Shadow at 8 weeks - male GSD only 5 lbs?! Very concerned

I just got Shadow 6 days ago and he was the runt.

Got him from a breeding farm, breeders were very nice people. I had to drive a total of 6 hours to get there. They had many pups, about 10-12. Even though, there were many others, I chose him because he was calm, attentive and he was the only one with his ears perked, all black.. there was something about him I felt that was special.

Breeders told me they had runts before that turned out huge and there was a guarantee on him if I wanted to bring him because he was growing. He was $800. Full blooded GSD.

Brought him home seemed like he wasn't wanting to eat his dry puppy chow. Mixed it with dry boiled hamburger meat and rice and he started smashing it! He had already been dewormed 4 times.

A K9 trainer of mine later told me I had been ripped off because he should be 20-25 lbs by now and that he would most likely not grow to be what I had paid for and to give him 300 mg or so of calcium every other day to help him grow. He gets about 4 hours of exercise everyday and he has already learned how to sit and I've only had him for 6 days.

Just had first vet appointment today. He threw up flea/parasite pill traxidol or whatever its called. Discouraging news from vet. he was rated a 2/5 for developmental wise. 1 being completely emaciated.

I'm a little torn because I have the option to return him in exchange for a healthier puppy, another which I had to choose between him and Shadow. I feel like a horrible person because I have become attached to him - my special puppy. But now I may have to worry about my special puppy and his weight for the next 6 months and there may be a chance he won't be a normal weight for the $800 I paid....;(

I don't know what to do. The vet said there's no telling how big he'll get but he's pretty good overall just super tiny.

My family and friends think he's a chihuahua. lol

Looking for other encouraging stories of GSD pups of such small weight.


Comments for Shadow at 8 weeks - male GSD only 5 lbs?! Very concerned

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Runt Pup - 5 yr old dog -Gained 20 lbs, Solid Muscle...
by: Anonymous

My pure-breed female GSD, was a runt.

On top of it all, over-vaccinated at the Banfield Animal Hospital (PetSmart) as a puppy (didn't know better at the time). By the time she was 5 y.o., her weight was only 45 lbs., no matter how much kibble she would eat she would not gain any weight. No ribs showing or anything like that, just very petite, and light in weight.

She also had a fur loss problem, the vet said she had allergies, and to give her Benadryl, that just made her sleep all the time. Finally, out of desperation, I took her to a DVM who specialized in holistic medicine. He asked what I fed her, and I proudly said Pedigree dog food, and the generous amount that she was given. He told me that there is no kibble that is made that is healthy for my dog. He said kibble is biologically inappropriate, and filled with preservatives. He said if the dog was in the wild she would hunt, and eat prey, birds, rabbits, deer, etc., and eat the whole animal.

He said to look at her teeth, they are made to tear into meat, and break bones, and her digestive system was designed to digest meat and bones, not grains/carbohydrates (kibble). He said that it must be raw (non-cooked).

I decided to give it a shot. I connected with a commercial, large scale butcher, ordered chicken quarters, in 40 lb cases, and had him grind it, the meat, the bones, the fat, skin, etc. I freeze and thaw bags as needed. I added a small amount of organ meat, a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, a tsp of fish oil, and sometimes, a pinch of kelp powder.

No more kibble, no table scraps.

This was the result, all fur grew back starting immediately, no more scratching, and when I brought her back to the holistic vet for a routine exam, 5 months later, she had gone from 45 lbs, to a lean 65 lbs, she actually seemed to grow in size, very solid and muscular. The holistic vet took a double take when he saw her and said... "Is this the same dog?".

Get your dog off the chemicals that the vets convince us are needed, use natural, homemade bug repellants to prevent fleas ticks, and mosquitoes, made with natural essential oils, instead of the poisons they tell us are required, and feed your dog natural raw food, that is biologically appropriate for your dog.

Love your dog the way he loves you, and things will get better.

Bad breeders ex. happiness is pets
by: gsd mommy

I got a smaller GSD pup who was sickly and nursed him into the greatest dog. At 5 years he was diagnosed with perianal fistulas and at just under 6 years he died suddenly of an underlying heart problem.

Bad breeding can and will always catch up with your pup. To minimize your heartbreak and maximize your pups 'life, start with a healthy, well bred one.

Get him Checked
by: Anonymous

I had purchased a German Shepherd puppy and he was also small. Took him to the vet and they de wormed him, got his shots etc. At 3 months he was just 9 lbs.

I told the vet that his brother down the road was double if not triple his size. They took x-rays and my pup had a condition called Mega Esophagus, meaning he couldn't eat food. I had to buy can food and add water to it and put it in a blender, then he had to stand on his back legs to eat (drink) using gravity to help.

After a period of time my vet recommended that he be put down as he was starving to death.

Keep it up!!
by: Anonymous

My dog is 18 weeks old and I got her when she was only six weeks old and 3 and 1/2 pounds. She was very small and sick.

I had to give her boiled chicken and rice for two weeks along with a special prescription diet puppy food. She is now eating Science Diet puppy food dry and wet three -four times a day.

She is very active, alert and playful with the family. She is now 26 pounds and growing.

My dog, Stella was also the runt of the litter but has surpassed the idea of "runt" and continues to surprise us with her growth everyday. She wakes up from a nap and looks bigger to me sometimes too.

Good Luck with your puppy. I hope all goes well for you all.

Good Heart
by: Anonymous

Just think that you are doing that puppy a good service...

Karma honey, what comes around goes around. You love him, he loves you, that's all that matters. And those were scum breeders.

Your runt will grow, have faith
by: Anonymous

I agree with your trainer.

Keep feeding him the best dog food mixed with meats and the calcium and he will eventually grow to his potential. If he was one of 10 or 12 pups, the mom didn't have enough teats to feed them all so he was probably often pushed off the milk by the bigger siblings.

A good breeder would have been weighing the pups regularly and made sure the ones not eating enough had their own time with the mother to get the food they needed or supplementing. Neither of these things happened or he would not be that small.

Start now making sure your pup eats like you are doing and he will start to grow liike a week to his potential.

Keep us updated please !

Go back
by: Anonymous

Breeders offer these guarantees to instill a false sense of security in you. They want to sell a dog they know that nobody in their right mind will want to buy, also knowing that after spending some time with the dog, the vast majority of people will refuse to return them for the reasons you have already been through.

If I were you, I would march right back to the breeder and give them a choice. 50% of your money back, or hold them to their guarantee.

Have hope
by: Anonymous

When I got my GSD girl at 9 weeks she was on the small side, not as small as your little man, but small for a GSD.

I have had her for 8 weeks now and she is currently only 6 lbs under the standard estimated weight for her age. She is turning into a weed. So have hope.

That being said though she could have continued to be extremely small for a shepherd, had floppy ears, and any other ailment and I would have kept and loved her just the same. She is my baby and such a beautiful, sweet and smart girl, she has enriched mine and my husband's life beyond measure.

I understand you may be worried, but I have a few questions for you. What do you intend to do with your dog? I ask this because I am not exactly sure why his size matter in comparison to your investment. I would pay 10x more than I did for my baby even if, as they call them at the vets I work at, she had turned out to be a 'lemon.'

If he fits into your life as easily as breathing then what's the question...

Perfection isn't everything
by: Spirit Hawk

I (along with hundreds of people) rescue GSDs that aren't someone's perfection and let me tell you, I don't care if they paid $2 million for these dogs from a "breeder."

The loyalty, love, humor, and joy my misfits bring to me daily is priceless. In my opinion, if you return him because he isn't perfect, you have no heart and I will see him on my network of rescues waiting in some "shelter" to be murdered.

But that's my opinion.

He isn't a car, he's a living breathing feeling creature who would NOT abandon YOU because guess what? You're not perfect either.

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