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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all and thank you for taking the time to read this thread :)

I have recently became the owner of a GSD male puppy. He is 9 weeks old and seems very healthy except that whenever he walks his back legs seem to trip and catch on things like rocks or plants. It's like he can't lift his back legs up very high. His back legs are also very close together when he is standing still and when he urinates his back legs SOMETIMES bend in so much that his hocks overlap each other.

His back end also seems much narrower than his chest, which from what I gather isn't completely abnormal for a German Shepherd.

He is very active and seems to be in no pain. In fact he loves walks so much that I'm always having to ruin his day by leading us home when he clearly would rather stay out and keep walking. And on that note I admit, I am guilty of giving in and leading him out for longer than I probably should have. Could a few really long walks have damaged him?

I have only owned 2 chihuahuas before this GSD so yeah lol this is a big change. But I'm an outdoors person, and I always wanted a smart/athletic hiking buddy which is why I looked into getting a GSD.

This pup is so smart, I mean man is he smart. I've already taught him to stand, sit, lie down, come and give high fives. I won't give him up, I plan on doing the best I can for him till he is six months then I will get him x-rayed and we will go from there.

Any GSD owners out there who had pup problems like this??? How did your pup turn out??? My pup in the past few days has gone through a growth spurt and gained at least an inch if not two inches to his leg length which has made him look extra thin and gangly and walk worse. Any advice on the kind of food to give him to promote muscle development? I bought food that promoted bone development thinking it would help prevent HD but I think that has backfired.

And I'm sorry for how long this post is, I'm hoping the more you guys and gals know the more feedback I can get in return. Any sort of advice will be helpful so don't be afraid to post!
 

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9wks is young, and in all honesty, many pups are extremely clumsy at this stage... A video of the pup walking would be more helpful. Also, what are you feeding? Less calcium is better... Supplements for joint health is advised. Personally I like Fresh Factors and C-complex from Springtime Inc, but their are many other good options. A good quality dog food is essential as well. Would love to see pix of your baby :)
 

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You should post a picture if you can. Tiger had much smaller back legs than his front when he was young. When he walked he kind of placed one back leg directly in front of the other. epic butt wiggle too. his first trainer (no real GSD experience) wouldn't stop talking about how weak he was and he needed running to strengthen his 2 back legs up. he was 4-ish months at the time. if I had a quarter for every time she said 'cow-hocked'. but his breeder had said no strenuous activity until he's grown so I just kept things going as normal. He looks totally fine now, trots and walks like a GSD and runs really fast when I throw things for him. which is what I was expecting since his parents had great hip and elbow scores. he just started out all awkward moving and looking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you guys for the responses. Yeah, the food I had been feeding him was high in calcium. I thought it would be good for him. He's on the other adult dogs ration now till I go to town and get something better. I will also get him some joint supplements when I go, just name the puppy food brands you guys think are best and I will try to obtain them.

I have no pics of my pup standing up atm, I will take some in the morn when the sun is up. My avatar is a pic of him, as for videos..... I live waay out in the country so even loading up a page takes awhile, but I'll see what I can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ok here's some pictures. I did my best to capture his typical leg positioning. But he's a puppy so it's not easy lol.











You can see how his legs bend in together. Today they aren't as bad as they were yesterday.





Here when he sits you can see his hocks touching each other.
 

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Being cow-hocked is not that same as being weak in the hind-end. They can grow out of a lot of things as they mature. He looks like a very cute, gangly little pup! Love his face. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's some pics of him walking/trotting. Please give me some food recommendations, and any other GSD owners out there who have had pups with small/weak hind ends tell me how they turned out. My biggest concern is it might be a sign of HD. Once he's 6 months I will have him x-rayed but until then any answers you guys might give will help ease the load of questions and concerns off my mind.










 

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Puppies do extraordinarily weird things. "Let it be." Your concerns are valid, but at the 5.5 month mark. X-ray at 6 months why > ?

SGCSG
 

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I think you have a 9 week old puppy. They can be clumsy. Have you contacted your breeder?

I wouldn't rush right off the vet. I would watch his exercise so he's not overdoing it and let him build some muscle up. How long are your walks?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Being cow-hocked is not that same as being weak in the hind-end. They can grow out of a lot of things as they mature. He looks like a very cute, gangly little pup! Love his face. :)

Thank you, I do too love his face :)

If I can upload a video you guys can see what I mean. He is cow hocked yes, but his back end is always stumbling and tripping, trying to keep up with the front end. His back end wobbles at times like it's unsteady and occasionally when he puts a hind leg down it will shake. Both back legs will do it.

Like I said I'm a first time GSD owner, a friend noticed how clumsy he is and thought it was abnormal so it got me concerned. Course no one I know has had any GSD experience so I thought I'd come here and see what I can find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
X-Ray at six months to see if his hips are all right. The breeder doesn't seem concerned.

And our walks are usually 20 min. But sometimes go towards an hour.........
 

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An hour for a 9 week old is really long in my opinion. Are you seeing the unsteadiness towards the end of these longer walks?

Why prelims at 6 months? Typically prelims are done at about a year once the growth plates have closed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He is unsteady all the time, I thought walking would do him some good. You know help build up muscle, but I guess too much exercise can have a negative impact.

X-rays at six months just to get an idea of what's going on in his hips. I might be overly concerned about all this but after doing some reading, I thinks it's best to be on the ball and proactive in case he has mild to moderate HD.

Only been on hour long walks 3 times. He is so full of energy that he practically never tires even after walks. Since 20 min seemed too short for him we went on longer walks, I mean he wanted to keep going. Guess puppy doesn't always know what's best for himself, I give in too easily I guess.

I'll keep walks shorter and see if that helps. And as for nutrition, any suggestions? I get Nature’s Variety Instinct Dog Food occasionally for my Chihuahua's. Think that's good stuff for pups?
 

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I don't think a normal healthy puppy is always unsteady in the back end. There is a certain amount of "looseness" I would expect from young puppies but not regular wobbling, stumbling and legs shaking. 60 minute walks are to long, he's a baby. I would rather go with your gut and get him checked out than to look back knowing perhaps you could have done something different to correct what could be a problem.
Have you been back to the breeder to show them what your seeing?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the links Anastasia :)

The breeder thinks it's normal puppy clumsiness and that he will grow out of it. We will see, once he's older and more built I will have him x-rayed. It could just be my paranoia, I've been around other large dog puppy breeds and they were clumsy but stronger in the rear end than this pup so it's just not something that I'm used to.

Thank you all for your input and advice, I think time will tell if he gets over it or not. And I have a feeling a diet with less calcium and shorter walks will probably help quite a bit.
 

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He's incredibly cute. My current 1 yo was a real bumble butt of a puppy. She still has too much juice and fumbles turns unlike any other pup I've had. I'd suspect his clumsiness is just puppy.
 

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Looks like a normal puppy to me. I don't see any gross anatomical exaggerations that would alert me to a problem.

Puppies are gangly, awkward, clumsy, and weird. Unless you get actual xray and medical data confirming otherwise, I wouldn't panic just yet. He is way too young to be worried about this.

It is better to give him exercise where he can stop and limit himself if he wants to at this age. Let him play on glass, dirt, and soft ground that is easy on his joints. Being on pavement and road for long periods are not good for young joints
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you guys, lol you all ended up alleviating some of my worries. It could just be a GSD puppy thing I guess, suppose I should give him a chance to grow out of it like many of you have suggested before I jump the gun.
 
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