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Discussion Starter #1
Do GSD's tend to start filling out? Everyone keeps telling me Damian is very tall but seems skinny. I just tell them he is only 14 months, give him a few more months and he will start. Well, I went to the vet to get his yearly vaccines and stock up on Comfortis and stuff, and another GSD came, same age. Only this dog was completely filled out and looking good.

Another thing is, as of last week Damian seems to not want to eat but once a day. I usually feed two cups in the morning and two at night. He won't eat breakfast, and just ends up eating it for dinner. I've decided to get strict and only allow him 30 minutes to eat, then I pick it up. Seemed to work today, but we will see. Is 4 cups not enough? He was nearing 90 LBS and weighed in at the vet at 85 LBS.

Of course, its getting to be winter time so his allergies are coming back. This will be his second winter. His back is covered in hot spots and his tail has a very bad one that he will not stop chewing. I've tried everything from changing his diet, to different shampoo's, to meds. Nothing will fix it, but I've noticed this is a very common issue with GSD's.
 

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My boy will be 20 months old on the 10th of December and is now just starting to fill out (chest is dropping and expanding) but is still very lanky and long.

It has a lot to do with genetics, I would ask your breeder when either previous offspring started to fill out and the sire and others in your dogs lines. I know Stark's sire was about 3 when he was fully filled out and done growing. He is a mix of DDR and WG working lines.

Stark is about 80lbs give or take a two and is raw fed (has been since he came home). He is not a great eater and will go a day without eating and then pick at his food, then the next week I can't seem to feed him enough. A lot of it is age but I know a lot of it has to do with the amount of energy expelled. If he had a big training day or a big hike he is more likely to eat well. If we just went for a walk and played ball a few times, he tends not to eat as much.

Have you had your dog tested for allergies? What was the outcome? Have you tried eliminating one source at a time to find out what he is allergic too? Tried a grain free diet? Raw? Premade?
 

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Damian was raw fed for a few months when he was a pup but he didn't seem to care for it when I switched to doing it myself. I started RAW using Nature's Variety and he loved it, but that was just too expensive. He is on TOTW now and always loved it more than anything. I am considering switching to a different food, his stools don't seem good anymore either.

He hasn't had an actual allergy test yet due to it not being in the budget. I feel bad, but hopefully in the next coming months I'll be able to do it, hate seeing him constantly chewing.
 

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Dakota didn't fill out completely until he was around 2 1/2 years old. Pretty much went hand in hand with his mental maturity.

Phoenix started filling out around 2 years old and I'd say he stopped about the same age as Dakota. I'm still waiting on him to mentally mature :wild:. Only kidding...somedays.

What formula of TOTW are you using. If you are feeding High Prairie or Wetlands, maybe try the fish based Pacific Stream. You mentioned his stools are not so good now. If you are feeding both the High Prairie and Wetlands contain chicken, a common food allergy protein. Allergies, both food and environmental can just happen out of nowhere. Phoenix started with food allergies (symptoms, throwing up food and loose stools, but not consistently) and then the itching began soon after. But not all dogs react the same way or at the same rate. Much depends on the immune system.

I have found that Phoenix, who has both food and environmental allergies, is scratching more right now with the change to drier/colder weather. You may want to really try to save up for that allergy testing. What kind of heating system do you have? Do you have carpets? If you have carpets, you may find that you'll need to do daily vacuuming b/c he may be reacting to dustmites or dust. Not saying that he's allergic to them, but until you can get the allergy testing done, you may want to try reducing the dust and dustmites in the house.

I'm not sure if you've tried antihistamines, but you may want to give him some. Many folks give benedryl (1mg per 10lbs of dog). That only worked for about two weeks for us. I tried Claritin, Clortrimiton and Tavist, finding that Tavist (well CVS brand Tavist) was the only antihistamine that worked for us. I have been giving Phoenix allergy shots for over a year and a half and have found they have greatly reduced his environmental allergies. So much so, I haven't had to give him an antihistamine in nearly 7 months.
 

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Hondo is 14 months old and 85lbs. I feed 4 cups kibble (Diamond) and chicken quarters. He is thin and lanky. Due to an injured foot I intend on keeping him on the thin side. He can't be over exercised or he becomes lame.

While I can't really state he is filling out, I can say that he looks very masculine now and becoming very handsome! Ok, maybe just to me....
 

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My boy will be 20 months old on the 10th of December and is now just starting to fill out (chest is dropping and expanding) but is still very lanky and long.
Elisabeth put it best when referring to "filling out". Not so much weight or weight gain but the body "maturing".

Between 2 and 2 1/2 Dakota didn't change weight but his body structure changed...his chest deepened and expanded. By 2 1/2 years old, he lost that "gangly teenager" look both in his structure and face. He took on a more mature "look".
 

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Here's an example of what I mean:

About 12ish months:


About 19ish months:
 

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My brother as I call him, Fritz, (my moms GSD) didnt start filling out till he was almost 2! I agree, I think its different with every dog.
 

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What formula of TOTW are you using. If you are feeding High Prairie or Wetlands, maybe try the fish based Pacific Stream. You mentioned his stools are not so good now. If you are feeding both the High Prairie and Wetlands contain chicken, a common food allergy protein. Allergies, both food and environmental can just happen out of nowhere. Phoenix started with food allergies (symptoms, throwing up food and loose stools, but not consistently) and then the itching began soon after. But not all dogs react the same way or at the same rate. Much depends on the immune system

I have found that Phoenix, who has both food and environmental allergies, is scratching more right now with the change to drier/colder weather. You may want to really try to save up for that allergy testing. What kind of heating system do you have? Do you have carpets? If you have carpets, you may find that you'll need to do daily vacuuming b/c he may be reacting to dustmites or dust. Not saying that he's allergic to them, but until you can get the allergy testing done, you may want to try reducing the dust and dustmites in the house.

I'm not sure if you've tried antihistamines, but you may want to give him some. Many folks give benedryl (1mg per 10lbs of dog). That only worked for about two weeks for us. I tried Claritin, Clortrimiton and Tavist, finding that Tavist (well CVS brand Tavist) was the only antihistamine that worked for us. I have been giving Phoenix allergy shots for over a year and a half and have found they have greatly reduced his environmental allergies. So much so, I haven't had to give him an antihistamine in nearly 7 months.
I just want to clarify...benedryl dosage should be 1mg per pound...maybe that is why it didn't work for you?
Scroll down for the dosage confirmation from the benadryl website.
Benadryl for Dogs ? The FACTS

Humidity in the home helps with itchy skin too,and it makes the house feel warmer when there is about 30% humidity.
 

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Stosh looks like he weighs at least 90, some people guess 100 but he's 78 at 11 mos. I can feel his ribs, the vet says he's fine, he regulates his food intake so as long as he's healthy and lean I'm happy. Sounds like your guy is on track, he's eating a very good food and he has another year to mature.
 

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I just want to clarify...benedryl dosage should be 1mg per pound...maybe that is why it didn't work for you?
Scroll down for the dosage confirmation from the benadryl website.
Benadryl for Dogs ? The FACTS

Humidity in the home helps with itchy skin too,and it makes the house feel warmer when there is about 30% humidity.
Sorry, I missed my typo, Thanks for picking it up. I gave Pheonix the correct dosages as per my vet's direction. Benedryl did not work for him. Like in humans, not every medicine works the same for every person.

it should be noted that when using any antihistamines other than benedryl, like Claritin, DO NOT give Claritin D...just the the plain old Claritin, the one that only contains the antihistamine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He's 85lbs? How big do you want him to be? Is he fixed.......just wondering?
I didn't say I think he needs to gain a whole bunch of weight, but if you saw a good picture of him, you'd understand what I'm trying to explain. He is in tact though.
 

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I'd start a switch over to California Natural,very limited ingredients and useful when trying to figure out allergies. Will eliminate dozens of things in foods. Doesn't need to be permanent but an excellent place to start. As you may remember,Fritz is about a week away from 15 months,weighed in at 94 pounds last week and heavily muscled in the front already. BTW,his left ear never went up all the way despite 5 months of taping.

California Natural

Ingredients:
Lamb Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins/Minerals, Taurine, Rosemary Extract


TOTW High Prairie

Ingredients:
Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
 

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your dog weighs 85lbs. that's big. all of them develope differently.
if your dog is tall 85lb might make him appear to be thin
but he's probably the size he should be. as far as the scratching goes
i think the colder months clear allergies. you switched foods. maybe
what you're feeding isn't working for your dog. you might have switch
foods several times before you find the one that works.
 

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I thought Brewski was thin looking he is 16 months and wieghs 78lbs. My vet brought something to my attention as did a few others who have GSD's and that is you do not want a GSD or any large breed to be to big as it can encourage hip problems. Their body should be defined you should see they have ribs but not to the point of counting each one from just looking.... Why do some people feel a GSD has to be big and bulky to look like right?
(not saying you are one of those people)
 

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Your dog is tall and young. Give him until 2 to evaluate his 'fullness'. He seems to be eating plenty, assuming it's a high quality food. Being as tall as he is I expect you are going to have a BIG dog.
 
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