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We have a 1.5 year old female Great Dane, pure bred. She's *awfully* skinny, weighing in at only about 100 pounds (that's an estimate, too, she was 92 pounds at one year old). She is extremely tall, measuring 33 inches at her shoulders (much taller than the female breed standard of 28, 30 desired). She seems to just keep growing taller, and not filling out!

The vet said not to worry, that actually they prefer to see tall dogs on the slim side vs the heavy side for ease on their joints. But she's so skinny I have people asking me if she's mixed with a Grey Hound!

We put out as much food as she wants, we've always let our dogs eat to fill, not a set amount (and we've never had a weight problem). She's on adult food, has been since she was 3 months old because she was "knuckling over" and the puppy food (even the large breed puppy food) was just too high protein for her.

She doesn't get table food, but I will dribble grease from ground beef on her food once in a while, and sometimes we'll let her pre-wash the crock pot or a casserole dish, LOL!

She doesn't get as much exercise as I would like her to, I'm just too pregnant to walk a spunky dog that's SO big (she's very good on leash, but she is a puppy, so if she sees a cat or squirrel or something she will lunge, and I jsut can't control her right now). So she gets a half mile walk around the block about 5 times a week, but that's pretty much it. Like most Danes, she's a lazy couch potato anyway.

So should I worry about her weight? Should we be supplementing her diet to get her to gain a little? She's got some great muscle on her, her chest and back legs are cut really nicely, but you can see every rib, every vertebra.

There's a recent picture of her on my blog www.blockboys.blogspot.com but she's laying down, so it's hard to see how skinny she is.
 

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has she been checked for worms/parasites? there can be cases where the parasites are "eating" all her food and she might not actually be absorbing enough of what she eats. has the vet had you bring in a fecal sample to check?

if she's fine / healthy i wouldn't worry too much about it, to be honest. there is a stage for every young dog where they look really gangly and weird around their hips.

it's really unhealthy for them to gain a ton of weight quickly. if you still do want her to put on more weight, make sure it's gradual.

another idea - fine a dog forum that focuses on Dane's and ask other owners what their dogs looked like at that age.
 

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You should be able to see the last two ribs. Great Danes should be slender, and yes, people who are used to fat ones will often ask if they are mixed with greyhounds.

She is also still and adolescent. If she just put on a bunch of height, I would expect her to be a bit thinner than usual.

Check on DOL (danes online) forums. They are very informative and if you post some pics, people can let you know if she is underweight. It doesnt sound from your initial post that she is too thin especially if your vet is ok with her weight, but its always nice to have some "experts" on danes look and give their opinions.
 

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Adolescent dogs tend to be skinny, especially giant breeds that fill out slower. If I recall correctly she should be filled out around 2-3 years of age and you have time till then.

If your vet is not worried I wouldn't be concerned, especially since vets are used to seeing overweight dogs so they are quick to point out one that should put on weight. I've also been told that giant breeds should never be fed puppy food so I definitely wouldn't do that. You can put healthy additions in her food if you'd like, but I wouldn't add cooked grease - it tends to upset my dogs' tummy and can cause pancreatitis.

As long as she has good muscle tone that is the key and tells you that she is healthy. I wouldn't really worry about it too much.
 

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Oh, and it totally doesnt matter, but the charts I have say 30-33" is typical for a female is she is average in height with average weight of 110-140. If you figure she puts on 10-15 lbs by the time she finishes filling out, she would be totally in the realm of normal
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your chart says 30-33? AKC says standard is 28, desired 30, that's where I was getting it from. I've met a few other danes at the Bark Park near us, and they've all been shorter, but that's a rather small sample size


We know she doesn't have any parasites or anything, she's been on preventative, she (unlike my other dog!) doesn't eat road kill or kill her own food (my other dog is a champion hunter, and a champion escape artist, so she has plenty of opportunity to hunt!).

I'm not hugely worried, just on guard about it, you know?
 

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I have

Quote:
"the male should be no less than 30" at the shoulders, but it is preferable that he be 32" or more.....the female should be no less than 28" at the shoulder, but it is preferable that she be 30" or more.
-from great dant by S. Willian Haas

Link to Chart I referenced earlier (same one my breeder sends home in her puppy packet.)

again, it doesnt really matter....just meaning she is average in size when you go to base your weights. 100lbs is probably on the low end for when she is fully grown, but dogs can have different "body types" too so what is healthy for one 33" may not be for another. Really, with any dog, but especially giant breeds, err on the side of underweight
 
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