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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We recently got our first dog and of course, it's a pure breed GSD. He's a wonderful addition to our house, although we have learned that there's a lot more to this dog stuff than we ever imagined. We're learning as we go, and things are getting better by the day as we continue to understand the breed in general.

One of our biggest concerns is the size of our puppy and how concerned we should be about it. He was born on April 20 of this year, so he's just about 7 months old at this point. When he was 5 months old, we took him to the vet and he weighed in at a whopping 62 lbs....when I asked the vet about his weight, he said not to be concerned about it being he looks incredibly healthy and strong, and doesn't have too much fat on him. At this point, he's gotta be pushing 100 lbs and he's built like a horse.

We have three other Shepherds that we're in steady contact with through friends and family, and their dogs are extremely thin and lean. Not sickly looking, but trim and sleek.

Personally, I sort of think that he's healthy and thick, but incredibly strong with his legs. But he does lack agility in certain things, despite what we feel is a good amount of exercise.

I'll say that he eats twice a day, about two cups each time and small amounts of chicken usually. Two to three treats per day is about normal. We walk/run him 2 to 3 miles per evening, and play with him about twenty minutes in the morning....followed by 10 - 15 min of training with his favorite toy in the afternoon. Then we work with mental training such as finding small bits of meaty snacks while we cook dinner to pass the time.

I've posted photos to show his general build, please feel free to let us know what you think. We're not experts, but our thinking has been to not worry about his size until he's about a year old. Perhaps that's poor judgement, but the thought is similar to that of human infants in that it's better for them to be thicker and healthy than thin for the first year.
 

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He's 100lbs at 7 months and gained 40 of that in the last 2 months? Am I reading that correctly?

Do you have pictures of him standing?

The food and exercise sounds about right but 100lbs is heavy for a 7 month old and he does look chunky to me in the photo but it could just be that he is laying down.
 

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With the other pics it's easier to say that TO ME he definitely looks a tad overweight... Depending on what his actual weight is right now, I'd say try to trim him down at least 5 pounds, maybe closer to 10. It's better for them to be leaner at a young age while their bones and joints are developing to avoid excess stress on their hips.
 

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It is hard to tell from those pics but that first one he does look a little wide. Can you some of him from the top (he's standing and you take pic looking down). For a good weight you should be able to see a waistline. You do NOT want an overweight gsd, it will only create health problems down the road...and probably sooner rather than later.
 

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Guessing that he weighs 100lbs is just that a guess. I don't think your 7 month old GSD weighs 100lbs and if he did and he is not over weight it is what it is. You are going to have a large dog but as long as he is healthy there shouldn't be an issue.
 

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Based on the photo(not too easy to see, kind of an odd angle) he looks pretty overweight. The heavier he is while he's growing the worse it is on joints and the overall skeletal system later. We get ours on once a day pretty early, certainly by 7 months. 2 cups of what type of food would be helpful. Like saying my daughter eats a cup of cereal every morning, makes a difference if it's cocoa puffs or granola. Oh, and most vets will never tell you your dog is overweight unless it is too big too walk.From a healthcare advocate site-

But don't expect your pet's vet to share his feelings with you.

Pet doctors, like the majority of people doctors, aren't comfortable telling patients what they're really thinking. Your pet's veterinarian won't often tell you what she wishes you'd do more or less of in the care of your animal.

A few things your vet might be thinking but not saying:

"Your pet is too heavy and the extra weight is harming her health."
"I wish you'd checked with me before you got a pet. I could have helped you understand how much time, money and energy is involved in pet ownership."
"Please pay close attention to your pet's symptoms – write them down if you can -- and be prepared to describe them in detail. It will help me narrow my focus and get to a diagnosis sooner."
"Let me show you how to brush your pet's teeth so you can do it daily or at least several times a week. It will make a huge difference in her health and the quality of her life."
"Don't allow your pet to be over-vaccinated. Don't be talked into the need for unnecessary vaccinations by a vet, a boarding facility or any other pet care establishment."
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He's 100lbs at 7 months and gained 40 of that in the last 2 months? Am I reading that correctly?

Do you have pictures of him standing?

The food and exercise sounds about right but 100lbs is heavy for a 7 month old and he does look chunky to me in the photo but it could just be that he is laying down.
yeah, you read that correctly...he's getting thick. Idk how to feed him less than that...seems cruel to me for his size.

I'll post more photos in about an hour or so
 

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How much do you feed him?

A friend of mine has a lab who gains weight looking at food. She adds green beans to his food to give him a bit of bulk to eat but to maintain his weight.
 

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Personally, I think your dog is overweight and should be closer to 80lbs at his age. German Shepherds are not supposed to be thick. They are supposed to be lean and well muscled and agile so they can work.

When looking at your dog from above, you should see a defined waist. You should be able to easily feel his ribs (some people even like to be able to see the last one or two). And see a tuck when looking at him from the side.

As was already mentioned, your dog is young and his bones and joints are still growing. It is way better to keep him skinny to keep pressure off his growing bones and joints.

My dog is 3 years old and weighs 78-80lbs. She eats 2 cups of food a day and always has. Yes, she is a female but she is big. Your options are to cut food, get a lower calorie food and feed the same amount or exercise him more.

I am not trying to be mean but I want your dog to be healthy. As a puppy at 7 months old, he should be very active and agile at everything barring any health problems.
 

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I'm sorry, but for your beautiful pup's sake i am going to be truthful,he is overweight and this is not good for a young German Shepherd's joint's.You need to cut back on his food,plus any treat's he is having, before any permanent damage is done.Please dont take offence, i am saying this because i care.
Linzi
 

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He looks a bit too well fed shall we say?? Does he get to run around a lot off leash? Swim? I would cut down the amount you are feeding and INCREASE his exercise...
 

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Ok, I'm back with more photos of our dog along with my neighbors GSD, which the neighbor's dog in the photo ranges between 85-90 lbs and I believe is over seven years old.

Steeler has the brown face whereas Gunner has the black face.

I'm confident in my range with Steeler's weight being that I've lifted him numerous times with getting in my truck. I can't get him to jump into it, although I can get him to jump up on things that are similar in height with the truck.

As far as feeding goes, he gets two cups (measured) twice a day of iams dry food mixed with one to one and a half chicken tenders (not the breaded ones, the fresh ones you'd make at home yourself).

As far as treats goes, usually a couple large breed size treats during the afternoon....and the occasional hot dog when training him to find things.....which we do just for fun, it amazes us how quick he learns.

I personally agree that he needs to lose a few pounds and any reasonable critical comments are certainly appreciated. This is our first GSD and we're learning by the day, and we don't pretend to know that our methods are the best way.

Our major focus and goal has always been to have a very well mannered, even keeled dog that is very obedient and safe for everyone else to be around. We're under increased scrutiny due to renting and our focus has been on ensuring the safety of others, which we believe we've done great with.

Lastly, he's been to the vet twice now, and will have another visit in the next couple of months. I grilled the vet with questions about his health and weight and he swears he's just a large dog. I do agree with many about the weight on the joints and future problems, but I also have an issue feeding him less than what I'd feed a child of the same size.
 

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Giving him less is not cruel. We humans are the beings who for some reason equate food with love and joy, it is just something you need like air or sleep. Giving more than he needs doesn't make him think you love him more.
Based on the new pics, I'd say he's at least 15lbs over what my dog would be at his age.
There was a very well known book on dog nutrition a few years back that addressed the issue of the amount, it basically showed a pic of a fat dog and the caption said "Feed Less!!" under it. The amount is not the issue, his weight is. If you really feel you need to make yourself feel better, than replace half his food with rinsed canned green beans. But he is not a child and what you would feed a child has nothing to do with logic or reality when you are feeding a dog. Did you read the excerpt from the vet article I posted earlier? Most vets a) have very little formal schooling about diet and nutrition and b) will almost NEVER tell you your dog is overweight, it is one of the number one reasons people switch vets and they are well aware of it, people perceive an insult (regardless of the intention) and find a new vet. I've worked in numerous vet hospitals and they hate to go there unless it is an issue of gross obesity.
 

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He looks quite overweight to me too, which seems odd given the amount he's eating and the exercise he gets. I would have your vet run a thyroid panel on him (and normal bw) to make sure that he's healthy. It could be that a health problem is causing the weight issue.
 

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first he's gorgeous:) and I have to agree with the others, he does look a tad overweight..

You are certainly giving him alot of exercise, that's a "good" thing, what are you feeding him?? Maybe it has to much fat in it?? I feed my 2 year old female 2 cups twice a day, she is 26" at the shoulders (yeah I know long legs:), and weighs in at 72 lbs...She is long and lean.. She is constantly on the move, gets' alot of exercise as well..

I would look at the caloric intake of the food your feeding,
 

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He's a broadly built fella, so he can hold more weight, but he's still overweight. Switch away from Iam's to a grain free food to give him fewer carbs and he will eat less and lose some weight. But with that build, he's going to be heavy. Some GSDs are built like football players and some are built like runners.
 

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He should look more like Gunner. See how you can see Gunners ribcage? THAT is how your boy should look.
 

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My pup was 90# at 11 months this is what he looked like, rawfed from weaning:



And at 19 months he still maintained that weight
 
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