How to Understand and Use German Shepherd Growth Charts

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Do you have a new German Shepherd puppy?

If so, you might be wondering if your pup is developing and growing at the optimum rate. Since each dog breed differs when it comes to height and weight requirements, it is helpful to see a German Shepherd growth chart.

The chart should start with an average birth weight and show how a GSD will progress during her first year. Puppies, like children, tend to do better when they are raised in a nurturing environment and handled gently from a young age. This underscores the importance of locating an ethical breeder.

The first step in understanding dog growth is to familiarize with the mother of the puppies. If her pre-pregnancy weight is known, the pups should weigh about 1% of that weight. Runts, of course, may weigh far less. But, this is a general guideline for newborn puppies. A healthy puppy should double her birth weight in the first week. A breed specific growth chart can be very helpful in measuring the progress of your puppy.

Male and female puppies have slightly different guidelines. For instance, a one month old male German Shepherd may weigh 9.2 pounds, on average, while a female puppy may weigh only 7.2 pounds. A puppy growth chart can help you keep track of how your dog compares to the average GSD within her first year. Be aware that slight differences are no cause for alarm – it is not necessary for your puppy to weigh the amount listed. But, if your puppy is severely underweight, you will know to consult with your veterinarian.

As a new German Shepherd puppy owner, you may be surprised to learn that handling of the pups can actually enhance their growth. It not only encourages proper weight gain, it can affect development in other areas as well. Comparisons of puppies who were handed to those who were not indicate that the pups who were held opened their eyes and ears sooner, had hair grow more quickly and even had better motor development.

You may want to know how your dog compares to other German Shepherds. Are you worried that your GSD is not on track?

In studying German Shepherd growth charts, it is similar that most puppies gain weight at about 5 to 10 percent weekly. If you want to know how large your shepherd dog will be, take the initial birth weight and multiply it by 70.

Be aware that many factors can affect the rate at which a puppy grows. Not all puppies will follow the growth chart at an exact rate.

There can be many different reasons for this. A growth chart may serve to alert you should there be large discrepancies. But, even good owners can have underweight dogs. German Shepherd growth charts can alert you to check on common reasons for slow growth.

Sometimes it comes down to a change in diet. Make sure your dog likes her food and that she is eating regularly. Ask your vet to rule out worms or other any other condition. In the meantime, be reassured by knowing that most puppies do well when raised by a caring owner who has a good relationship with a trusted vet and spends lots of quality time with their puppy.

Source by Jennifer Stoewe

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