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Judge is just over 2 years old, recently neutered and very high energy. He's constantly in the yard chasing "bugs" (we think its bugs, he runs circles a lot). Currently Judge gets fed two cups of food twice a day. He is on the same food as my 4 year old dobe, Luci, Solid Gold/Barking at the Moon. The problem is he's just not filled out enough, he's a little ribby and just a little too skinny. He's smaller than Luci, weight and height wise, and is just overall a smaller dog but he gets twice as much food as she does and he's too skinny.

Is there anything I can add to his food to help him gain a little weight? Or, I am open to the possiblity of switching his food but I'm not sure to what?

Any suggestions are welcomed.
 

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At two years old, it's normal for him to be skinny and kind of lanky. Shepherds don't really fill out until about 3 years old. If he's truly underweight, why not just add some fat to his diet in the form of healthy oils and peanut butter instead of switching foods? 1Tbps of peanut butter has 90 calories. That can add weight in a hurry.
 

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Our are usually still pretty lanky at 2 years old, too. When we feel the dog needs a bit more in the supplement area, we add Vertex to the food. It has worked wonders on some of our working line dogs who burn off every bit of energy.
We get ours from Attaboy.com (I think that is the website).

Annette
 

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Thanks! I've thought about adding in eggs and cottage cheese or yogurt. He doesn't like peanut butter.

ETA: He will be 3 in about 3 months.
 

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I believe I will start adding an egg. I also agree with the OCD assessment. Carmspack, I'm afraid to feed more than 4 cups a day due to the protein content of the food, it has 41% protein and I don't want to overdo it, which is why I considered switching him to something else.

I should go ahead and mention that Judge is my boyfriend's dog and he is a little more concerned with his weight than I am. The pictures I'm going to (attempt to) post are from about a month ago. Judge has had a bout of diarrhea since then after getting into the cat food bin and hasn't gained back a couple of lbs he lost at that point. Sorry for the ramble, on to the pictures:









And just for kicks, since Judge is the bf's dog, here is one of my girl:

 

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I would just feed him a little more. He's active and evidently has a high metabolism. I would add an extra 1/2 cup per meal so one cup total and see if that helps.
 

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Feed a food for a dog that trains, not a glamour grain free. Here we go again: Annamaet Ultra, Dr, Tim's Pursuit, Precise Endurance, Euk 30/20, Eagle Power Pack, National Performance Plus, etc.

These are made for dogs that work or train.
 

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if you're going to feed any of these things
i suggest making it organic so you stay away
from all the bad stuff and sugar that comes
with some of these things.

Thanks! I've thought about adding in eggs and cottage cheese or yogurt. He doesn't like peanut butter.

ETA: He will be 3 in about 3 months.
 

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Feed a food for a dog that trains, not a glamour grain free. Here we go again: Annamaet Ultra, Dr, Tim's Pursuit, Precise Endurance, Euk 30/20, Eagle Power Pack, National Performance Plus, etc.

These are made for dogs that work or train.
Gotta go with Sable on this again. I'm a personal trainer studying to be a physical therapist. With humans, high protein, low/no grain is what we suggest to people who want to LOSE weight. When someone is trying to gain mass, we suggest eating higher carbohydrate and more grain. If your dog can tolerate grains, I'd get him off of the grain-free food and add something with more calories and carbohydrates.

It's very difficult to maintain weight on a low-carb or grain-free diet, especially for someone who is active.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This is why I want to switch foods, this food isn't working well for him. But I had just wanted some suggestions from GSD people. He doesn't tolerate grain well at all though, stinky, itchy, flaky skin and loose stools.

Gotta go with Sable on this again. I'm a personal trainer studying to be a physical therapist. With humans, high protein, low/no grain is what we suggest to people who want to LOSE weight. When someone is trying to gain mass, we suggest eating higher carbohydrate and more grain. If your dog can tolerate grains, I'd get him off of the grain-free food and add something with more calories and carbohydrates.

It's very difficult to maintain weight on a low-carb or grain-free diet, especially for someone who is active.
 

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OK if he doesn't do so well on grains, you'll want to look for a grain-free food that's higher in calories, carbohydrates, and fat than what he's currently eating.

Also do a search for the satin balls recipe; satin balls will put weight on a dog quickly.
 

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Judge is just over 2 years old, recently neutered and very high energy. He's constantly in the yard chasing "bugs" (we think its bugs, he runs circles a lot). Currently Judge gets fed two cups of food twice a day. He is on the same food as my 4 year old dobe, Luci, Solid Gold/Barking at the Moon. The problem is he's just not filled out enough, he's a little ribby and just a little too skinny. He's smaller than Luci, weight and height wise, and is just overall a smaller dog but he gets twice as much food as she does and he's too skinny.

Is there anything I can add to his food to help him gain a little weight? Or, I am open to the possiblity of switching his food but I'm not sure to what?

Any suggestions are welcomed.
I am surprised nobody picked up on the bolded part. Is it possible that it is compulsive behavior? That he has to do it? If that is the case, look into it and break him from that habit, otherwise more food won't do anything because he'll go until the point of exhaustion.
 

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Thank you, I've got the satin balls recipe from previous rescue work I've done and I planned on making those. I've also been on the dog food analysis site researching a decent food that's grain free. I'm glad to know I'm on the right track for him. With Luci I've always had the opposit problem, she turns into a doberpottamus.

OK if he doesn't do so well on grains, you'll want to look for a grain-free food that's higher in calories, carbohydrates, and fat than what he's currently eating.

Also do a search for the satin balls recipe; satin balls will put weight on a dog quickly.
 

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I have considered that its compulsive but just as often as he's after bugs or whatnot, he's laying down chewing sticks, and when he's inside he's relaxed, doesn't pace.

So presuming the "bug chasing" is compulsive, how can we break him of that habit?

I am surprised nobody picked up on the bolded part. Is it possible that it is compulsive behavior? That he has to do it? If that is the case, look into it and break him from that habit, otherwise more food won't do anything because he'll go until the point of exhaustion.
 

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If he can't have grains I'd say go with EVO (either the chicken/turkey or the red meat formulas) OR if you think he'll do ok on rice go for California Natural Chicken & Rice. It's a limited ingredient diet so it shouldn't bother him as long as rice or chicken isn't a problem. They all offer over 500 calories per cup (Compared to BatM which is only 465/cup) and are what I used to keep weight on Chance in the past. (He was a working dog) You can also toss in some fatty beef for extra calories. :thumbup:
 
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