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Discussion Starter #1
Quick introduction. I've owned dogs before but recently adopted a GSD (mix?) puppy from the local humane society. Here's what she (Nikita) looked like the day I brought her home:




She had 4 littermates. They were found at a landfill in Kansas and brought to Boulder, CO for adoption. (Boulder has a huge adoption rate, so they could handle 5 puppies easily.) The vet at the humane society guessed their age to be about 8 weeks...Nikita was the only one with her ears up.

Since she probably a mix of sorts, I can't really judge what weight she should be. I've recorder her weight:

8 weeks --> 8.3 lbs
10 weeks --> 13.3 lbs
12 weeks --> 17.5 lbs

I have a few questions about development/growth:

(1) When she was found in Kansas, she and all her littermates had hookworm. She was treated for that immediately of course, before I adopted her. (I've had to do some follow-up treatments.) It is likely she had hookworm for a while though and I've read puppies can have hookworm at birth. What I haven't been able to determine is if hookworm can affect the overall development of a puppy. Would it cause permanent development problems? Would it delay growth until later weeks compared to puppies that didn't have hookworm when they were infants? No effect at all?

(2) As typical with most shelters, she was spayed as soon as she arrived. I've now read that 8 weeks seems horribly early to have a dog spayed/neutered. Are there any repercussions that I will have to watch out for?

(3) While she is smaller than other GSD puppies I have met, she isn't that much smaller. Her head/muzzle, however, seems oddly small for her body. I've read that that is to be expected but was just making sure that it wasn't a side effect of the hookworm, etc.

I've paid for a doggie DNA test that may or may not be able to figure out her breed mix. (If it comes back Mastiff/Poodle, I'll know it was a waste of money.) Until then, if anyone want to play "guess the mix" there are many more pictures here:

More pics of Nikita

Thanks.
 

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I wish I could answer your questions, (I can't... well, I COULD but I'd be lying ;)) but I just had to tell you how adorable Nikita is! She looks so dainty and sweet. I hope she lives a long and healthy life with you. Thanks for saving her!
 

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Here is Izzy, she was rescued from a puppy mill,we adopted here she was 12.5 pounds and 3.5 months old. We have had her for one month and she has gained 8 pounds. She had been at the vets every week. She is now thriving! And Beautiful!


 

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She is absolutely beautiful, I enjoyed looking at the pics.

I don't have knowledge enough to answer accurately your questions, but just say you to have confidence in the incredible recuperation capacity of pups. I wouldn't be overly worried by hookworms side effects, treated at 8 weeks she will recover quickly herself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the link. I did get a bunch of information about hookworm during the adoption process. Unfortunately none of it mentions long terms effects; neither does the link posted, above (at least as far as I can see). I hope this means there aren't any but I would feel better knowing than hoping.

She seems healthy and the vet checkup so far have been positive so perhaps I'm being overly concerned. On the other hand, I look at picture posted here of puppies at 8 weeks and 14 weeks and they all seem to transform from cute balls of fur to recognizable shepherds. Nikita just seems to big a bigger puppy.

Thanks for the replies so far.
 

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Well, to me, your cutie pie puppy looks like all the rest of our purebred 'sable' colored puppies.

To compare her weight, did you check out the chart that you can update and compare on This site (click here)

Here's a general growth chart from ( Click here though the format here may be messed up.

Quote:AGE MALES FEMALES


MONTHS WEIGHT WEIGHT
------ lb.s ----- lb.s
1 ----- 9.2 ---- 7.2
2 --- 19.9 --- 16.6
3 --- 31.3 --- 26.7
4 --- 41.8 --- 36.2
5 --- 50.6 --- 44.0
6 --- 57.4 --- 50.1
7 --- 62.6 --- 54.4
8 --- 66.4 --- 57.5
9 --- 69.4 --- 59.7
10 --- 72.0 --- 61.5
11 --- 74.3 --- 63.1
12 --- 76.0 --- 64.2
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_hookworms.html has more hookworm info

Here's a study on early spay/neuter Click here and though many of us wait until later Click Here I actually support the fact many shelter do an early spay/neuter. Too many new pet owners who get their puppy from a shelter and PROMISE to spay/neuter do NOT. And with millions of dog's being killed in shelters every year due to their over population, it's one way shelters KNOW a dog thru their doors isn't going to add to the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I thought I'd follow up with some more info which may explain her rate of growth. I had a generic breed test performed on her (Wisdom Panel) and just got the results.

I have no idea how accurate such tests are but the results say:

~25% Norwegian Elkhound
rest is mix that is generic enough to defy classification

I didn't know anything about Norwegian Elkhounds so I did a little reading. A female is about 45-50 lbs and that would explain her slightly smaller size. She also carries her tail up, which is an Elkhound trait.

Other than that, I'll have to wait until she grows up to see how accurate the test is. I still feel she has German Shepherd in her--she reminds me so much of GSDs with some of her behaviors. Ahh, the fun of rescuing at the puppy age--you really get some surprises along the way.
 

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Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeWell, to me, your cutie pie puppy looks like all the rest of our purebred 'sable' colored puppies.
I agree! Also, until recently Flash has been at least 10 pounds behind the growth curve and he is definitely all GSD. I wouldn't put too much stock in the DNA analysis. I know someone with a 15 pound dog that got "Great Dane" as part of their dog's mix.


You will just have to wait and see.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate the sentiment Jayne.


Nikita had a vet checkup today. At about 14 weeks she was 20.4lbs. If the charts above are to be believed, she should be about 30 or so. So she's about 2/3 the expected size.

At this point I'm pretty sure she has a smaller breed mixed in (as I posted above, the sketchy DNA test says Norwegian Elkhound). She still looks like a GSD for the most part but we'll have to see if she morphs in to something different as she ages.

The good news is that her vet check up was 100% excellent. Seemingly no side-effects from the hookworm which was really my big concern. My vet was also wary about UTI's because of the spaying at 8 weeks, but so far so good there. As long as she stays healthy, whatever he eventual size, I'm happy. Though I have started joking with friends and family that I have adopted a pygmy shepherd.
 

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You know you really can never tell how big they are going to be.

Annabelle was only 33 lbs. at 5 months old when we adopted her. The vet told me she was too small and that she must either be a mix or have a growth disorder. Mix breed was out for me and you'd see why if you saw her (she is classic GSD). So stupid me trusted the vet and considered my dog to have a "growth disorder".

So then I find this website (yay!), and everyone agreed she was shepherd and guessed that she would grow to be about a 55 lb. female. She ALWAYS stayed under the "charts" sometimes by about as much as 10-15 lbs. Then one day at 2 1/2 years we look at her and we are thinking..."dang...she's looking thicker...larger chest...bigger hips (but still has a pretty waist)" and we weighed her in at 70 lbs. So at some point she past the growth chart up.

She grew so incredibly slowly, so you just never can tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well mamagoose, if she is going to grow up to be anything close to a normal-sized Shepherd it is going to be "incredibly slowly" as you say.

Her 16 week weight was 22.4 lbs. For those keeping track at home, that would be

8 weeks --> 8.3 lbs
10 weeks --> 13.3 lbs
12 weeks --> 17.5 lbs
14 weeks --> 20.4 lbs
16 weeks --> 22.4 lbs

The standard posted above suggests 36 lbs at this age, so she is way, way under that. I'm actually now wondering about height as well. There is even less information about height growth rate questions on the web than weight. I imagine this is because it is harder for your average person to measure the height of a pup than the weight.

Is there some country-wisdom about how to judge the final height of a puppy based on say their 4 or 5 month height?

I hope I don't come off as neurotic about this. I will of course love her no matter her final size. But I will admit that when I adopted a Shepherd puppy I was expecting something slightly larger than a beagle.
 

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Your girl is FANTASTIC. What a cutie pie. I know hook worms have no lasting effects but my vet believes spaying too early is starting to be believed to be a bad idea.
Again she has the best face. What is her personality like?
 

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Your girl is FANTASTIC. What a cutie pie. I know hook worms have no lasting effects but my vet believes spaying too early is starting to be believed to be a bad idea.
Again she has the best face. What is her personality like? When I got my boxer I definately wanted a small submissive girl. I got athe leader of the pack and 75 pounds. She is a least a girl. HAHA. Even though I got nothing I thought I wanted she positively impacts my day daily. I thank God for knowing what i needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Originally Posted By: JayneYour girl seems to be following Kai's weight. He is nearly eight months now and weighs in at 23.7 kilos. He stands 23.5" roughly at the moment but I did worrry for a bit about his height as he seemed awfully small for a while but then suddenly shot up.

We saw a load of agility/GSD people yesterday and they were all thrilled with him.
Out of curiosity, when did his growth spurt happen? Nikita has started loosing puppy teeth and I've read a few things that suggest growth sometimes slows down during teething. (For the amount of time people spend on their dogs, it is somewhat amazing to me how little there is on growth/weight studies.)

It's funny you made the agility comment. She recently completed a short intro/puppy agility class and oh my was she fast. I know that the in-spec GSD's are usually more agile than the oversized ones. Perhaps if she remains border collie sized, I will have a speed demon on my hands.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03Your girl is FANTASTIC. What a cutie pie. I know hook worms have no lasting effects but my vet believes spaying too early is starting to be believed to be a bad idea.
Again she has the best face. What is her personality like?
Whoops, missed this question. Her personality to me seems very Shepherd-like. She is definitely bonded to me like glue but at the same time she is aloof. She loves to interact, go on walks, play games but can only handle about 20-sec of petting or holding before she needs to get away. I've always know GSD's to be the dog that must be with you but not in a can-I-lay-my-head-on-your-lap-while-you-watch-this-boring-movie way like a lab will do. She certainly seems to fit with my experiences.

The name Nikita translates as "unconquered" and for good or bad I think I named her well...
 

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Grwoth spurt probably happened late November / early December so he was about 7 months give or take a week or so. He had his adult teeth all in probably about 2-3 weeks before that so it seems to have happened once that bit of development was done.

Kai was actually bought with the intention of agility competition and we spent ages looking for working line dogs (and a sable) which were on the smaller/lighter side. His mum is just 24" and is about 25/26 kilos, his Dad is 26" and is just over the 30 kilo mark so we are hoping that Kai will stay small and light as then, as you say, he should be much more suited to agility.

Just in case you want to take a look we have a load of pictures of him here http://www.ianandjayne.co.uk/Dogs/KaiH/index.html which show him growing and his stature.
 
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