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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - We just came home with a beautiful GSD yesterday that we are already in love with and making part of our home. He is 5 months old and from a Western German lineage. Both parents are of Schutzhund background and the mothers hips have been certified. The question is, he has a noticeably strange walk and hits the front of his toe on the back leg which we also witnessed on the mother but not as drastic. The breeder promised us that this was “normal” because he is so big and the Western German shepherds have a dramatic slope. We went to the vet today and requested an orthopedic surgeon take a look. The orthopedic surgeon said there is a chance for hip displassia, but that it is too early to tell and we will need to come back in 1 month when he is 6 months old to get X-rays that will determine whether or not he will have hip problems. We absolutely love this puppy and are wondering if anyone had a puppy with a similar walk that is now walking fine? Or if anyone has recommendations on supplements or things we can do to help the pup develop in a way that protects his hips?
 

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Yes, he has noticeably weak pasterns and is also cow-hocked in the rear. There's not a lot you can do to fix his conformation, but walking on soft surfaces such as sand to help build up his muscle strength will help. He will always be cow-hocked, but weak pasterns often do improve a lot as the pup matures, as long as they get enough exercise. Exercise should be on soft surfaces to protect the growing joints, and you should avoid hard, fast exercise with sudden turns. Use common sense: avoid overdoing it.

Swimming is another excellent low-impact exercise for strengthening weak joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you everyone for your responses. We absolutely love our new pup but as you can see we are fairly nervous about the “wobble” in his hips. From what I am seeing on this page it looks like it’s fairly common with the west German show line. Our pup was fairly expensive and all we are really looking for is that he will have a long and healthy life.
 
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