Linda Arndt ~ Canine Nutritional Consultant

A Word About Puppy Growth

This information pertains to any large or giant breed during growth stages. The size is relative to the breed, so keep that in mind. The difference between growth in a Dane is obviously more than that of a Golden Retriever, but nonetheless the principle is the same when it comes to growth - the key word is patience they will get there in time and slower is better. Many a good dogs have been structurally ruined because the owners tried to speed feed them with caloric dense foods - this is true in young horses, especially race horses. Many are lost because the owners are in too big of a hurry to get them up in size and maturity. Large breeds do not live as long as small breeds anyway, so why rush them to development. Patience, patience patience -is the key!!

The AKC Standard for Great Danes dictates that in order for a puppy to be shown at 6 months in an AKC show, the males must be 30" at the shoulders and a female 28" at the shoulders, in order to be eligible for competition.

I have found over the past 20 years, feeding the Blackwatch Feed Program for Puppies, (large/giant breeds), that our Great Danes grow at a slower rate and they are often less than 30 and 28 inches at the shoulder at 6 months of age.

This has never been a problem for us, in the long run, because they reach their genetic potential at a slower and even growth rate. This "even growth" between muscle, tendon, ligament and bone provides the underlying structural development needed to support the bone mass of the animal, making them more sound and agile. Since bone cancer, specifically in the joints, is one of the top killers in in large breed, it is my opinion that slow, even growth is critical to potentially avoiding any orthopedic disease or cancer problems down the road.

So the moral is: Pet puppy owners - BE PATIENT and stop measuring and guessing how big your Dane will be when grown. You can’t force an acorn to be an oak tree over night. For show people, let them be puppies first, you can finish them when the time is right - focus on training, manners and socialization.

To show you that size is not determined by how tall they are at 6 months of age, take a look at our 2002 National Specialty Winners - Winners Dog and Winners Bitch and Best in Futurity now (37" and 35") and neither of them came up to the height standard of 30 and 28 inches at 6 months of age.

Note: It is very common for puppies to do a little "knuckling over" in early stages of development such as 6 - 8 weeks of age. If the do this at 9 weeks of age, then get them on the Blackwatch Puppy Feed Program, in total, and give it 4 days and if there is no change you need to read this article on knuckling and bowing and what to do.

Do NOT panic and start messing with your protein levels and changing to different brands of foods, other than a switching over to Precise Holistic
Complete large/giant breed puppy.

Frequent switching of brands will only make matters worse.

To make this transition from one brand to Precise, it must be done quickly on young dogs so start with 50/50 at the first meal, then 3/4 Precise the second meal so the third meal fed the puppy is totally Precise food.

You need to use a Probiotic (beneficial, lactobacillus acidophillus) product on the food to help with this fast transition. I hignly suggest the 4 in 1 Probiotics (which includes Vit C) from

I always recommend using one of the CORE 4 Kits for your puppies and adults to sustain wellness and longevity.


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