When can I start rationing? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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When can I start rationing?

Benny's chasing up to 13 weeks. I gave him his first bit of raw meat today! AND IT'S A MIRACLE! He hasn't left it alone, and he's enjoying gnawing the bone peacefully as we speak. Unfortunately, he's being greedy and growly about it, so I'll have to work on that as well.

He's such a pig, so I tend to fill his bowl and let him eat as much as he feels. When should I start rationing him, and how much?

He's at 22 pounds. Is that a good weight? The vet said it was excellent, but I figured I'd ask the breed experts too.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:19 PM
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Re: When can I start rationing?

Yes, a "high-value" item like a meaty bone can cause a dog to exhibit some resource guarding. While he's little, and you can handle him, start working on teaching him that you can come near, or even take things away from him when he's eating/chewing. An easy way to start is to "trade" him for something even better than he has.

I think you should start feeding him a set amount, at regular meal times, rather than free feeding as much as he will eat. It's a better way for you to monitor how much is going in.

Rather than focus on his weight, watch his physique. You should be able to feel his ribs easily--not see the ribs, but feel them. Pups should not be roly-poly--they should look like small adults.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When can I start rationing?

His dad was quite lean and long, so I'm seeing a bit of rib on him as well. It's hard to tell what could be considered skinny for him. Any advice?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 10:15 PM
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Re: When can I start rationing?

Too skinny would be if you can look at him and see ribs.

Here's another way it was once described to me that you can tell by feel:

Make a fist. Using the other hand, feel the following parts of the fist as a reference:

Feel the back of your hand---if the dog's ribs feel like that, he's too fat.

Feel across the ridge of knuckles---if the dog's ribs are that pronounced, he's too thin.

Feel across the folded fingers of the fist---if the dog's ribs feel like that, it's just right.

Looking at a dog from above, there should be an obvious "waist."

It's better to err on the side of keeping the pup lean. A lean pup will grow more slowly, which is best for his joints and bones. And keeping him lean throughout life will also stave off joint problems.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When can I start rationing?

That's a good reference!

He seems right on target!

How much should I be feeding him, then? 3 cups?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2008, 11:56 PM
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Re: When can I start rationing?

That's impossible to say. Every brand of dogfood is a different amount (because they have different calorie densities), and every pup has a different metabolism.

To start with, see what the bag says. It's often wrong, but it's a place to start. Then adjust the amount of food up or down if you need to based on whether her weight is good. Puppies have growth spurts, so from one week to the next you might find yourself feeding a little more or a little less. Just check her often doing the "rib test" and you should do fine.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2008, 12:21 AM
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Re: When can I start rationing?

My female pup is weighting about 20 lbs. at almost 13 weeks, so I think our pups are quite similar in weight growth (at least for female/male). I think she is in perfect body condition... that meant people find her a bit thin . Diabla had a big growth spur this past two weeks and was a bit too thin even for my taste, but she's OK again. A client of mine have a lab pup of only couple of weeks more than my pup and Diabla is also a lot more fit than him, you can touch the muscles on her.

I haven't found any height grow chart for GSD, but she is currently 40 cms. (15,7 inches)

Diabla Boroluz, my Daemon; IPO-A1, RH-T A
Akela de Poputchik, my Direwolf; IPO-2, Kkl1
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-07-2008, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Re: When can I start rationing?

Yes, I know when he's about to have a growth spurt when he gets a little thinner! Then he fills in, and the process repeats itself. :P

Good to see we have a weight-buddy!
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