Very Slow Growth in My German Shepherd Puppy

by DD
(Hudson Valley, NY)



What a pretty female German Shepherd

What a pretty female German Shepherd

I got my female puppy at three months old. She weighted then 10 lbs, and 5 days after getting her from the breeder, I found out she had giardia. I have fed her puppy food for "small and medium breed" dogs, in addition to giving her chondroitin supplements, salmon oil, and vitamins, specifically to prevent the growth problems that GS are prone to suffer.

She is now 22 weeks old, she is beautiful, and very proportionate, but she weights only 31 lbs. I am not sure if her slow growth has to do with the giardia, or her diet, or genetics... probably a combination of the above. However, now I am worried that her growth has been stunned during a time when puppies grow the most, and that she will not reach her normal full size.

I am petite too :-) but the price I paid the breeder for my puppy is what is paid for show dogs, and her size does not fit that category... not even close...

Total German Shepherd: Hey DD,

As long as she is happy, healthy, active and playful I would not be so concerned with her growth rate. I would encourage you to change her over to large breed puppy food as soon as you can though.

All dogs, like people, grow at different rates - some are large "Arnold" types while others are small to medium frames and builds. Sounds like your girl is going to be on the small end of the scale - however you never know.

Sometime there will be a growth spurt and the dog will make a sizeable jump in size over the course of a few months - so you never know. At any rate, you girl will continue to grow until she is about 2 to 3 years of age - so be patient. She still has a long way to go yet!

Enjoy her puppyhood while you can and don't stress over size averages. She is a unique individual and will grow at her own rate. Continued success with your new GSD puppy.


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Feb 24, 2014
slow growth
by: malik

I have 7 month old german sheprador male growing very slowly plz let me tell what should I do for fast growing.

Apr 25, 2013
Thank you!
by: Anonymous

Thanks to all for the comments and encouragement. A word of update. My little girl has done much better lately.

She's been on very heavy antibiotic treatment, and dewormers, and probiotics. She's now a bit over 6 months, and 43 lbs.

I did try Orijen but she had very loose stool afterward. However, I agree that Orijen is the very BEST dog food money can buy! Just go to their website and read how they make this food...

I hope that after all this ordeal is over, I'll be able to slowly introduce her again to that food. For now, she's on a Limited Ingredient and doing really well.

Apr 19, 2013
She is a beautiful girl
by: Cheryl G/Rugers Mom

I read your story about your pup. I wouldnt worry too much about her size. Sometimes they seem to grow alot at first then some dont and grow steady but longer. She is proportioned right and such a pretty girl.

You should just keep doing what you are doing and give her lots of exercise and she will grow up big before you know it. Keep us posted on here. I am Ruger's mom (Ruger the Magnum pup) he is hugely huge.

But I am hoping that wont cause problems in another way. Dont worry about your baby she is lovely.

Apr 19, 2013
Giardia
by: Misha

I read your artical and wondered just what Giardia is and found out a lot. I would think that you also researched it so you would have your vet give you what is needed as there is treatment.

Wondering if you have called your breader and found out if the other puppies have it. It is a parasite in the intestine and is treatable. Your Girl should be about 15 lbs.more.

You will have to keep all of her feces picked up right away and out of your yard. She is a pretty girl and your vet will get her on the right track.

Thank you for loving your German Shepherd Dog. For myself, that is the breed I love to live with, they are the best. M

Apr 19, 2013
food
by: Cathy

I agree that you should not worry about your puppy being on the small size. Specifically in the U.S.A. there has been an inordinate interest in making not only GSD's but other breeds larger and bigger.

Bigger is not necessarily better, look how large they have bred horses so tall and big, but still they have to be supported by feet that do not cover much ground space.

I would suggest you get your puppy on a very good quality dog food, specifically for large breed puppies, such as Orijen (not Iams, Purina, or any that you get at a department or grocery store. Get your food from a pet supplier store. With a good quality large breed puppy food it is a waste of money to give those other supplements.

Dogs who receive proper diet do not need supplements. These premium foods have been meticulously researched as to what goes in them for beneficial growth and well being.

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Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.Laura Page Warden, DVM

What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Misty Weaver

Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth

I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website! Rachelle

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