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So I am trying to get an idea of how big my puppy, Citra, is going to be. I built a spreadsheet to track her weekly growth in weight and height. I have two questions:

1. What is a healthy growth rate for her height. I feed her Fromm's Gold LBP. Do I just need to feed her what is recommended and be done with it or will I need to scale her food based on her growth rate? If I need to scale it, what is a healthy range her height growth rate should be?

2. I have come across many places that talk about estimating how big your dog will be. Some estimate using weeks and some estimate using months. Well, as we all know, some months have 5 weeks in them and some have 4. So, depending on when your puppy was born your 4 month period could cover 16 weeks, 17 weeks, or it could cover 18 weeks. As it stands, My puppy at 4 months of age will be at 17 weeks. Not 16 weeks. I know this is not a HUGE difference in growth but there will be different results yielded depending on which weight/height value I use. I am a bit OCD about getting details ironed out and clear so my question is, would it be wiser to assume that 4 months is 16 weeks, and therefore use her growth at 16 weeks, or should I use her growth at her true 4/5/6 month milestones?

I know I am splitting hairs. Forgive me. I am a tad OCD when it comes to things like this.

Included some newer pictures of my baby taken just a couple of days ago. Also, check out her paws!! My hand is just under 8.5" from wrist to finger tips.....and her paws are **** near the size of my hand. They are also almost as big as our 65 lb Smooth Collie Mix. Haha!!
 

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I cannot answer about weeks vs months.
A good estimate for size would be if you knew the size/weight of her parents.
What is the current weight and age?
 

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Fully grown, she will top out between 50 and 110, 50 and 100 if you do not let her become overweight.

Hope that helps.





Rest assured, if you get through the puppy crazies, and the adolescent insanity, and the first three heat cycles, she will be the perfect size for you and your family.
 
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too many factors to do what you are asking.
1) some dogs will get all of their height early and some will grow more gradually.
2) age when you spay/neuter will affect their growth rate
3) growth spurts come in cycles. You can literally wake up in the morning and say "HOLY COW!" because they've sprouted overnight.

GSDs grow in height until the growth plates close, around 18 months old. And then they add bulk until 3-4 years old. Exact timelines are influenced by bloodlines and individual metabolisms.
Dog A might get most of their height by the time they are 9 months old and only add a bit to that until 18 months. Some may advance slowly until closer to the end of their growth or may just go in fits and bursts the entire time. It would be highly unlikely to find any dog that grows at a regular rate all the way through.

A rule of thumb in the first few months is that there will be a steady weekly gain. One of my dogs gained a bit over 3lbs a week until 4 months old. Another gained 5 lbs a week.
After the first few months, Singe gained a LOT of height but not much in the way of actual weight, leaving him looking like a bobble head - it was amazing that he just didn't topple over.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I cannot answer about weeks vs months.
A good estimate for size would be if you knew the size/weight of her parents.
What is the current weight and age?

As of Sunday she was 12 Weeks & 26.2 lbs @ 17"

I did get a chance to meet both of her parents. The sire was a good size. I estimated somewhere between 80-90 lbs. The dam also appeared to be a pretty good size for a female. My fiance thought the dam was high 70's, low 80's.

The problem with this is that the other day I saw another GSD that looked similar in size to the dam and the owner of that GSD said that she was 65 lbs. But then I look at my 65 lb Smooth Collie and he looks small compared to the GSD I saw at the vet and my puppy's Dam. So I don't know if I can trust my eyeball weight scale. Then there are her paws. Her paws look really. In fact, my 12 week old GSD's paws are the same size as my 1.5 year old Collie. And he is 65 lbs. So I am all over the place with estimating her adult size.

Obviously, we love her no matter whether she is big or small. This is purely a me thing. It's like a puzzle for me. I try to develop a formula that helps in estimating her size. I look at her growth trends and develop projections and try to get as close as I can to her final weight. Unfortunately, I didn't think to be as detailed with the tracking for my other two dogs as I have been with Citra. So this is my first trial doing this.

Fully grown, she will top out between 50 and 110, 50 and 100 if you do not let her become overweight.

Hope that helps.
I figured as much. Haha!!


Rest assured, if you get through the puppy crazies, and the adolescent insanity, and the first three heat cycles, she will be the perfect size for you and your family.
I'm aware of this. It doesn't have anything to do with me wanting her to be as big as possible. It is a puzzle for me. I just want to see how accurately I can forecast her adult weight. Whether she is 50 lbs or 100 lbs is irrelevant to me. I just enjoy the puzzle. :)



too many factors to do what you are asking.
1) some dogs will get all of their height early and some will grow more gradually.
2) age when you spay/neuter will affect their growth rate
3) growth spurts come in cycles. You can literally wake up in the morning and say "HOLY COW!" because they've sprouted overnight.

GSDs grow in height until the growth plates close, around 18 months old. And then they add bulk until 3-4 years old. Exact timelines are influenced by bloodlines and individual metabolisms.
Dog A might get most of their height by the time they are 9 months old and only add a bit to that until 18 months. Some may advance slowly until closer to the end of their growth or may just go in fits and bursts the entire time. It would be highly unlikely to find any dog that grows at a regular rate all the way through.

A rule of thumb in the first few months is that there will be a steady weekly gain. One of my dogs gained a bit over 3lbs a week until 4 months old. Another gained 5 lbs a week.
After the first few months, Singe gained a LOT of height but not much in the way of actual weight, leaving him looking like a bobble head - it was amazing that he just didn't topple over.
We don't plan to have her spayed. Does leaving a female pup intact stunt growth or encourage it? Our goal is to have at least one litter with her. My sister has a friend that has a black GSD and we were thinking about possibly breeding them after a year or so.

By the way, I came home from work yesterday and I swore there was a different dog in my living room. I looked at her and she looked HUGE compared to when I had actually taken a good look at her the night before. I was amazed.
 

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Hope it is the "or-so." In a year, your puppy will still be a puppy. She doesn't need to go through pregnancy, whelping, and raising a litter until she is an adult -- 2 years minimum.

And the biggest paws I have ever seen on a dog are Moofies, and he is currently 70 pounds. Should top out around 80-85 maybe.

You might be OCD about things like this, but it will only create stress. Relax and wait it out.
 

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2. I have come across many places that talk about estimating how big your dog will be. Some estimate using weeks and some estimate using months. Well, as we all know, some months have 5 weeks in them and some have 4.
Not really. :) 4 weeks is 28 days, and with the exception of February, all the other months have either 30 or 31 days, which is well short of 5 weeks. To calculate your pup's age in weeks you'd use the day of the week she was born - Sunday to Sunday. For her age in months you'd use the day of the month - February 14th to March 14th would be one month, April 14th would be two months, etc.
 
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go down to the breeding forum and read up on the things needed before you can even think of breeding.
does your sister's friend's dog have a pedigree that is a good match? There is so much more than a working pair of testicles required. Are the friends willing to pay the expenses of health testing required before he should be bred?
 

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I know how to count. If I count months it comes out to 17 weeks. Not 16 (4x4). And yes, you're right. But they have 4 weeks and a few days into the next week. Those few days add up over time. If I calculate the weeks that pass for her to reach 6 months it comes out to 26 weeks. Not 24 (6x4). So, like I said, there is definitely a difference in the results I will get depending on whether I count weeks or months.
Not really. :) 4 weeks is 28 days, and with the exception of February, all the other months have either 30 or 31 days, which is well short of 5 weeks. To calculate your pup's age in weeks you'd use the day of the week she was born - Sunday to Sunday. For her age in months you'd use the day of the month - February 14th to March 14th would be one month, April 14th would be two months, etc.

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go down to the breeding forum and read up on the things needed before you can even think of breeding.
does your sister's friend's dog have a pedigree that is a good match? There is so much more than a working pair of testicles required. Are the friends willing to pay the expenses of health testing required before he should be bred?
We're not breeding show/work lines that will be registered. I got my pup from a friend of a friend who's two GSDs happened to have puppies. They're not going to be registered or top of the line quality with guaranteed good health. They're going to be two family dogs that have a litter of puppies. We're going to get ours tested. But we won't require that the sire be treated. Preferred, obviously. But not required.

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What does your vet say about the dogs projected weight. At 12 weeks I asked my vet what he thought my dog would weigh. He looked at his birthday and his weight then, and said he will weigh 65 lbs. Well at 371 days or 1 year and 5 days or 53 weeks, 265 weekdays and 106 weekend days. 8,904 hours, 534,240 minutes, 32,054,400 seconds. All times current as of this post. he weighs 65 lbs. I don't figure he will gain much more so the vet was pretty darn close.
 

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Sorry I forgot. 12.1972 months
 

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What does your vet say about the dogs projected weight. At 12 weeks I asked my vet what he thought my dog would weigh. He looked at his birthday and his weight then, and said he will weigh 65 lbs. Well at 371 days or 1 year and 5 days or 53 weeks, 265 weekdays and 106 weekend days. 8,904 hours, 534,240 minutes, 32,054,400 seconds. All times current as of this post. he weighs 65 lbs. I don't figure he will gain much more so the vet was pretty darn close.
You might be surprised, dogs often fill out in years 2-3. My Babsy was 58 pounds at 2, 72 pounds at 4-5 years.
 

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What does your vet say about the dogs projected weight. At 12 weeks I asked my vet what he thought my dog would weigh. He looked at his birthday and his weight then, and said he will weigh 65 lbs. Well at 371 days or 1 year and 5 days or 53 weeks, 265 weekdays and 106 weekend days. 8,904 hours, 534,240 minutes, 32,054,400 seconds. All times current as of this post. he weighs 65 lbs. I don't figure he will gain much more so the vet was pretty darn close.
You might be surprised, dogs often fill out in years 2-3. My Babsy was 58 pounds at 2, 72 pounds at 4-5 years.
Yeah, he will probably fill out some yet. I just didn't think it would add that much weight. He is 25""tall. I am, happy with his weight. He looks healthy.
 

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I know how to count. If I count months it comes out to 17 weeks. Not 16 (4x4). And yes, you're right. But they have 4 weeks and a few days into the next week. Those few days add up over time. If I calculate the weeks that pass for her to reach 6 months it comes out to 26 weeks. Not 24 (6x4). So, like I said, there is definitely a difference in the results I will get depending on whether I count weeks or months.
Didn't mean to imply that you couldn't count, I was merely responding to your statement that some months have 4 weeks and some have 5 weeks, which they don't. :)

If you take 4 weeks and multiply it by 12 months you get 336 days. Subtract that from 365 days in a year and there's a difference of 29 days - just under a month over the course of a whole year. Yes, that's quite a bit, but it's spread out over a fairly long time. Divide those 29 days by 12 months, and it's 2.42 days. If you're looking to project her weight from now to adulthood, daily differences are going to be small enough to be statistically insignificant over the long run. She might gain as much as 10-12 pounds a month at first but that could vary from month to month, and the rapid growth rate of puppyhood will only last so long and then it will start to slow down.

Since there's a 22 pound range in the German standard for a female (approximately 48 to 70-1/2 pounds, as converted from kgs), and not all puppies grow at the same rate, there really is no reliable way to predict her adult weight. I realize you're doing this just for fun, but you just can't sweat those little details!

Here's an example with a couple of my dogs: Dena and Keefer are half siblings, born about 13 months apart from the same dam and different sires. They both weighed in the 18/19 pound range when we got them, which was 9 weeks old for each of them. When Keefer turned 6 months old I compared his weight with Dena's at the same age. She had outweighed him by 7 pounds, even though the male adult standard is about 18 pounds more than the female (approximately 66-88 pounds)! And yet, her adult weight was around 72 pounds and he topped out at 80 pounds. If you just looked at their weight when younger as a predictor of how large they would become, you'd have been way off because although they were closely related, their growth rate was completely different.
 
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Didn't mean to imply that you couldn't count, I was merely responding to your statement that some months have 4 weeks and some have 5 weeks, which they don't. :)

If you take 4 weeks and multiply it by 12 months you get 336 days. Subtract that from 365 days in a year and there's a difference of 29 days - just under a month over the course of a whole year. Yes, that's quite a bit, but it's spread out over a fairly long time. Divide those 29 days by 12 months, and it's 2.42 days. If you're looking to project her weight from now to adulthood, daily differences are going to be small enough to be statistically insignificant over the long run. She might gain as much as 10-12 pounds a month at first but that could vary from month to month, and the rapid growth rate of puppyhood will only last so long and then it will start to slow down.

Since there's a 22 pound range in the German standard for a female (approximately 48 to 70-1/2 pounds, as converted from kgs), and not all puppies grow at the same rate, there really is no reliable way to predict her adult weight. I realize you're doing this just for fun, but you just can't sweat those little details!

Here's an example with a couple of my dogs: Dena and Keefer are half siblings, born about 13 months apart from the same dam and different sires. They both weighed in the 18/19 pound range when we got them, which was 9 weeks old for each of them. When Keefer turned 6 months old I compared his weight with Dena's at the same age. She had outweighed him by 7 pounds, even though the male adult standard is about 18 pounds more than the female (approximately 66-88 pounds)! And yet, her adult weight was around 72 pounds and he topped out at 80 pounds. If you just looked at their weight when younger as a predictor of how large they would become, you'd have been way off because although they were closely related, their growth rate was completely different.
I'm looking at growth trends. Not just x pounds at y weeks. A puppy's growth trend changes daily. I'm not trying to get a snapshot like most people that ask about their puppy's adult size. I'm charting, projecting, and modifying. I will be doing this for the next couple of years until she settles in to her adult weight. Then, I'll do it again for the next puppy I adopt. I'll draw parallels and mark variables. And through it, I'll do my best to develop a new method of forecasting adult weight. Obviously, I can't account for things like genetics and low quality food. But I can find a median. I'm a process oriented person. I excel at the sciences. I work in IT. And I like taking on the things that people say can't be done. It gives me something statistical & logic based to play with outside of my job. Not to mention, it gives me yet another avenue to appreciate my dog. If nothing else, I find that to be a benefit. :)

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I'm looking at growth trends. Not just x pounds at y weeks. A puppy's growth trend changes daily. I'm not trying to get a snapshot like most people that ask about their puppy's adult size. I'm charting, projecting, and modifying. I will be doing this for the next couple of years until she settles in to her adult weight. Then, I'll do it again for the next puppy I adopt. I'll draw parallels and mark variables. And through it, I'll do my best to develop a new method of forecasting adult weight. Obviously, I can't account for things like genetics and low quality food. But I can find a median. I'm a process oriented person. I excel at the sciences. I work in IT. And I like taking on the things that people say can't be done. It gives me something statistical & logic based to play with outside of my job. Not to mention, it gives me yet another avenue to appreciate my dog. If nothing else, I find that to be a benefit. :)

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You realize the magnitude of this don't you? Dogs are the species that varies the most when it comes to size, shape, growth rate, maturation rate, etc. You have 4-6 pound tea-cup pooches, and 240-260 pound mastiffs. That's a whole lot of difference.

So, you are doing that just within the GSD breed. Well, again, you have a bunch of different lines, ASL, WGWL, GSL, DDR, and more, and mixtures between these lines, and all of them AKC. Some of these lines are skinny and sloped, Some are over-sized; some are barrel chested, long and low;some are slab-sided, tall and thin. Even staying within the lines of the standard, there is 24-26 inches for males, 22-24 inches for females, and if you go by the Germans, there is a weight range that is pretty wide.

Ok, you want to stay within your specific type of GSD. Let's say GSL. You STILL have dogs that are bred together that are well within the standard, that produce dogs that are outside of the standard. You still have dogs that reach adult height at 10 months, and others that take 18 months to get to adult size, and 3 years to fill out. Yes, you can come up with a median, but unless you use some form of a bell curve, you aren't going to fall in that median with any level of confidence. Sorry. And if you use a bell curve, well it will be so wide that it won't be much help to the people who want to predict their dog's overall dimensions.

No chance. No chance doing this one dog at a time. You would need thousands of owners to do this charting along with you to come up with something close. And you need to narrow your scope to just one line.

this is coming from someone who has entered puppy weights in excel for every litter I produced, and charted them for 2-3 weeks, some longer, to determine growth rates, specifically in the first week to determine whether the puppies are doing ok or not.

In my first litter, I had 7 live puppies. Most of them born between 16 and 20 ounces. 1 was 13 ounces. The other six puppies grew with a very similar slope. The small one, Cujo, grew at a significantly smaller slope -- rise (weight gain) over run(time). That litter is almost 11 years old now. Guess which puppy turned out to be the largest and tallest? Yep, Cujo, the small one. He also had the most trouble and died of cancer at 7 years old.

I guess I am not sure what you are hoping to be able to predict. Even with 100+ puppies, I can't predict with any level of confidence whether group of puppies is out of the woods yet or not. But I plot on.
 

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You realize the magnitude of this don't you? Dogs are the species that varies the most when it comes to size, shape, growth rate, maturation rate, etc. You have 4-6 pound tea-cup pooches, and 240-260 pound mastiffs. That's a whole lot of difference.

So, you are doing that just within the GSD breed. Well, again, you have a bunch of different lines, ASL, WGWL, GSL, DDR, and more, and mixtures between these lines, and all of them AKC. Some of these lines are skinny and sloped, Some are over-sized; some are barrel chested, long and low;some are slab-sided, tall and thin. Even staying within the lines of the standard, there is 24-26 inches for males, 22-24 inches for females, and if you go by the Germans, there is a weight range that is pretty wide.

Ok, you want to stay within your specific type of GSD. Let's say GSL. You STILL have dogs that are bred together that are well within the standard, that produce dogs that are outside of the standard. You still have dogs that reach adult height at 10 months, and others that take 18 months to get to adult size, and 3 years to fill out. Yes, you can come up with a median, but unless you use some form of a bell curve, you aren't going to fall in that median with any level of confidence. Sorry. And if you use a bell curve, well it will be so wide that it won't be much help to the people who want to predict their dog's overall dimensions.

No chance. No chance doing this one dog at a time. You would need thousands of owners to do this charting along with you to come up with something close. And you need to narrow your scope to just one line.

this is coming from someone who has entered puppy weights in excel for every litter I produced, and charted them for 2-3 weeks, some longer, to determine growth rates, specifically in the first week to determine whether the puppies are doing ok or not.

In my first litter, I had 7 live puppies. Most of them born between 16 and 20 ounces. 1 was 13 ounces. The other six puppies grew with a very similar slope. The small one, Cujo, grew at a significantly smaller slope -- rise (weight gain) over run(time). That litter is almost 11 years old now. Guess which puppy turned out to be the largest and tallest? Yep, Cujo, the small one. He also had the most trouble and died of cancer at 7 years old.

I guess I am not sure what you are hoping to be able to predict. Even with 100+ puppies, I can't predict with any level of confidence whether group of puppies is out of the woods yet or not. But I plot on.
Is it futile? Yeah, probably. Doesn't dissuade me from the challenge. And doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Again, it gives me something to do to exercise my mind. Helps keep me young. Haha!!

Would you be willing to donate information to aid in this endeavor by weighing your litters until they are adopted out, instead of just 2-3 weeks. The more data, the better. If you know other breeders that would be willing to donate the same information, that would be great.

I prefer at least a years worth of weekly weigh ins. But that would require owner participation. That's unlikely.

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Is it futile? Yeah, probably. Doesn't dissuade me from the challenge. And doesn't mean I'm not going to try. Again, it gives me something to do to exercise my mind. Helps keep me young. Haha!!

Would you be willing to donate information to aid in this endeavor by weighing your litters until they are adopted out, instead of just 2-3 weeks. The more data, the better. If you know other breeders that would be willing to donate the same information, that would be great.

I prefer at least a years worth of weekly weigh ins. But that would require owner participation. That's unlikely.

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Sorry, but no.

I have a scale that goes up to 11 pounds, but the size of the basket you need on top makes it nearly impossible to weigh puppies more then 5-6 pounds. And then they rarely stay still long enough to get a weight on them. And I weigh them twice daily for the first week or so, and then once a day until about 3 weeks, and then I leave off. I work full time. With research data, you need good information. If I am running late this morning, and decide not to weigh 7 squirm balls, until tonight, I am throwing off your data. So, no sorry.
 

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Sorry, but no.

I have a scale that goes up to 11 pounds, but the size of the basket you need on top makes it nearly impossible to weigh puppies more then 5-6 pounds. And then they rarely stay still long enough to get a weight on them. And I weigh them twice daily for the first week or so, and then once a day until about 3 weeks, and then I leave off. I work full time. With research data, you need good information. If I am running late this morning, and decide not to weigh 7 squirm balls, until tonight, I am throwing off your data. So, no sorry.
Very true. Fair enough. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. :)

By the way, thank you for your input and adding to things I need to consider. You've been very helpful.

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