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I am still new to the breed and have only had my Koda for about 5 months, but I have some questions about GSDs and Dogs in general. Koda turns 2 this month and he is still long lanky and often called a she... not a he. He eats 2 lbs of raw food per day as well as an egg, and potatoes. As well as other goodies. So he gets plenty of calories in his diet. Getting off track...

I know some people know what line(s) their GSD comes from and know that that line in particular has been known to fill out slower than others. I understand that Koda was most likely not bred from amazing pedigrees and most likely doesn't fit the mold for any certain type/line of GSDs. Is there anything I can do to encourage my guy to fill out?

And can you guess his "lines" from his photos? Like "his head and angles look to be German showlines, but his scrawny neck is from the Am. Showlines."

I was also thinking about his weight, I got him and he was 79lbs he is now 85lbs and looks healthy to me. When his chest fills out, should I expect any additional weight? Say 5-10 lbs. Is it possible he will stay scrawny forever?????

One last thing....How can I beef up his neck? This is a weird question, I know, but he really does have the skinniest neck for a GSD. I mean Koda is 29'' at the withers and a pretty big boy, but I can fit my hands around his neck... seems weird.

Ok here are some pictures in case anyone wants to help me with guessing his possible origins.


When we first got him at 79 lbs.




After playing with the hose...still 80 lbs and scrawny


In December...Closest thing I have to a mug shot.. I mean head shot.



After the dog park (approx. 85lbs here)


Looking pretty good at the Christmas Party


Might be a better head angle, and it shows his thin body some.




I will take more picture after our Hike tomorrow. Thanks for the opinions!
 

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Hi,
you know I do not see ribs, either from a side view or a top view, his coat is shining, color is good. Some shepherds are and will always be 'lanky' I have a coming on 3 year old neutered male, he is tall, 27 inches and weighs 72 lbs. I once had a female, she was about the same build as your boy. She was in great health.

I think it also depends on when he was neetered, assuming he is. If it is done befor ethe hoemones have a chance to kick in and build all those, thick masculine features, they will never develop.
 

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I think it's his short coat that makes him look thin.

When you see pictures of some of these dogs from west german showlines, they usually have that plush coat. A big full coat will make a dog look 20 pounds heavier than they are.

To me your boy looks solid, but with a shorter coat, so he's naturally going to look on the thinner side. The last thing you want is a fat dog. I say keep him how he is, he looks great.
 

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I don't know if you saw the thread from a few days ago on secondary sex characteristics. But I would say Koda is a dog that is lacking, he is fine boned and lanky. I am not trying to put him down or anything like that, I am just being honest.
His weight looks great, it's just how Koda is built. He actually kind of reminds me of a malinois in the one pic you posted!
His lack of masculinity could be in part from being neutered early but it's probably also just how he's built. He may fill out some more but I wouldn't expect anything too extreme.
 

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Your boy is just turning two. They don't reach maturity until three, so he is still growing.

His wieght is spot on! He is a wonderful example of a healthy, shiney, happy young man!

I wouldn't worry about his wieght it's great. If he was fatter then you would have to start worrying about his hips.

As for his scrawny neck? Umm I don't think so. Koda is one handsome boy.
 

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Koda is 85 lbs and looks good to me. don't
worry about trying to make him heavier. at 29''
he's tall. you're feeding him good things. 85 lbs
is a lot of Shepherd. your dog looks good and healthy.
don't worry about what the standards say.
 

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I agree with everyone else, he looks like a real beautiful well kept dog to me. He probably gets called a "she" bc of his soft face and sweet look along with the all black coat. Maybe some people just think girl?

My last GSD as a kid came from impecable lines and he topped out at 88 pounds at his highest recorded weight and he was big and gorgeous like yours.

Your dog's weight is perfect for the standards of this breed. Keep up the good work!
 

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Wait until he is about three years old, he could fill out then. But it looks like Koda was neutered before a year of age, like six months or even earlier? He is very leggy and some of that might have been helped by keeping him intact until the age of two. (ETA: Just saw that you got him five months ago, my bad!)

Do you have a pedigree on him or are there photos of his parents? If you see the parents looking similar, then he just is what he is.
He will look a lot better if you can get more muscle on him. If he loves to play fetch and has good hips and elbows, you can play fetch off a hill- running up and down hills builds muscles sooooo fast. Playing in sand is another great muscle builder.
 

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The He/She thing... I think that has to do more w/ what sex they are used to. If they have a boy, or a girl, it seems to me that they try to call your dog the same.

I'm not an expert, but he looks fine to me. Nice and shinny
 

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I also think he looks great. Keep in the back of your mind that once he reaches Senior age, he's the one that has to carry the extra wieght on his hips, knees etc. Leaner is better.
 

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I think Koda looks very masculine in dog sense. I have had two male GSD in my lifetime. My first, Lugar, was neutered at around 4 months by the Rescue Organization. He really beefed up and became a full chested male at 100 lbs.

My London is now 1 year old and at 90 pounds. He is very tall, long legged and lanky. A lot like Koda. The males can take 2-3 years to fully fill out. But I have a feeling that London will always be on the lean side even though he eats like a horse. He father was tall and lean.

Lugar had a knee injury and had knee surgery at 5. Hopefully, since London is lean he will not experience the knee/joint problems Lugar did. Just like humans, it's probably healthier on their joints to have a lean dog. I think it looks great.
 

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Generally, he looks pretty good. (Perhaps the camera added 10 lbs?
) I've had tanks (one female in particular) and naturally thin dogs.
I try not to worry about what sex people ascribe to my dog. I don't much care and the dog(s) never seemed upset about the error.

Now at the seminar I was just at, the instructor had suggestions for building hindquarter strength. That was (assuming you are using food for training) to hold the food or treats chest level (right next to your body) have the dog in a sit close in front of you and shuffle backward with very small mincy steps so the dog creeps to get the food with his hind legs well underneath him (Kinda like walking while still sitting.) You might want to try that once or twice a day for a couple of minutes, building up to longer times until his back legs are more muscled.
 

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Cash is the exact same way! I don't know exactly how old he is since he was a rescue but we got him 2 years ago. I think he's about 3 and he's 29inches at the withers and only 78lb. You can see his ribs when he runs and if he gets sick at all he ends up looking like a refugee. I can NOT put weight on this dog for anything. I don't have any suggestions, just want you to know I can relate.
 

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There is nothing at all "scrawny" about your dog - he looks to be at a very good weight for his build. What makes him look lanky is the fact that he has very long legs and he doesn't have a very deep chest like many Shepherds do.

He is also still young - most GSDs start to "fill in" around two to 2.5 years of age and continue to do so until they're three to four years old.

Honestly, I would keep him at the weight he is now and not worry about putting any weight on him. Conditioning, yes. Adding weight, no.
 

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i think he looks great in those first 2 pics at 79 lbs, not scrawny at all..a nice waist and good tummy tuck....the way a gsd should look.

too many people that tell you he is too skinny are just used to most owners keeping their dogs too fat.
 

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Originally Posted By: FuryanGoddessThe He/She thing... I think that has to do more w/ what sex they are used to. If they have a boy, or a girl, it seems to me that they try to call your dog the same.
I agree! One time my husband called this guy (on the pic) a girl when he met him LOL It's just because we had a female at home and that 'good girl' came out unconsciously.



Your dog looks perfect!
 

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I think he looks very healthy and is handsome!

I have had one male (shep mix) who EVERYONE called a girl because he had long hair and was lanky. (Kind of looked like shep/afgan mix). I have had three PB shepherds who everyone calls "he". The first two from AM lines and were huge, and current one is pup but still is called "him". I agree that it seems to be what people have had themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Answering a few questions. We got him when he was approx. 1 1/2 y/o. Believe me, I wish we could see his parents...Or have him as a puppy, before he got shuffled around for months. According to the vet records he was neutered in December of '08, So 10 months old. I know its still pretty early but much better than 8 weeks old.

The 5 pounds of weight he put on in about 4 months was due (I believe) from gaining muscle mass. He had no butt when we got him. You could feel his spine and his hip bones very easily. He now has a bit of a butt.


I don't think he is too skinny, I just feel like he may never fill out. And if he does fill out, I was wondering if an increase of weight would be expected. If seems like if the chest barrels out, there would need to be more "stuff" inside.

I was also still wondering if any one who knows "lines" could venture a guess as to his ancestry. lol, Even if its just.... "he is a mutt of a GSD if I even seen one..."
 
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