Maximus: the Traveling Puppy

by Jon

We obtained Max through Craigslist after paying a "rehoming fee" of $250.

The original owner (a teenager) purchased him from a local breeder at the age of 8 weeks. That teenager quickly realized he was not well suited for taking care of a dog, and after only two weeks, sold him to one of his friends (the seller in our case).

After an additional four weeks, the second teenager realized that he also didn't want the responsibility of taking care of his GSD, and thus we came into the picture on August 5, 2013. He came only with a broken leash and a vet record that showed a birthdate of 04/25/13 and what shots he had been given thus far.

I was cautious about moving forward with so little information about the pup's pedigree, but he was an attractive 14 week old puppy and seemed to have a good temperament, so I paid the rehoming fee and took him home. Based on his appearance alone, he is clearly 100% GSD (I will post a picture later).

That evening, my wife noticed that his tail was broken at a point about 3/4 down the length of his tail. He had to wag it just right for it to be obvious, but after closer examination, it had definitely broken at some point and healed with a bend to it. Max had no pain from the injury, and it had clearly been long healed. If his tail is parallel to the
floor, the last 25% of it bends upward at a 30% angle. I read that it is not uncommon for the mothers to step on their pups' tails and sometimes break them. At any rate, I think it will be barely noticeable once the hair on his tail is full length, so it doesn't really bother me any longer.

This being my first GSD puppy, I had no point of reference to know how big he should be at his age. He seemed quite large for only 14 weeks, but then again, my point of reference was a 6 year old Sheltie. Today (08/26/13), Max is 4 months old (17.5 weeks). I weighed him for the first time at 34 lbs. Oddly enough, people we greet on the bike path always comment on how big he is for his age and how big he will be as an adult. I realize now that he is about 7 lbs under the weight of the "average" 4 month old male GSD.

Having done some reading, I am now thinking about switching him to a raw food diet, or at least a dog food that is at least 70% meat and contains no grains.

I have only had him for three weeks now, but he crate trained in only two days and does well in the house (supervised). Now that I have a point of reference for his expected growth rate, I will watch his diet closely and monitor his weight moving forward.

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