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Someone at the park asked me today if my puppy had spinal surgery because of the way he was walking... :eek:

Maybe she just doesn't know GSD's but then it got me worrying because they do seem a bit weak at times. He is currently 4 1/2 months old and is a WGSL/WL cross if that matters at all. Is this something I should worry about, just gangly puppyhood and is there anything I can do to strengthen his legs more? He's currently on Orijen regional red with a little bit of raw a few times a day, I am getting ready to try him on Fromm LBP though. I can talk to his breeder too, just interested in others opinions!

This is the best video I gave to show his back legs and gait. Thank you for any thoughts!

 

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Have you showed this video to your breeder? He's adorable. I would get prelims done when he's 6 months by a qualified ortho.
He also looks a bit overweight in the video...keeping him lean will help his joints/structure.
 

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Have you showed this video to your breeder? He's adorable. I would get prelims done when he's 6 months by a qualified ortho.
He also looks a bit overweight in the video...keeping him lean will help his joints/structure.
You're right, I was trying so hard to get him to eat(he's a horribly picky eater), I overdid it with the canned food that's why I switched to raw. I will cut him back to two feedings and up his exercise. I was sick for a few weeks and he did NOT get enough exercise but now I feel human again and we are doing much more!

Prelims for what exactly? Sorry, this is my first shepherd puppy... Thank you for the advice!
 

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I agree with onyx - he looks too heavy, which can definitely take its toll long term. But also, it could be contributing to his awkward gate that is currently present as well.

The major concern I see is he is EXTREMELY cowhocked and also walks on his hocks, which I think may be more common to see in the show lines. I have working lines, so hopefully a show line person can chime in on the rear end structure.
 

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He sure is adorable!! I love his poofy coat and dark color! I'm a sucker for those dark coated GSDs :) . What I noticed, is when he runs his back feet seem to 'hop' together. His hocks seem to be turned in quite a bit, too. Is he swaying left and right when he is standing or is that the camera? I am not an expert, but I would have a vet look at him for sure.
 

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He sure is adorable!! I love his poofy coat and dark color! I'm a sucker for those dark coated GSDs :) . What I noticed, is when he runs his back feet seem to 'hop' together. His hocks seem to be turned in quite a bit, too. Is he swaying left and right when he is standing or is that the camera? I am not an expert, but I would have a vet look at him for sure.
Thanks! And yeah, should have mentioned that... It is the camera swaying around.
 

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prelim hip/elbow x-rays. They can be done when he's 6 months but be sure to use a qualified vet, not all will position right.
I agree on the cow-hocks....that is usually something that doesn't go away, it's in the dogs structure. But you can strengthen the rear end, which looks like your pup lacks muscle as well. Bunnyhopping may go away.
Good to read you're feeling better! Nothing like being sick with a young energetic pup in your life.
 

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The next few weeks you should see it start to stand higher on his rear legs. The muscles are just starting to build up. I am not sure how long of hikes you do with your pup, but you dont want to over do it either. He is a baby still.
 

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My Toby (also a WL x WGSD ) looked very much like that as a puppy and was always a bit mismatched (front and back) and cowhocked as an adult but did not seem to experience permanent impairment other than the fact he was not an efficient mover and was a bit clumsy all his life.

But I agree. Make sure the vet see's no actual issues, keep him lean and follow SL folks advice on letting him grow into those legs.
 

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Hip and elbows, of course lol... Sometimes I am really dense but yes I will definitely be getting that done, luckily I have an amazing vet nearby that I trust.

So plan of action... Have my vet look at him this weekend, work on getting rid of his chubs, strengthening his legs and loving him for his mismatched goofy self.

Hmm, do think this would effect his ability to do agility or flyball in the future?
 

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It can. He is cow hocked, and very loose in the back end. It can tighten up some. A lot of puppies will go go go way beyond what they should. Your puppy stops and waits. A few times I saw him looking back to you, which means he might just be attached to you and does not want to go too far without you being there. It can also be that he is tiring or having some pain.

At his age it could be pano too if he is in pain. I would definitely do pre-lims on him. But I would wait until he is at least 6 months, maybe a year old to do them. I would also follow whatever regime there is for healthy hips -- diet, moderate regular exercise, staying lean, not encouraging the dog to jump or running the dog on a hard surface.

BTW, that area looks like Puppy Heaven.
 

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This is a current video of him taken today, he's grown A LOT since that hiking video! I think he's improving somewhat... He's been getting more exercise and I've had him on a light diet(didn't want to go overboard since he is a growing lad)...

I'm waiting to see the vet I trust but should be soon here, I also talked to his breeder and showed her videos of his movement... She said its pretty normal for them to be "loosey-goosey" and cow-hocked till about a year old(SL WL difference I guess though he is half WL). He's not in any pain I can see, he was romping and zooming around today during his play date with a female pit. I may start supplementing him for pano(vit C, etc) since he's getting close to around the age when they get it and he is growing a lot right now.

 

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I cannot watch this video. Your breeder said a year? That's interesting. I have a pup born in May that looks awful right now, I won't even show her to anyone because she is loosey goosey and cow-hocked. Her sister looks awesome. I am hoping she tightens up a bit and doesn't have anything seriously wrong. But if she does, I am glad that I still have her.
 

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She said that its pretty typical for dogs with a lot of rear angulation(being loose) and its not uncommon to be cow-hocked also at this age and that it should start to straighten up at about a year old.

Obviously I will do prelims too but I trust her, she's been doing this almost 40 years. Though if something "is" wrong that won't change anything for me, no way I'm giving him back!
 

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looks like a result of the dogs conformation -- cow hocked yes , restricted rear movement -- in first video dog was leaning on his left side .
In last video you get a better look at overall conformation. Low whithers , roaching back .
Get prelims done for peace of mind.
 

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My pup is WGSL and when he was that age, people asked me all the time if he already had hip displasia already because he was such a goofy runner! He was also slower than all the other dogs at the dog park and it got me super paranoid. Now he's 1.5 years old, he's now one of the faster dogs at the dog park! He used to also have cow hocks...but it straightened out quite a bit. He walks/runs beautifully now. We also had his hips X-rayed when he was 1 and there was no problems what so ever. I think GSDs just go through an awkward phase and I wouldn't really worry about for now. Just make sure you keep him light like what others said (mine has also been on the skinnier side) and don't let hime jump on and off things too much. I think your pup will be fine!
 

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Miss Molly is show line and her back legs concerned us when she was a pup. No muscle strength to speak of and I blame SL breeders for wanting that sloped, stacked look.

We don't show Miss Molly but she does run almost every day chasing down tennis balls or her chum. Her back legs have strengthened a LOT and she can run and jump very well now. She is super fast and herds and corners other dogs on the fly like they were cattle, ha.
She has jumped into the back of my pickup before I can even let the tail gate down.

As long as your pup gets lots of exercise I would bet he will be plenty strong when he gets a little older.


 
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