I hope you can see the source of my confusion. That one article says:
and under the summary recommendations:
So in a single source I'm seeing 23-30%, at least 30%, and about 30% with no specification on what "about" means.
I suppose I should not be surprised. I mean dietary recommendations for humans are as wide and varied as the people making them. Just as example, throughout my life eggs have been considered part of a well-balanced breakfast then very bad for you then the yolks were bad but the egg whites OK, then bad again, to more recently just fine in moderation.
In terms of my choices I guess I am feeling OK. Once I get him fully transferred to Nutra Pro I want to rotate in other proteins. Victor has a number of grain-inclusive products that have protein percentages in the 23-26% range. On average that will put the diet in the "about" 30% range. Not sure what I can do beyond that.
Yes, this is one veterinarians recommendation. Maybe she is wonderful, I don't know. But she is talking about large breed puppies which probably spans everything from the size of a German Shepherd/Lab/Golden to English Mastiffs, which will be over 200 pounds at the same point a shepherd will be around 70 pounds. Dogs range in size from about 4 pounds to 260 pounds. And, yeah they are going to require different nutrition at different points.
And this is why I suggest listening to breeders, they at least have experience feeding the breed you are working with. And we all know that you can have 3 GSDs and be feeding them 3 different foods. There is a lot of physical variation in this breed. We have dogs that never go above 79 pounds and other dogs that are easily 30 pounds above that. And you think, 30 pounds what's that? But it is 30% for a 100 pound dog, and for an 80 pound dog, its 37.5% if the math in my head is right. And some pups are fully grown heightwise by 10 months, and others continue to grow upwards until 24 months. Of course there is no one-size-fits-all food. Your best bet bet is to listen to your breeder if you trust him/her, as they have the experience with the genetics within your dog. Without that, take into consideration what other GSD breeders say and try to keep up with calorie intake, while keeping protein/fat and calcium/phosphorous ratios good.
Read, read, read all you can. Vets are not always your best source of advice. They take something like 1 class in nutrition, and that class was developed by Purina many years ago. They will often encourage Science Diet and Iams because those companies have targeted vets in their marketing schemes. Those foods are marginally better than Generic Dog Food -- Ole Roy. And vets will openly blanch if you mention feeding raw food or homemade food. And they probably HAVE seen problems with folks doing this, because some folks just throw some chicken at the dog and think, I'm feeding raw. Others may be supplementing Ca without doing anything about phosphorous. And so much more.