to switch his food to quick. He is eating 4 cups a day (2 cups 2x's a day)

I see that other thread it's not uncommon for GSD puppies to be big, BUT cant' find much about growth rate. This week he gained almost a pound a day. He get plenty of exercise (lots of long walks and playing) and he isn't over weight.


He is finally on all BB LB puppy food (today is first day) and stool was normal so far. (keeping fingers crossed).

He was also taking a supplement that I stopped because it was an additional load of cal/phos that he doesn't need right now.

I guess my question is at this age is this normal growth rate and if not what if anything can I do to slow him down so it's more steady????
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:59 PM
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When Karlo was young his average weight gain was 3# a week. I fed/feed RAW. He is now 90# at almost 15 months and very lean. Not neutered. He did go thru two not so bad bouts of Pano.
Jake may just be going thru a huge spurt right now before the teething gets hard, or making up for lost time from his illness.
At 15 weeks, Karlo weighed the same as Jake.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 11:07 PM
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If you can feel the last two ribs just by running your hand over his side, and you can see a waist while looking at him from above, his weight is fine.

But as you said, he's not overweight. About the only thing I know of to slow down his growth would be to switch to a food with a lower protein content, but if he got sick the last time his food was switched I don't think I'd do that. You could try cutting him back to 1 1/2 cup twice a day.

He'll probably grow very fast, right up until he's about 1 year old. Then it'll looked like he stopped. Two of my "B" litter males have done that.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I can feel ribs with no problem, I did consider cutting his food back, but wasn't sure if that was an option...I can slowly transition him into another food especially if it's a food he will be eating for another 7 months....what suggestions?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 11:32 PM
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I feed Natural Balance Duck and Potato. I have a 7 year old bitch, a 6 year old dog, and a 2 year old bitch.They've all been on it as long as I can remember. I switched the youngest bitch at about 1 year of age. The other two got it 4-5 years ago, when they started stealing it (over what I had been feeding them) from our Aussie, who has chronic ear infections.

I'm new around here, but from what I can tell politics, religion, and "what is a good dog food?" are the fight starters.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 12:59 AM
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You have to take treats into consideration. When dog food companies show the quantity recommendation on the packet they do not account for another X amount of calories in treats. If the recommendation is 2 cups twice a day, I would give him 2 cups in the morning and 1 !/2 cups in the evening and use the other half a cup as treats during learning periods.

Weight is crucial for a GSD puppy, it's better for them to be a little under weight than over.

ups, Das hat er noch nie gemacht!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 01:39 AM
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I had the same problem with Asher (RIP) and switched him onto an adult food with less protein.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, treats are certainly something to keep in mind. He isn't overweight at all, just seems like each morning when I look at him he has grown from the night before. When I brought Jake home was about 23 pounds and basically 5 weeks later he is 39 pounds. I have read a good bit on pano etc so that is why I got concerned when we went to Petsmart to socialize and practice getting on the scale the number moved 4 pounds since he had his third round of vaccines Monday. It does sound like he growth is pretty normal...but I am going to cut back 1/2 cup on kibble, makes total sense. Thank you for all your input.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:33 AM
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I wouldn't necessarily trust the scales if you aren't weighing on the same ones. Some scales may not be calibrated correctly especially petstores where kids may jump and play on them...

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 11:59 AM
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Off topic, but when you mentioned scales.... I always use the one at the vet, but I work at publix and tons of people use our scale, but when kids jump on it and parents do nothing about it... the scale doesn't start at zero. It starts at 10 lbs right now.... poor people think they are gaining weight!


Also... It think Blue buff is a bit heavy on their recommendations. A relatives dog weighs 90 lbs (labradoodle) and he needs to lose about 10 pounds but their vet says he so healthy and he doesn't need to lose any weight. Well he got they weight partially because they feed him 5 cups a day and just leave it out all day.... most of the time he won't even eat it all, but they keep trying to get him to eat that much.


So basically.... feed for his body condition, not his weight. When you reduce it 1/2 cup just keep an eye out on his body condition, if he starts to look a bit scrawny, then he may have needed those calories.

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