22wk male 38 lbs - should I be worried? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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22wk male 38 lbs - should I be worried?

Hi, I just brought my GSD puppy home 5 days ago. He's AKC registered. He has his vaccinations and received worm medication. I believe the breeder is trustworthy, based on a friend's recommendation. But I didn't know anything really about GSDs or even dogs and I'm worried there could be something wrong with him. He seems to be far off the average weight for his age. He's also pretty low energy. I thought he'd be bouncing off the walls, but he pretty much lays around at my feet all day. He eats well and is excited to eat. He's ok on walks, but sometimes tires out. I think I overwalked him the first couple days (we would be out for an hour at a time or more 3-4 times a day). He gets pretty energetic around other dogs, but other than that he's pretty mellow even outside. I took him to the vet, they didn't say anything was wrong. He's good tempered and very friendly. I don't care if he grows to be a big dog. And I'm fine, even relieved, if he's a low-energy dog. I just want to make sure he's healthy. Any advice? Has anyone else had a GSD that was this small at this age. I've read other posts of people saying they were worried about their dog's size and all of those dogs were bigger than mine. The breeder gave me Arcana Heritage Meats food to feed him, but it's not puppy food. Am I underfeeding him with this adult food? If the breeder had been feeding him adult food all along would this account for his small size? Thanks in advance for any advice or words of encouragement.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 06:40 PM
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I think your puppy is just the right size and has a very nice easy going temperament. His size has nothng to do with the food. My advice is to enjoy him.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 03:03 AM
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Acana is a great dog food, and the Heritage Meats is an all life stages kibble. It isn't undermining him at all so long as he is being fed appropriately for his fitness level. Many breeders start their pups on all life stages vs puppy food. Some dogs start off smaller, and then as they mature they fill out more. Or, your pup is just the small pup of the litter and that's just the way he is. It's very possible you simply have a low energy GSD, too. It's not extraordinarily abnormal, in fact my partner's WGSL was low energy in the house but much more active and vibrant outside. If you're concerned, ask your vet about doing a blood chemistry panel to check things out. It would alleviate any worry and likely show whether or not he's just a small pup.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 03:57 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much with where he's falling on the growth charts. I personally prefer my pup to grow slow, which is supposed to be better for their joints. You're feeding a good quality food so he isn't lacking anything and he'll grow to what his genetics have decided regardless. My pup was a few pounds shy of the growth charts at 4 months too but the vets always tell me he's going to be huge. I'm hoping they're wrong and my pup settles at standard weight. As far as how much energy he has, that can also be related to genetics. Is he wl or sl? Do you have a pedigree to share?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2017, 12:17 PM
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I actually took Sabi to the vet and said I was worried she was too quiet.
He laughed at me and sent me home.
They all have different personalities. Don't walk him until he is exhausted. Let him set the pace and let him decide what is enough. I like free exercise for pups. Playing in the yard and the like. Enjoy the quiet times. He may just be processing changes in his little world.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 12:23 PM
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Size-wise he sounds okay. Don't worry about the weight on the scale or published averages. They are just averages. Just like average height for an adult woman is 5'4", it doesn't mean that that a five foot woman, or a 5'7" woman is abnormal.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 12:33 PM
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nothing wrong with his size

this "I think I overwalked him the first couple days (we would be out for an hour at a time or more 3-4 times a day"

yeah --- too much --- at that age free choice movement is best , build up slowly , and remember you have only had the dog for a few days and this is probably a vast change to what he experienced previously - no gradual build up to condition him and where you are might be hot -- all taxing and physically stressing

the food is a good product

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-06-2017, 03:21 PM
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I feel you! I really do. My pup is 23 weeks tomorrow. At 22 weeks he weighed 38lbs too! I was worried from the time I took him home at 12 weeks because he's always been very underweight and skinny. My perspective changed weeks ago when I was dealing with multiple health issues he had. I'm happy as long as he is healthy and his body is working properly. I think if your pup is steadily gaining weight and not losing weight from week to week, then you probably don't need to worry! As long as he isn't having any underlying health issues he should grow to his genetic potential and slower growth is probably better for his joints anyway!

Point of this post is to remind you that you're not alone! I felt the same way you do when I first brought him home. Dont let those weight charts get to you! If your pup is eating well and is in good health, let his genetics play out!

Hope you stay on the forum and give us some picture updates from time to time! I'd love to see how your pup grows!
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