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What is a normal growth rate for Saint pups?

Discussion in 'Dogs - all breeds / types' started by luvmyangels, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. luvmyangels

    luvmyangels New Member

    At what point does the weight gain slow down?

    We're averaging just under 4 1/2lbs per week. Buster has gone from a skinny 20.4lbs when we brought him home at 9 1/2 weeks to a still thin 47.2lbs today at 15 1/2 weeks. Continuing at this rate, he'll hit 200lbs before his first birthday...I dont mind, I just want a healthy pup.

    He was under weight when he came home due to a "massive parasite load" (according to the vet, she's never seen a dog with that many eggs in a stool sample). Wormed him at his first vet visit (cant recall what she gave him off hand). 3 weeks later I had him rechecked due to diarrhea and we started Panacur. We started round 2 of Panacur this morning, round 3 will be done 2 weeks after we stop this one....the idea is to kill off all the life stages.

    He eats between 4 and 6 cups of Exclusive large breed puppy chicken & rice spread out over 3 meals...not every meal is finished. Treats very from day to day, the only constant is his large milkbone at bedtime (lure/reward for sitting while I put up the baby gate).
  2. Samsintentions

    Samsintentions New Member

    you have a long way to go. He won't slow down until at least 2 years...
  3. Seeker

    Seeker New Member

    I agree with the above, my step father has a Saint and she didn't slow down until around 2. Then she slowed down quite a bit. :) I'll post some pictures of her when I get enough post.
  4. Sara

    Sara New Member

    your pup is a boy right? One thing is intact males of large breed dogs don't slow down much at all. If you have him fixed (have you done that yet I can't remember...) at that point you might see SOME slowing down but if you don't have him fixed even after two there'll be substantial weight gain probably until three or four years of age most likely. If he comes from smaller saints that age would be closer to two or three but even then it's amazing how much these giant breed intact males can put away in groceries. I've got a Dane rescued at age 9mos and he's about four now...I swear I still wonder if he has a hollow leg or four. You'll probably want him to slow a little after six months or so just because of the size of his breed, so I'd switch him over to large breed adult food around that age in order to keep those joints healthy to slow down his growth just a bit. Even now I don't think it'd hurt to put him on half and half or even just switch all the way.

    Giant breed dogs are a little different than even the large breed dogs because of the ammount of long bone growth they do to get to the size they'll be at adulthood. You don't want him to grow too fast and have his bones and whatnot to grow faster than his joints. Not wanting to scare you by any means because it's not as serious as it sounds but I usually put my big dogs on adult food as early as four months of age. The nutritional content is not a whole lot different except for the protein which will slow things down a bit. Did you get him from a breeder? You might check with the breeder about your question etc.

    NICE pup by the way.

  5. luvmyangels

    luvmyangels New Member

    Buster is an intact male. After some reading, he'll be neutered closer to his 2nd birthday. We have no plans on ever breeding him, its just a matter of setting up his surgery at a time thats best for him.

    Im not worried about having a huge dog, I wouldnt have chosen a Saint if I was. Constantly stepping over the massive lump of fur asleep on my kitchen floor, having the a/c vent blocked by the fuzz butt and sharing the couch with the pup are just part of the fun. I dont want him in pain, especially if its something I can have any control over.

    As best we can tell Buster is the product of a local BYBer, she will not be involved in his future. Looking back, we probably should have turned tail and RUN in the other direction. But we would have missed out on an increadable puppy if we had. My husband and I have both wanted a Saint Bernard for many years, neither of us could resist the chance to bring our boy home once we saw him. He may have had an unlucky start, but his future is full of being spoiled rotten and showered with as much love as he can possibly handle.
  6. Sara

    Sara New Member

    Just for clarification I only mentioned slowing down his growth rate for health reasons...even if you slow down growth by switching to adult food rather than puppy food you're not at all going to keep a dog from growing to the giant size his genetics tell him to be, you're just going to ensure than he's not going to get to that giant size before his joints are ready to carry all of him etc... The only way I think one could stunt the growth of a dog is to malnourish him and I'd definately NOT be recommending something like that. Like you said, you wanted him because of his size...same with my Danes.

    You may want to get in touch with some other Saint Bernard breeders or other giant breed owners either online or through a local club etc... Even large breed dogs don't have the same things to contend with that the giants have to deal with so it may be helpful for ya. Just a thought...and clarification above.

  7. luvmyangels

    luvmyangels New Member

    No worries, Sara. I caught the meaning in the previous post. Starving the boy, for whatever reason, goes against everything in me. I want a happy, healthy puppy/dog. A malnourished pup doesnt fit that.

    I saw a Saint over the weekend that was just a little older than Buster. He/she was walking with a young Dane. Of course I was in awe of how beautiful both dogs were, excited to see another Saint and just plain dumb struck and didnt get myself together soon enough to actually meet this pair <kicks self in butt>

    I will look into finding a breeder or owner to chat with. Anything that helps me raise Buster to be the best he can possibly be is worth any amount of time and effort on my part.

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