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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Help! My Doberman is very small for his age

Hi, I have a 15 week old male Doberman who weighs only 18.6 pounds. We got him from a breeder when he was 8 weeks and immediately took him to the vet to get him all checked out. We got him dewormed, and started him on the wellness large breed dog food right away. The vet says he is completely healthy but after doing extensive research I’ve noticed he is way behind in his height and weight. He has had all of his shots and I take him to the vet an a regular basis. He is very active and I take him on walks for about 1-2 hours a day. He loves other people, dogs and especially kids. I feed him about 3-5 times a day, yet he is not very food motivated. I was thinking of putting him on a supplement for big breed puppies but wanted to know if anyone had an advice for me before I do that. Thank you!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 07:50 PM
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I'd suggest that you feed him three times a day at the most at his age. If you are feeding him 5 times a day and he's not very food motivated I think that's happening because there is so little time elapsed between one meal and the next that he's probably not very hungry.

What exactly are you feeding him--which Welness? How much are you feeding him in any one meal? Does he get anything to make the meals that he gets special?

Before you put him on a supplement I recommend that you talk to his breeder about what you are feeding and find out if the breeder thinks he's all that 'far behind'.

Not all puppies grow at the same rate so sometimes reading charts for averages doesn't really tell you much and getting a puppy who is getting adequate nourishment according to how he looks as seen by the vet--he may simply be a slower grower and will catch up later.

He's had all his shots? At 15 weeks? or do you mean he's had all the vaccines that are appropriate for his age?

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 08:54 PM
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I used Orijen for Lucy and she was always perfectly weighted. I fed her twice daily and made her work for her food from day 3 onward. It helps if they know they cannot graze


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Dobebug-
I feed him 1 1/2 cup of the large breed puppy wellness food brand, I have not been doing anything else special. What would you recommend? I meant to say he's had all of his vaccinations Thank you for your response!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Kblack3- I will defiantly look into that brand
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-03-2020, 10:08 PM
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I guess that DT didn't like the content of the post I put up here about 20 minutes ago.

i'll try again. If you are feeding a 15 week old puppy 3-5 meals a day I'd guess that not enough time elapses between meals for him to get very hungry--that may explain why he isn't very food motivated. At that age I would not be feeding more that 3 meals a day--pretty equal intervals--like 6 am, noon and 6 pm--works well for me.

And how much food are you giving (in standard 8 oz cup measures) in each mean?

Does he get anything other than just plain kibble? What was the breeder feeding him? When I get a new puppy I feed whatever the breeder was feeding for at least another 4 weeks before switching foods. I've never fed wellness so can't really comment on that but I have stopped feeding puppy formulas for some while now. I now feed an all life stages kibble and I've had very good luck with Purina's ProPlan Focus--either the Sensitive Skin and Stomach (Salmon and rice) or the chicken and rice formula.

Even though you often see charts of what breed or size of dog should weigh how much at a given age, keep in mind that those are averages and not every puppy is in an average range--so if the vet says the puppy is healthy he may simply be a dog who is growing more slowly than the average and if you haven't had a discussion with his breeder I'd be inclined to do that too.

Good luck with this...

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Last edited by melbrod; 06-04-2020 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Threads combined
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadriannebuster View Post
Hi Dobebug-
I feed him 1 1/2 cup of the large breed puppy wellness food brand, I have not been doing anything else special. What would you recommend? I meant to say he's had all of his vaccinations Thank you for your response!
So if you give him three meals a day that would be 4-/12 cups but if you gave him 4 meals it would 6 cups and 5 meals would be 7-1/2 cups.

Considering his weight a this point--I think that's too much for for him even if you only fed him three times a day.

For a puppy that age (and I would be feeding adult Purina ProPlan Focus Sensitive Skin and Stomach (Salmon and Rice) I would maybe still be feeding three meals a day but I've found that right around the 4 month mark which would be coming up for your puppy very soon, my puppies end up not eating one of the meals well. Usually it turns out to be lunch because that's the meal that has the least time between it and breakfast. When the pup starts not eating eagerly (and most of them act as if they were starving and can clean up that amount of food in a minute or two.

At that point I take the total amount of food they have eaten well, divide it by two and start feeding only two meals. Most of mine are somewhat bigger than your pup is--but even so I'd think that what my puppies get when they go from three to meals per day is right around a level four cups total for the day.

And they all get extras with every meal--I give those in the kibble and if they don't eat that I don't add anything more after they've had a chance to eat what I offered. I also add a small amount of warm water to mix every thing up and it will make the food smell better to the puppy.

What I add varies--for breakfast a puppy who is on two meals a day would get a tablespoon of either yogurt or cottage cheese. For dinner they would get either some meat (if I've found a good deal of ground beef or ground turkey--I'll cook a pound in a little water to sloppy joe consistency) freeze most of it leave a cup or two just refrigerated--a couple of spoonfuls of that or) canned food but some puppies really don't handle canned food well--so it if seems to give them soft stools or diarrhea don't give them canned food) and they pretty much always get an egg--I hardboil them and very young puppies get half an egg, bigger puppies get a whole egg.

This kind of stuff it designed to make food appealing and having a dog who eats well and quickly will be an early warning system if he's getting sick--you'll know because he doesn't gobble his food.

And my dogs don't get a lot of store bought treats--but they do get little bits of things I using for dinner--a strawberry, a piece of banana, an apple slice, a couple of blueberries a string bean, a piece of lettuce, one of my dogs loves cabbage leaves, a carrot. I don't give dogs onions or garlic--google has lots of information on that. But most of the stuff you eat, handed to your dog as a treat will thrill them.

His size and present weight may not indicate anything wrong and size ranges and ages/weight estimates are just that and some puppies much bigger and some rather smaller than the average. If the vet says the puppy is healthy I'd correct the amount of food you've been giving and see if that make him more excited about eating.

Also talking to your breeder might be helpful--she may be able to tell you if she's had puppies who seemed smaller than usual but who caught up a few months down the line.

dobebug

PS I never free feed--it tends to be a not very good idea--grazing will sometimes give you a fat dog and sometimes it gives you a dog that doesn't eat well at all. And it's really hard to keep track of exactly how much food they are actually getting. So my dogs get their meals handed to them and I give a maximum of about 15 minutes for a Dobe to eat their dinner--most of my dogs are finished inside of 2 or 3 minutes and licking their lips and hoping for more. And I look at them daily to see if they look like they have reached the point they need a little more food or sometimes even a little less food. But I make the choice for them and don't leave food out for them to graze on.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-04-2020, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much Dodebug, I will definitely be using your advice!

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-05-2020, 09:42 AM
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If you purchased him from a crappy breeder who didn't already deworm the puppies, leaving deworming until they're 8 weeks old puts your puppy much farther behind other puppies you will see that came from good, caring breeders who started deworming at proper ages. In the future please support a reputable breeder, you'll be shocked at the difference in the puppies.

Stop overfeeding, you are killing his food motivation. It could be, due to how he was improperly raised that he will continue to be on the small side. It could also be, with good nutrition, that he will catch up with age. Dobebug had some great advice. Feed a high quality food, 3-4 times a day, in small amounts.
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