Expected Age for Puberty and More
Hello everyone, yet again.
I have a bit of a three pronged question regarding the growth and expected date range of when a dog begins puberty.
My pup has always been behind the pup growth charts, at least until recently. On average, he was trailing the expected weight by about 2-5lbs and it wasn't until his 7th month that he finally overtook the expected weight, as the average weight gain tapered in the normal chart. One of the charts of his weight gain I've been tracking is attached, showing that he's been gaining steady weight. From 5 to 7 months, average growth is shown to be around 12lbs, but my pup has grown a hair under 20lbs during that same time.
During the last two months, he's made some significant gains in muscle mass, yet he still has that characteristic "puppy look". He hasn't marked as of now and his behavior has remained fairly consistent. When it comes to his size, he's about 26-27" at the withers, and he just weighed in at 68lbs 4oz yesterday. His father was a runt(breeder's description, not mine) at 70lbs, but his mother was a lot bigger at ~100lbs. The breeder told me he was one of the biggest in his litter and had two siblings from the previous litter that had reached 100lbs at around 10 months, although I suspect they were overfed.
My questions are:
1) When is the typical window for puberty in German Shepherds? I've seen plenty of areas show that many can start at about 6 months, but I haven't seen anything on when it starts become abnormal to not see a pub begin the process. As of now, I'm not remotely worried about a potential issue, but I'd like to know if I should be, or at least a timeline so that if there is a problem, a solution can be found.
2) Regarding his steady growth, could this also tie into his delayed puberty, considering he's looking like a late bloomer of sort? I know there are different lines throughout, and that only makes me believe this is the case even more, as some of the dogs posted in this forum at about the same age look much older, even if their weights are fairly close.
3) When is a good time to transition him to adult food? He's currently on Orijen LBP (4.5 cups/day, in transition to 5) and with his height already creeping out of the breed standard, I'm not entirely informed on the potential long term dangers of keeping him on pup food.
Any and all help is greatly appreciated.