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Our new Jax is perfect in every way, and was the smallest in the litter (from very reputable breeder). He wants to eat everything he can get his hands on, and licks the bowl after 3/4 of a cup 3 times a day. The food label says 2 1/4 a day. Even at 1 full cup he want more. He's very calm and sweet (Yay! Since we have 3 others), but at meal time he's like a maniac and acts like he's starving when the food is gone. Feeding him Diamond Natural and transitioning to Fromm Large Breed Puppy.
He is 11 weeks and weighs 11.5 lbs. Any ideas? Should I just feed him more? Seems like when I do he gets pudding stools but I want him to catch up..I would bet he is the smallest because he is so laid back that he didn't push his litter mates to get to the food.
Our other shepherds are large (one female is 27" tall and 105 lbs. I don't care what size Jax is, I just want him to be happy and healthy, and certainly not starving at the end of his meals.
Sorry the photos are so large...can't seem to make them smaller
 

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Worms?
 

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Food Drive!!! Use it to train him!!!

Both mine act like they've never been fed in their lives. Food drive just makes them crazy easy to train. :)

Feed him what he needs to grow. If he needs more, feed him more. If he doesn't and it's just food drive, use it to your advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the ideas...I'll definitely take advantage of the food drive for training. He loves to train. By the way, does anyone know how to delete photos ? Didn't mean to post the photo of me!
 

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Free feed him, that way he can eat as much as he wants without overdoing it. I free feed all my puppies and never had a weight problem. Package instructions are only guidelines. Feed your puppy what he needs for proper growth. Your puppy should not act like it is starving. Feed your dog.
 

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Puppies can get fat and get too much nutrition which can lead to all kinds of growth disorders. Keep him lean so you can feel ribs when you pet him with a flat hand.. Dogs are opportunists by nature; "eat when you can, there may be no food tomorrow."
On a average I have always fed the 8 - 12 week old pups 4x a day. After 12 weeks 3 x a day and after 6 month 2x a day. Adjusted as the pup needed. A structured schedule helped with house training as it is more predictable when they have to go.
 

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Should I just feed him more? Seems like when I do he gets pudding stools
That is a sure sign of overfeeding.

Do his ribs stick out? If not and he is in good condition, he does not need more food. I agree with the other posters who say that you can use his love for food to your advantage in training him.

As for his small size--have you had a vet check him for a heart murmur? If you do and he does have a heart murmur, please do not let the vet talk you into killing him. I can find him an excellent home if he has a heart problem and you do not want to deal with this.
 

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That is a sure sign of overfeeding.

Do his ribs stick out? If not and he is in good condition, he does not need more food. I agree with the other posters who say that you can use his love for food to your advantage in training him.

As for his small size--have you had a vet check him for a heart murmur? If you do and he does have a heart murmur, please do not let the vet talk you into killing him. I can find him an excellent home if he has a heart problem and you do not want to deal with this.
My vet checked him carefully and no, he is fine. No one could talk me into "killing him".
 

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What's difficult is that almost everyone has a different opinion. Not sure what to do with that!
German Shepherds puppies average a weight gain of 2.5# a week, sometimes more. If you stick to a rigid schedule, you will have to monitor things closely on a weekly basis at a bare minimum. If your puppy is still very hungry but develops diarrhea if you feed him more, perhaps the food is too rich for him. Try another food. Despite all the warnings about fat puppies, a) puppies are supposed to have a layer of baby fat, mother nature provides this protective layer for all youngsters and b) German Shepherds are notorious for being hard gainers making excessive weight gain unlikely.
 

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What's difficult is that almost everyone has a different opinion. Not sure what to do with that!
Anytime you ask for input you will get 1000 different answers and usually a spat between people on who is right. Really....Every living creature is different. So you do what is right for your dog. If the vet says he's healthy, his weight is good for his bone structure (he was the runt so take that into account. Sometimes the runt stays small like our one Boxer did), and he's gaining appropriately for his bone structure, then don't worry.

I use their food drive to train and use their meals for rewards. Others on here are appalled at the idea of having them work for their food. If I left food out for my 2, we would be in the ER. They do not stop eating. And, I want to use their food drive for training. Others can leave food out and are happy doing it.

Take the parts of the advice that work for you and shelve the rest for later. Just do what you feel is right. :)
 

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The best advice so far is the one above from Jax. Every animal is different, do what works for you and your dog. He looks a bit thin, but not overly thin. I have had dogs that can free feed with no issues, and dogs that would eat until the bowl was empty, regardless of whether it made them ill or not. I’ve had some dogs do well on smaller portions, and some that needed way over the recommended amount listed on the bag. I learned long ago that dogs are just as different as humans are, and there is not a one size fits all for anything, food, training, play, metabolisms. Do what you, your vet, and your dogs body condition tells you to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So here I am with the same issue...now Jax has diarrhea (getting better) from giving him training treats and a teething bone that turnes out to be edible!

So according to his vet, who I really trust , I've changed him to rice and chicken and I'm giving him metronadiazole. He has gained 6-7 lbs in 2 weeks and now weighs over 17lbs, which is still on the low side for his age (12 weeks). He looks really skinny to me, but is acting healthy and of course biting everyone and everything in sight.

My question again is with the rice and chicken he is ravenous for it and I am feeding him a cup of 2/3 rice, 1/3 chicken. 6 times a day. And he still cries when it is done and licks the bowl for 5 minutes after every morsel is gone. He is frantic when the food is gone. Even more so now that it is rice and chicken
I brought in yet another stool sample and all is clear.

Should I feed him until he is no longer hungry, smaller amounts spaced out during the day to avoid bloat problems or do something different?
Thanks for being such a great resourse.
 

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I fed my puppy 3 times a day initially, and she went from eating a portion of 1 cup all the way up to 2 1/2 cups each time. When she was about 30 to 35 lbs I switched to 2 feedings per day, giving her 3 1/3 cups each time. But like your puppy she was still wanting more, so I upped that to nearly 4 1/2 cups, twice a day and she still looked skinny!

It all depends on your puppy, and the food you're feeding. My advice, for what it's worth, is to just pay attention to the puppy. If he still acts very hungry after eating, he IS! Feed him more and watch his weight gain and appearance. No matter how much my puppy ate she always looked very skinny, and her stools were mostly firm. At 9 months, when my pup reached her full height, she started to put on weight a little too much for my taste, so I incrementally lowered her back to 4 cups a day by about 12 months. She still eats 4 cups a day now and she's almost 3 yrs.
 

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The puppy needs to eat for growth.

A puppy that is so food motivated, can also become food aggressive if you put too much attention on the food. I would set his food down and let him eat it, and use something else, cheese or meat for potty treats or training treats -- JMO.

A puppy that is so food motivated CAN overeat and it can actually kill him. Unlikely. But a pup that wants to eat everything in sight can easily over-eat to a dangerous extent if left to "free-feed."

Also, going off the feed is the best way to know that a dog is not doing well and needs to visit the vet, you do not always figure this out as fast when free-feeding.

And, there's the pudding poo. Usually a sign of over-feeding, but it can also be something like coccidia. If you free feed and he seriously over-eats he will likely get ful blown diarrhea. The problem with that (beside the inconvenience and mess) is that the food shoots out with most of the nutrients intact, so the dog is eating a ton and literally starving.

And for a pup his age, a strict schedule with food and potty breaks is the easiest way to train them, which makes free-feeding a problem for house training.

If the puppy is eating all its food and looking for more, increase the food by 1/4 cup/feeding. If you want to improve the stool, add a teaspoon of pumpkin to his dish. Usually though, even if they have a little bit of a pudding poo, when they get used to the larger amount, that will clear up.

The puppy is light for 11.5 weeks. I do not agree with young puppies having waist lines and feeling the ribs. Sometimes you can, they just have trouble gaining weight, so you do your best. But letting them have a little weight on them is a little healthier, because they are growing. The amount of growing they are doing is staggering. A human baby is born at what 7 pounds and by a year old, maybe 20? Well, that puppy is going 60 usually by a year, and maybe 70 or even 80 pounds. It's head is going to grow so much, it's no wonder puppies are a pain, they are IN PAIN, growing all the time. They go from 1 pound at birth to 70 pounds in 12 months, easy.

And they need to eat, a balanced diet. Usually a balanced diet for an adult dog is fine for a GSD puppy. But a lot more of it than you would feed your adult dog, sometimes double, not double what you would feed a 75 pound shepherd (not at first), but if the dog is 12 pounds and it says 1-1.5 cups for an adult 12 pound dog, than a puppy would probably need to eat 2-3 cups, and as it grows, that food increases. By six months that puppy might be eating what your adult shepherds are eating, and maybe even more. It's growing. It is up to us to keep up with the growth.

It is possible that your pup got pushed off the heavier producing teets, and maybe didn't get the lion's share of the kibble when they started feeding solid food. A lot of folks have the opposite problem, the puppy misses the competition at the food pan and doesn't want to eat. Yours does, that is good. But it sounds like he needs more.

Also, puppies have more energy than adult dogs, they spend more calories because they run more and the sleep more and so besides growing they are feeding puppy energy, so its a lot more food. But it also something that a feeding range cannot always calculate. That is a place to start. It sounds like yours needs more than that, and that's ok.

Lastly, we want to feed our dogs the very best, so we research and find the best food for our puppies, and sometimes that works out great. And sometimes it doesn't. Fromm is a great name, and a lot of people swear by it. Your dog may not like it, or his body may not thrive on it. Just something to keep in mind. Sometimes you have to go to your second or third choice before you find a food that he likes and that is giving you the results you want.
 
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