Big Dog Breeds: Why They Should Grow Slowly

The Doggy Bytes blog recently posted a fantastic article about the World’s Tallest Dog, George the Great Dane and the consequences of rapid growth in large dog breeds.

I thought this was a very important topic to elaborate on and pass along and hope that owners or friends of large dogs will take extra caution regarding the dog’s health and development as a puppy.

Here’s an excerpt:

Great Danes, one of the “Giant Breeds” (a blatantly obvious statement looking at George), generally live to be between 8 and 10 years old. Because they are capable of explosive growth from birth through their first 18 months of life, they are, as are other large breed dogs (Mastiffs, Rottweilers etc), susceptible to hip dysplasia and other joint problems. For this reason, it is very important to “grow them slow”.

Too Much Too Soon
There are obvious physiological differences when comparing Danes and wolves, what both have in common however, is that in order to maintain optimal skeletal health, they both need to grow slowly.

Though hip dysplasia is considered to be genetic, other influencing factors of hip dysplasia are rapid growth and obesity. If the puppy experiences rapid growth, the bones may not form properly which puts him at risk for hip dysplasia. Growing puppy bones are not solid like adult bones, so if the dog is overweight, this also causes adverse effects on the bone development.

If you have, or are considering adopting, a large breed puppy, be sure to follow your veterinarian’s recommended feeding regimen so that you dog grows at a rate that is healthy for his bones.
Interested in further reading on hip dysplasia? Check out this article.

*Photo courtesy Mail Online, Daily Mail.

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

3 Responses to Big Dog Breeds: Why They Should Grow Slowly

  1. Miles Ridgel says:

    Hey extremely great website!!!

  2. You have a great looking site. I have read a lot of these posts and they have come in use. I have visited many blogs and it seems like most of the information sounds generic or is copied from other site and I can’t ever get useful information or information that is even worth the time that I spend reading it. I myself run several blogs and forums. Most of my blogs pertain to animals,to be more specific, dogs. I have checked out your site and absolutely love it. I would like for you to visit some of my blogs. I know that you probably don’t want me posting all my links here and I do not want you to feel like I am spamming you so therefore I will not leave a bunch of links. However, if it is okay with you, I would like to post a link to one of my most successful sites. The main component of my site is vbulletin forums. I also have a blog on this site along with a function that allow members to enter their dog’s pedigrees. The pedigrees show up in a four generation site where every dog name is a link to that dog’s four generation pedigree. I would really like for you to check out my site and let me know your thoughts on it and ideas or suggestions for improvement. I am especially interested inyour input on my blog because this seems to be your specialty. My site URL is http://www.PetPedigreeDatabase.com/

  3. sagor says:

    The most important that you need to consider before breeding happy, healthy puppies is your female dog. She need be in heat first before she can breed, which normally happens every six to seven months. However, even though she may go into heat while she’s young or even though she came from big dog breeds, she still may not be physically mature enough to carry, deliver, and take care for her new babies. That is why you should wait until your dog is physically mature enough before you can think of breeding her. For some breeds, this may be two or more years of age. But, for most small dog breeds, they mature a lot faster than middle dog breeds and big dog breeds.

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