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Hi There!

Yesterday I took Thunder our 4 month old Sable to the vet for his last jab, and she made comment that he is really low on his hocks and a little tubby. Interestingly enough the shepherd club said he looked a little underweight 2 weeks ago. He is 18KG (39 pounds) and I can easily feel his ribs. His parents were scored 0,0 for the mother and 4,2 for the father. He does look a little more wobbly than even the younger pups at the GS club, but everytime I ask someone they say its too early to tell and that I shouldn't be concerned or its normal.

We have been trying really hard to avoid too much exercise, sticking to running on soft surfaces (its winter and the grass is VERY spongy. He does inevitably walk and very occasionally will run on concrete, but we try hard not to allow that to occur. We lift him over the stairs. He looks pretty normal when he does run. We have been trying to avoid him jumping around, but its not always possible.
 

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Getting him to stand still might be a challenge. He usually only has 3 stances, sitting lying or running around like a mad thing!
 

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Boy this sounds familiar. Baron at 4 months they told us "We're a little concerned both his hips are loose, both his knees are loose, we feel you should have him xrayed before 6 months because that gives you the option to return him to the breeder if you wanted to, you probably wouldn't but thats your option" my response "uhhhhhh no we won't be returning him". As soon as he had all his shots we took him to the breeders house for a day of fun with his sister mother and father. His sisters back legs looked like a bulldogs. She had so much muscle tone in her back legs compared to baron and her legs were perfectly straight at 4 months! She could run like the wind compared to him. The difference between Baron and his sister?? She runs with the big dogs EVERY day. she is outside running all day playing and burning energy. Her legs showed the difference. Baron at that time had to be kept on a leash because we didn't have the fence yet. If I had it to do again?? I would make sure he is running for hours a day not sitting in my house because I'm afraid he's going to hurt himself. This is just my personal experience I don't make suggestions, just wanted to share my similar experience.
 

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Very confusing topic-also very dependent on which owner -which vet-which dog-.Wish I knew the answer?From my experience my vet with NOT a large practice in biggger dogs(but just a love in taking time,answering questions and ADMITTING not a fan of BIG dogs)has taken the time to be a good friend and also I believe treating my dog well)She at first thought my shep underweight but in disussion researched and justified his kinda skinny look!We agreed NO sitting rollover -no spinal bones or hip bones showing is OK.
 

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The main argument I can see for x-raying him now would just be that if there is an issue, you have more surgical options if you decide to go that route. I'm not positive but I think you're nearing the end of the age range for the JPS and TPOs usually have to be done before the dog is about 8-9 months. If you're not going to do surgery then I'd keep doing what you're doing and wait and see.

Does he bunny hop when he runs? That's by no means definitive but it is often seen in dogs with HD.
 

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Let your dog be a dog. That was my vet's advise when we discovered Barker the Elder had some skeletal issues. (My mistake was feeding her puppy food = panno = rest.) But I never had to restrict excersize except for panno bout and after spay surgery. Muscling via excersize helped her one displastic hip and she didn't have significant problems for years. I don't know where this "don't excercise puppies" mantra comes from but I think "within reason" is fine. I think it was by 6 mos. mine were going on trail rides (sorta short because of the weather) and nice long winter walks -- yup it would have been winter by then.

I would not carry a dog upstairs unless it had serious problems, Same for excercise on pavement - I wouldn't run any dog on pavement in summer because of blistering to pads - I wouldn't work or play hard outside in Arkansas muggy heat especially with ozone alterts .. but just use reason.

I have decided not to get a cart for Barker the Elder because I think that will only lead to further decline. Those muscles need to excercise to keep muscle tone. If I don't do what she can do, then soon she won't be able to do that.... It's kinda mobility is what mobility does.
 

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I agree.........If she's only 4 months old , a lot can change between now and 1 year---- and many of my pups have been 35-45 pounds at 4 months....... I'd get another opinion if it bothers you that much........
Dublin put on 10 pounds each month that I had him - He levelled out around 1 year at 100 pounds (the sire and bitch were rather large) but he never had problems until much later on in life- 13 to be exact........
I'd get another opinion....it cant hurt.
 

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I don't think he looks pudgy. In the standing picture, one hock does look a little low but it looks like the goofy puppy way he's moving.
 

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I agree..... not overwt and does not look down in the hocks to me. Puppies get gangly at different stages and it may be he is just going through a gangly stage now. Early xrays may show you if there is a problem and give you more options. Can't believe a vet suggested you had the option of returning him. I guess that is true but I don't think the vet needs to tell you that as it is a personal choice. I would return a dog for that but some might.
 
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