11 weeks and tiny! Will he ever reach his potential?
Well, I brought home my long haired German Shepherd at exactly eight weeks. The problem is that he is very very small. He is now 11 weeks and only weighs 10lbs. Here is the backstory:
The mom stopped producing milk when the pups were only two weeks. The breeder was not able to get the pups to take milk replacement. So the pups had to be started on boiled chicken. Eventually the pups were switched to canned food and kibble mix then finally to straight kibble. The mom dog was removed and a nanny dog used so the dogs would take to eating. The nanny socialized and took care of the pups. All the puppies in the 9 pup litter were very small at the eight week point.
Well, my little guy isn’t the most voracious eater. We use boiled chicken broth to help stimulate appetite. But he is so small for his age. His stomach is also really sensitive. He’s been on antibiotics. He seems like he is getting better and stronger and he is the coolest, smartest puppy ever!!
My question here is, will he reach his potential size? Dad is 80lbs and mom 75. They are incredible GSD. I really want my pup to grow to his full size. Mostly I want a happy healthy dog. But I do wonder if his very small size is going to be impactful long term....
Your pup has a predetermined genetic ceiling. He'll reach it with proper nutrition and exercise. His lack of moms milk may or may not slow that down or outright stunt it. Only time will tell now. Judge him based on character and ability and forget about his size.
I got a pup that was the runt of the litter of 9. She weighed only 8.5 oz. while the largest male in the litter weighed in at 22! By the time she was 8 weeks old, and ready to go home with me, she had already caught up in weight to her two sisters. Only extremely poor nutrition can stunt growth, which, as has been said above, is genetically determined. Give your pup time, he will catch up.
I’ll look into ways to help him eat better. I originally had him take Albon for parasites at the breeders recommendations. Then we had him on a probiotic. He’s had very consistent diarrhea almost the whole time I’ve had him. So now he is on the antibiotic. He started out on diomand large puppy because that’s what the breeder was feeding but he wasn’t really eating that very well. So I had to kind of abruptly switch his good because he wasn’t really eating at all. Now he is on wellness large breed puppy. He eats this a lot better. But he is just so thin. Then some days he eats Great and looks healthier. Some days he wanes and looks thin. Hoping this round of antibiotics will get his belly on track.
Rough start for a pup!
Your pup needs good nutrition now. What brand name kibble are you feeding? What brand name treats?
Also it will be VERY important to get him on a high quality Probiotic because of the antibiotics he's been on. Antibiotic's kill the "good" bacteria in the gut.
Over 75% of the immune system lies in the gut so it is VERY important to keep it healthy. A Digestive Enzyme (to help him assimilate his food) is also important.
A nutritious "Bone Broth" would give more nutrition than chicken or beef broth. You can purchase this or make your own.
The Honest Kitchen (100% human grade ingredients): https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/turkey-bone-broth
The "turkey" contains “ginger” for added digestion and or stomach problems
Another thing to consider is Colostrum:
Quality is key:
"Only whole, intact colostrum contains the lipids that nature designed for colostrum. Defatted colostrum does not. If you think nature knows what it is doing and that colostrum should remain whole, intact, and pure, be sure that the colostrum you buy has not been defatted and that nothing has been added to it or taken away from it.
*Synertek colostrum is taken only from mature cows and not from the first lactation. This ensures that both the cows and the colostrum are immunologically mature. Each batch of colostrum is tested both by an in-house lab and an independent lab for organic quality and to be certain it meets the parameters of six hour colostrum, and only then is it certified.
*Synertek colostrum is harvested from U.S. Midwestern family farms, carefully chosen for overall quality, with appropriate regard for the health and welfare of the cows and calves, organic practices, and grass feeding. Synertek Certified 1st Six Hour Colostrum
Dr. Andrew Jones dosage recommendations: The colostrum dose for dogs varies based on the company; I advise giving ¼ of the human dose per 20lbs daily.
I also agree with the others......enjoy this little bundle of joy and don't worry about "size".
You may want to consider a higher quality food like Fromm's, or IF you can afford it, The Honest Kitchen Love Dehydrated food. FROMM’S: http://frommfamily.com/products/gold/dog/dry/#heartland-gold-large-breed-puppy Store Locator: http://frommfamily.com/retailers/usa/#progress=2 This is Family Owned, Family Run, & Family Manufactured. Most pet food companies are not.
*Fromm Family Foods is a fifth-generation family-owned and operated artisan pet food company.
*Produced with a commitment to quality and consistency at Fromm's hands-on facility in Wisconsin. High-nutrient digestibility and utilization offers complete and balanced nutrition.
*Third-party pathogenic bacteria testing is practiced on all production batches to ensure safety.
My dog was coming from a litter of 12. At some point I, too, got worried about his size and even posted here (2 years ago). He was ok at 8 weeks but then went for 3 weeks with no change in size. Suprisingly, he did catch up and grew up so much that he ended up being taller than his parents.
Now, at 2 years of age and he is 27.5 inch high and 82 pounds heavy.
Invest money in good diet and you help your pup to grow to her full potential. As i could see from my experience, even looking at the parents does not always help.