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Hi. Sorry if already posted... I reviewed some of the old threads and didn’t find exactly what I was looking for.

Question on assessing puppy sizes at selection. We’re looking at a puppy in spring and may have pick of the little (female).

Long and short of it is that my wife is less confident around dogs and has a strong preference for a smaller GSD. She understands and agrees temperament is most important and we’ve had a GSD before so she knows and has experienced that it isn’t a small breed, though our girl was petite and on the smaller end of the female size standards. She did love our dog and felt comfortable with her (and having her around our kids) and is committed to getting another GSD.

The parents will be standard size for each gender and we’ve spoken to the breeders we’re considering about our needs for our home (we also have young kids).

Question is: is it totally a crapshoot for size they’ll grow into? I feel like becuase we’re getting a female with standard size parents, maybe that’s all we can do to improve the odds - and then just get the best possible temperament so that an extra inch or two and/or 5-10 pounds doesn’t make as much a difference if we have a gentle, caring and well trained GSD. Just trying to see if it really is a total crapshoot.
 

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Size of the parents is your best bet. I've seen the smallest pup of a litter be one of the largest as adults. Also litters where the pups were all in the 15 lb range at 8 weeks vs 9 lbs at 8 weeks has never really seemed to be a predictor of their adult size.

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i think it is.
i too am on the search for a smaller sized gsd and the results of my research have been largely inconsistent/inconclusive. there is a breeder near me who has a larger male that tends to throw small pups regardless of who he’s paired with, a member here with a young female who’s sister outweighs her by 20lbs, etc etc...
you’re doing what you can, other than that it’s up to the breeder and how familiar they are with their lines.
all of that said, there is a breeding dog at my job (labradors) who is 40lbs.... although she occasionally produces larger/standard pups, almost all of the tiny females in our program can be traced back to her and her dam of similar size.
 

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It really can be.

I have a male, and his dam is a 55lb GSD. She’s just a little rocket. He, however, is almost 27” and 80lbs at a year old. Far bigger than both his sire and his dam. His full litter mate sister is smaller than the dam and weighs in at 50lbs.

Some of the other males are near his size, but as far as I know he ended up being the largest in the litter, whereas his sister ended up being the smallest. They ranged in size across the board.
 
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I would prefer a smaller female as well, however I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no sure fire way to tell, besides that, temperament is my primary focus. You can adjust/adapt for size, crapty temperament and poor nerves not so much.
 

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....a member here with a young female who’s sister outweighs her by 20lbs, etc etc...
That would be me! There were 4 pups in the litter, 3 females and 1 male. Cava was the smallest of the puppies when she was little and while I'm not sure about one of the other females, the breeder kept two pups - the male and the other longcoat female, and they are much larger than Cava is. She's at least 15 pounds less than her sister, possibly closer to 20 pounds, and the male is even bigger than that.

Our previous female Halo was our smallest GSD, she was in the 53/55 pound range as an adult. Cava is a few pounds more and probably an inch or two taller as well, but still smaller than her dam and littermates. I was hoping for a female on the smaller end of the standard because it's better for my sport of flyball, but size was the least of my concerns and the one I was willing to sacrifice to get everything else I wanted. It just happened that she ended up being the smallest in her litter by a lot!

I agree with the others, temperament is THE most important thing.
 
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