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Discussion Starter #1
Ive read all over this forum and other places where people actually understand what the healthy weight of a dog is supposed to be that I should be able to easily feel Stark's ribs but not see them. He is 1.5 years old and I brought him to the vet two days ago for his vaccines, he weighed 75 lbs. Stark's whole life Ive heard people tell me "oh, he's too skinny." And I know what his proper weight is supposed to be so I just ignore him. Just recently I have been able to see his ribs, and I feed him slightly more than what is reccommended on the dog food bag. So, I asked the vet what he thinks, he said I could feed him a half cup more each meal time to try to add a little more weight, but he said the target weight is only 3 to 5 lbs heavier than he is now. I'm just wondering what i can be doing with him physically to help build some muscle as well? He gets various amounts of exercise depending on our schedule. Some days its only a mile long walk, sometimes we take a weekend trip where we do 15 miles in two days, days like today we go to the beach for a hour and swim, play ball and do some jumping/playing on the playground.
Any advice is great, thanks!
 

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Easier to tell with pictures. (Side view and top view).

Personally, on GSDs, I like to be able to see the last rib or two. But each dog is different.
 

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Discussion Starter #3


Here are a couple of pictures I just took, sorry they are crappy my phone doesnt take good pictures.
 

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Was this dog trimmed or shaved? I cant tell. In some of the pictures he looks perfect in some the coat looks off and you can kind of see the ribs
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No, he was never trimmed or shaved. He did swim about an hour or so ago and his coat is still a little damp so maybe thats what looks off.
 

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He does look a bit underweight, but I wouldn't worry too much. I'd rather have an underweight dog than an overweight dog, so long as it didn't look emaciated.

He's well muscled and (from what I can see) his hips aren't visible. Maybe try putting just a tad bit more weight on him or just maintain his weight where it is.
 

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His coat length looks a lot like my male's. He is also ribby, but is very active with very well developed muscles. I don't worry about his ribs showing. I don't think my guy is thinner than other dogs we see at training, he just has a short, tight GSD coat.


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Cool, I agree thinner is better the dog looks great in most of the pictures. They get filled out at 2 to 2 1/2 years old.
 

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Looks great. Slightly ribby is fine, as MilesNY said.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, I guess when I was looking at pictures I did notice that it seemed like a lot of other GSDs has longer coats, not like long coated shepherds just a tad longer than Stark's. I Guess i never thought of the fact that his coat may be a little shorter/ tighter as well. My bf and I want him to be healthy and happy so we definitely don't want him overweight by any means. I never let the comments of everyone telling me how "skinny" he is affect how I feel because most people I know allow their dogs to be overweight. But, when I started noticing that I could see his ribs I just wanted to make sure I wasnt underfeeding or not exercising him enough to build the muscle he needs or anything. Thanks so much for all of the comments, makes me feel better :)
 

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Karlo looks very similar at 4 yrs old in his summer coat. I keep him lean for working and don't want him to lose, at the same time, I want him muscled and toned(which is important!) Swimming is a great muscle builder, and I'd bump up food portions accordingly during the active days. Adding in probiotics/digestive enzymes also help(I give raw green tripe for that)
 

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I always get the comments that my boy is to thin to, but the people who actually know about dogs tell me to not listen to them. I know hes at a good weight about 85lbs last vet visit and gets 5 cups a day. I personally think he looks fine. I agree better a little thin than over weight.
 
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