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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all,
My boy is growing fast!! He’s 15 weeks currently, turning 16 weeks on Sunday. He saw the vet Friday for his 16 week appointment one day early. He currently weighs 32.7 pounds. The vet said that “he’s not skinny and he’s not obese, but he could put on more weight”. Now, I am not a vet. But I disagree with this. I think my boy is fit. I don’t check the growth chart because you’ll drive yourself crazy with that thing and each dog is different and grows differently. I do not want to put weight on him so he fits a chart. He’s happy, healthy, and thriving. He is a long Coat and his coat is coming in beautifully and is lustrous and shiny- which would not be the case if he wasn’t getting the proper nutrients. He has a nice little tuck and I can feel all of his ribs but not too much. He loves to work in his classes. We are feeding him Fromm Large Breed Puppy currently according to their charts. He’s on a very structured schedule for eating, sleep, play, and exercise. My fear of adding on food just to put weight on him is his joints- does a rapid growing large breed dog need any more stress on their bodies? Pics included. I’d appreciate constructive feedback and advice. If you think he needs to gain weight, what are your suggestions and why? Thank you so much!!
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wet him and see what you think..
 
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Here's what I like to see. A waist from above and from the side. Valor gets all the food he wants. 13 weeks. Full belly from breakfast about an hour ago.

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Discussion Starter #5
I do think I had an above pic but I’ll try to get one from the side today!! I’ve been sticking to the Recommendations but feeding more as needed. He definitely tells me he when he wants/needs more. The male litter mates are all around this same weight, he’s the heaviest right now. I just want the best for him and to do what’s right
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I do think I had an above pic but I’ll try to get one from the side today!! I’ve been sticking to the Recommendations but feeding more as needed. He definitely tells me he when he wants/needs more. The male litter mates are all around this same weight, he’s the heaviest right now. I just want the best for him and to do what’s right
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I would throw the recommended feedings out of the window. Puppies need nutrients to grow and a healthy amount of fat to support brain development and a strong immune system. If a puppy seems overly hungry, feed them. Just use caution to balance food and treats for total daily intake.
 
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Ours was always on the skinny side relative to the charts. Except when she was battling digestive issues (which was too frequently unfortunately), the vets always said she was fine - and that it would be better to be a little lean than not as she aged bc it would help go easy on the hips. For reference, I would say she was often similar to David’s photo of Valor from the above angle, though I would always try to get her a smidge thicker than that if I could. Usually couldn’t because she was such a picky eater. She was standard coat so not sure how much difference that makes.

if it makes you feel any better, at her thickest, she would look like yours in the photo from above. That would be A-OK with me. And like I said, our vets never had an issue with that or thinner like David’s. And trust me, I asked them every time about it!

also the vets always pointed to other things, like coat, teeth, etc and energy level and also whether she had plenty to eat. Context is key. If he’s healthy all around, that’s just important.

I’m no vet either but that’s what they always advised us.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ours was always on the skinny side relative to the charts. Except when she was battling digestive issues (which was too frequently unfortunately), the vets always said she was fine - and that it would be better to be a little lean than not as she aged bc it would help go easy on the hips. For reference, I would say she was often similar to David’s photo of Valor from the above angle, though I would always try to get her a smidge thicker than that if I could. Usually couldn’t because she was such a picky eater. She was standard coat so not sure how much difference that makes.

if it makes you feel any better, at her thickest, she would look like yours in the photo from above. That would be A-OK with me. And like I said, our vets never had an issue with that or thinner like David’s. And trust me, I asked them every time about it!

also the vets always pointed to other things, like coat, teeth, etc and energy level and also whether she had plenty to eat. Context is key. If he’s healthy all around, that’s just important.

I’m no vet either but that’s what they always advised us.
I’m trying not to get too obsessed/worried about the growth chart or numbers. Just want him to be healthy and happy. When he seems to want more food we always give it to him.
 

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your pup looks perfectly fine to me.... that said, lighting and angles differ from what we’d see in real life, and of course none of us can physically touch him. at this age, i don’t mind a pudgy puppy.. in the same way i wouldn’t mind a pudgy toddler. in adulthood, i prefer a leaner dog with good muscle.

on a standard bcs (body condition score) chart, ideal is between a 4-5.... keeping in mind this is meant for adult dogs... having had a long coat, i’d regularly think he was creeping up towards a 6 in the winter, then sure enough i’d go to bathe him and find he was hovering just outside a 3. this is why i mentioned wetting your dog down and seeing what you think about him then. you and the vet likely have different objectives when based off what you are seeing vs what the vet is feeling.
 

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What a cutie! It's nearly impossible to tell proper weight with a longcoat the way you can with a stock coat just by looking at them. I had to do frequent rib checks with my coaties when they were young. Fluffy coats tend to poof out rather than laying close to the body so they sometimes look chubby even when they're not. But the photos look good and your description of his tuck and the way his ribs feel when you run your hand down his side sounds perfect. I'd go with that over what your vet or feeding charts say. Since he's in a rapid growth phase you may need to adjust the quantity often based on his condition, so keep checking those ribs.
 

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He looks good to me and if anything (hard to tell with longer coat) anything but on the lean side. You have never mentioned how much you're feeding including total calories (check the bag)
 

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Dog looks absolutely fine. Anyone telling you that he's skinny doesn't have enough experience with growing GSD.
Lake ON water is more of a threat to him than his weight ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That was my same thought. When I brought up that point with the vet she asked if I went to veterinarian school... guess it’s time to find a new vet 🤣
 

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Many vets are like a lot of dog owners; blind to over weight dogs and afraid of offending their clients. THey might have 1-2 or a handful of GSD as clients and really not know them that well as vets are generalists, not GSD specialists.

It's far preferable to keep GSD lean and your pup is nowhere near too lean from what I can see. More physicians should tell their patients to lose weight and more vets should likewise be honest with their customers/patients.

You've never mentioned what and how much/often your are feeding the pup. Don't forget to include treats or people food. Look on the bag (if kibble) to see how many kcal per cup it is as well.

Where are you along lake ON? There are a lot of Canadians on this site.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My apologies! Thor is getting 1.25 cups of Fromm Large Breed Puppy (482kcal) 3x a day with 1/4cup Just Raw organic beef mixed in. He gets cheese sticks for training (loves these more than treats) about 89kcal x 3-5 a day.
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I would venture to say that Thor could be leaner. I think what he’s getting is too much food.
3 cups a day is plenty in my opinion, especially since you are adding beef and cheese.
You should keep German Shepherds very lean.
It made a huge difference when we discovered that Hans had horrible hip dysplasia.
The vet who read the x-rays said the reason you can’t tell he has it is because he is so lean. More weight would have been a disaster.
 

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You're feeding a fair amount of total cal/day for a growing/active pup. Easy on the cheese sticks imo.
I'll stand by what I said, he certainly doesn't look too lean and I'd keep a good eye on his weight and certainly not feed "as much as he wants" and be prepared to cut back the food or up the activity to keep him lean.
 
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