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I have young dog (13 months) and he is still leggy with very narrow front and east-west feet. I know there is a lot of time for filling out but I'm starting to think he will stay narrow despite having stocky built parents. We are training for IPO, but I'm not chasing any high results with him, just learning and catching up where I stopped with my late Kali.

Anyway, I'm interested in your opinions on working with dogs that have that build. Is it putting more strain to their bodies, is there higher rate of injuries and how well they can preform compared to more solid dogs?

For the reference, he is 28" 88lbs with chest girth of 33"



 

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He is so tall. I don't know if I would worry about injuries because he is narrow or thin. Less weight is probably better. Is he intact? What are you feeding him? I'm sure by the time he is 2 he will fill in.

For reference, my boy is 26" and 85 lbs. 3 months ago he was 78 lbs. and very skinny. The only thing I did differently is switch his food and he has responded wonderfully to it. He is still VERY lean and I bet he will add a few more pounds by the time he is 3.
 

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He is not thin, there are no visible ribs and he have nice muscle tone. He was thin as a puppy but as soon as he stopped gaining in height he started filling out. But his legs are soooo long
He is intact. I'm feeding him almost the same as I was feeding Kali, mostly raw or high quality kibble, and she was super muscular female.

Brick is strong, fast and usually agile, but sometimes he is like a Bambi on ice :D so naturally I started thinking about injuries.
 

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No real knowledge but....mals tend to be thin and leggy with no ill effects.I think Brick looks muscular and in excellent shape.
 

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Thanks everyone.
No real knowledge but....mals tend to be thin and leggy with no ill effects.I think Brick looks muscular and in excellent shape.
Yes but he not built like malinois and he is already ~15-20lbs heavier than usual working male mal. He isn't thin, really :) he just looks thin, he is narrow.
WUSV team (alternate). Dasko is huge!
Dasko von der Rennbahn

Just keep his core strong to protect his back.
Thanks for the link. He is huge! Reminds me of Bricks father. We are doing some simple exercises for his core muscles, balancing on unstable surface and "sitting pretty", but if you have some suggestion for more exercisers I'll gladly incorporate them too.

I took a measure if it's easier to see on which particular part of his body I'm focused when I talk about narrow chest, lower part, marked red.



His front legs are very close together and I usually don't see that in WL GSDs so when I take into account his height, weight and overall build I'm worried about his stability when performing demanding tasks. He is still young and I'm not pushing him hard but he had a few slidings in high turns so I started thinking about that.
 

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Valor is a bit stockier build than Brick but when he's doing high speed turns sometimes he slides like he's on ice. I chalked it up to not having aced the coordination issue. With Brick being that tall he may just need some time to get his feet under him. I'd keep an eye on him but not too critical of an eye at this early stage.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sure, I'm taking that into account :) I was just curious what's the opinion about that type of body and injury/performance, but I suppose I'm the only one thinking about that :D
 

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For IPO, I wouldn't worry about his conformation being a disadvantage or more likely to get injured. IPO doesn't have a lot of repetitive motions and the amount of time the dog is actually working physically in positions that could cause injury is pretty minimal compared to other sports. If you were training daily and competing three weekends a month in agility, flyball, or something else like that....then you might have to be careful. For IPO I would just be careful with long bites (not doing tons just for fun, making sure the helper knows how to catch a bigger, heavier dog without jamming him, etc) and not allow the dog to jump off the tip top of the A-frame during the retrieve, but IMO that's just how I am with *any* GSD I have (my IPO GSD is 75lb and 24.5").
 

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Thanks Liesje, he is in the hands of great licensed helper so I hope that wouldn't be a problem. I'm still not comfortable letting him jump of some big heights but thanks for reminding me about A frame. Good side, he is so light on his feet, when he jumps and lands it looks so effortless, he's like a big black cat :D
 

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My dog Valor is 19 months, 27.5 inches and sits about 93 to 95 lbs. His chest is narrow, his shoulders are hulking. He has taken unbalances to a whole new level lol I know he still needs to fill out a little..but I think his build will always be long legged with a narrow lower chest.

And yes, I am more careful with him as a result. At least until he is over age 2. As he gets older he is gaining more control of his gangly build. I worry about new helpers jamming him on a long bite. He comes in hard and kind of up from the bottom.

Here are some pics from various angles. You can see the narrow chest in the last one where he is sitting.
 

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I have a 10 month old male who is tall, will probably hit 90 lbs when filled out. Very clumsy on the long bite. My major concern with a taller and deep chested dog is bloat so will likely have his stomach pexied in a year-likely via laparascope. While I worry about injuries a bloat is life threatening. One of my worst days was doing a bloat surgery in the middle of the night on a SAR dog and he arrested as I was finishing. We knew the prognosis was poor as owner had been gone for a while before he was found- but still very sad.
 

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I had a really big GSD. He weighed 96 pounds working weight. Not an oz of fat as they say. He worked nearly every day of his life and loved it. These big dogs need careful upbringing while they are growing in the first 18 months or so. We didn’t even do the 1 meter jump until he was about 18 months, then only a couple times a day for training. He was over 2 years befor we did the wall. Then I taught a run up and down no jumping although he was plent strong enough by then to jump a vertical 6 foot wall.

We rode bikes about 15 miles at a time 3 days a week plus other training. Lots of swimming lots of back yard playing with the hose. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with the hose, They love it.

If the dog is in excellent condition they can really take heavy training. It’s like us playing football. Much of our time was spent conditioning. Bruises and minor injuries healed quickly.
 

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I do not do Ipo but Max is lighter built even though he is a big fit dog 85lbs and quite an athlete. Max was always very agile even as a pup. Very coordinated. I think it’s why he can stop on a dime catch a blueberry in the dark at quite distance. We have woods in our backyard and he is dodging around those trees every day at full speeds. Karat our male had weighed about 90lb plus he was really stocky he had a really long back. I would not describe him as agile and fast but a very powerful brick house.
 
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