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is my puppy skinny?

4362 Views 17 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  JayneA
people have said my pup looks very thin. He is 4 months 20" at the shoulders and weighs 32lbs. This growth chart that said that 4 months male should be 42lbs: Is his height too tall for his weight or is he just a short pup? I've never had gsds before, when I told ppl in the dog park that he was four months, some of then thought he was small. When i got him at 12 weeks, he was only 14lbs and he looked Very skinny. He was from a reputable breeder too. I feed him 4 cups a day, now is that too little?
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Hi new member!

They all grow at different rates, so it's hard to judge based on "the numbers."

Best way to tell is to feel the dog. If you can feel ribs, the weight is good. If you have trouble feeling them, too fat. If the ribs are so pronounced that you can see them, that may be too lean.

Looking at the dog from above, you should see a definite "waist."

Most people have fat dogs, so people are used to seing dogs that have too much weight on them. It is much healthier for your pup to be lean.

If you can post a picture of your pup, others here can offer an opinion based on that.

What does your vet say? What are you feeding?
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The only sure fire way to determine if a pup's weight is correct is the rib test. With your puppy standing, run your hands down his sides. If you can easily feel all of his ribs, but can't see them, he is at a good weight. If you can't feel his ribs, he's too heavy. If you can see his ribs clearly, he's too skinny.

I don't put much stock in growth charts. They are guesstimated averages at best and don't take into account that individual puppies grow at individual rates, some quicker than others.

Also don't listen to people who say a dog is too thin. Most dog owners tend to keep their dogs too fat, and therefore what most people seem to think is a good weight for a dog is actually too heavy. So to them, a dog who is at a healthy weight will often be considered "too thin".

The rib test is your best bet. Also, keep in mind that young dogs should be kept on the thin side. Carrying around extra pounds puts unnecessary stress on growing bones and joints. Thin is always better than fat for a puppy.
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I aggree .........especially when it comes to long term hip and joint health in the German Shepherd........ If you really have concerns, consult your vet.........
mine is 8 months and 85 lbs. Everyone says hes too skinny.

Get used to it. Lots of people are used to over weight doggies or little breeds.
i agree with everyone else. most people think our dogs should LOOK plumped out which is not good. he sounds like he is going to be a big boy. as long as he is eating well, looks defined from above and his ribs and spine do not protrude i wouldnt worry to much as long as his vet says he is healthy.
On top of all that's been said by others, puppies have tremendous growth spurts. One day they start to look a little pudgy even, and a few days later you can almost see ribs. As long as you cannot see all of his ribs in detail then you're fine. Healthy is the goal, and most keep their dogs way too fat. If I had a dime for every fat dog wearing a prong collar that needs about 4 links taken out of it clipped to the live ring I've seen I'd be rich!
Both of mine are too thin according to the average Joe.

My Flash was 34 pounds at 4 months and he's perfectly normal. Between fat dogs and the public's idea that a GSD is supposed to be over 100 lbs (and since you claim to have gone through a reputable breeder) get used to the comments for having a dog within standard.
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My German shepherd is 58 pounds at 14 months and she is healthy. She may go up or down 1 pound or so if she is running a lot or playing for more then 4 hours a day and I will incress the food on the days she is going to play or run a lot.
please, please, please do not get caught up in the numbers. i agree with everyone as far as keeping an eye on the ribs. if you keep your dog on the lean side, he will have a greater chance of living longer and having less stuctural problems. if he is eating a nutritious diet and is not being underfed (ribs being noticeably visible) then he will grow as he is genetically predisposed to. ive seen pics on this site where the dog was at least 20 lbs overweight and responders saying "id rather see the dog a little plump than too lean." thats bull***t advice.

im glad to see the responders on this particular thread giving sound advice regarding this matter. i have to bite my tongue every time i go to the vet as at least a half to two thirds of the dogs that come in are just too fat.
I think we must see pictures to know for sure

Ok, I shouldn't tease a new member, but we LOVE pictures here!!!
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There is also something else that people who aren't very familiar with the GSD breed seem to not realize..the skeletal structure of most is different than your average lab or beagle shaped dog. Paticularily the rib cage is shaped quite differently. Shepherds have a taller and seemingly narrower ribcage compared to the barrel chested rib cages of some of the other breeds. A rounder ribcage looks like it is more filled out, a taller rib cage can look too skinny to the average person. I had the same reaction when my shepherd was young, too. Everyone who gave him a couple of pats on the side said, "Wow, he's so thin!" He wasn't. He was just shaped like that!

So, that was a long winded way of saying your pup is probably just perfect, but some pictures would be good , too..
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These are the pics of Verne at 12:00pm

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that looks ok to me, as long as you cant see the ribs sticking out but can easily feel them. i think there is room there for minimal weight gain, if any. maybe a few pounds. here is a pic of my girl at 9 1/2 months. she was only 53 lbs, but her weight gain has been slow and steady. i could easily feel all her ribs, but could barely see the last (hind most) rib in the sunlight:

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He looks FABULOUS! Don't change a thing! He should have a clearly defined waist, especially as a puppy, and that's exactly what he has. I like to be able to feel all ribs and see the last one or two. I'd rather have my dog a pound underweight than even an ounce overweight.
For 9.5 months it looks perfect to me. Some at that age really are thin looking. Nothing to worry about.

So here is a question... Could it be that the American GSD's are taller and thinner growing up than those from Europe? Eurpoe breed dogs being shorter and stocker. Just curious? Does that make since?
I have an 11 month old bout who weighs 58lbs - everyone asks if he is full sized and I just say he's getting there. He is a small shepherd which people just don't seem to understand. They don't all have to be the big ones!! Your pup looks great!

P.S. I have two Czech/English line dogs - both are smaller, and leaner. My full English line girl is also shorter but not as lean. So I wouldn't say that the European lines are larger. Think it purely depends on the breed lines rather than the breed location.
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