Thanks marbury! Mines a little over 6 months now! Could you recommend any good adult food to swap to? He's my first gsd so not sure what's best.
Since the talk was regarding optimum rearing for 'at-risk' dogs, the diet she recommends is pretty much applicable to dogs with identified risk factors (early HD detection via x-ray or pups from parents with known osteo issues). If you have a 'normal' pup with no reason to suspect that HD or arthritis is a significant risk you should be golden with whatever food fits your lifestyle and budget. I just use adult formulas of 4Health or Kirkland with a raw chicken part every day.
Dr. Wardlaw recommends at-risk dogs be placed on Purina J/M diet from 1-6 months and then transitioned to Hills J/D diet thereafter, to discontinue prescription diet at 24 months. I've used J/D with an elderly dog and he greatly benefited from the change. He is arthritic and he required no additional supplementation while on that food to live a normal, active life in which his arthritis barely effected him. Dr. Wardlaw also advocates the use of Dasuquin in growing dogs to help protect the joint and strongly advises AGAINST the supplementation of calcium, as it increases synovial fluid in the joints and promotes laxity during growth.
I dont understand how that can be correct if a natural raw diet is very high in protein.
I agree, I used to raise my dogs with high protein food for the first 18 months and even now I still add raw chicken parts to their meals in the evenings. I think that the raw diet model is excellent for dogs with normal structure, but we've created conditions in the GSD that make them essentially structurally 'incorrect'. The stress placed on some of their joints is significantly higher and less natural than the stress placed on, say, a wolf. Breeding for more graceful backs (or roaching, in some programs) and mechanically unique hind end assemblies pretty much forfeited the GSDs claim to 'normal development' in that regard. There are still some lines and breeders who breed square, but that's not really the hallmark of the breed and is technically faulty.
A village dog, a mutt, a wolf... they'd all develop relatively normally with a high protein diet. They averaged into an ideal structure. We have to consider the unique structure of our breed and remember that it sets us up for an equally unique growth period.