13 month Rottweiler undersized and not eating his share

by Mario
(New jersey)

I have a 13 month male rott and over the months I been feeding him a mix of good dry and meats (chicken lamb beef cooked) he eats most of his food, but not what he supposed to.

He’s only 87 lbs which worries me. I know they grow slowly but he’s been at this weight for some time now. i stopped the meats and I give him just dry which he might eat 2 1/2cups. What can I do to make him eat his food which should be almost 5 cups.

He’s is definitely undersized and I worry he won’t grow to his potential from this, very frustrating.. the breeder said he should be 120 lbs full grown and he has a world champion father. (Vico von der max rott)

Hi Mario. I understand your concern over your pup’s appetite and weight, but unless your veterinarian says he is underweight in an unhealthy way, then I would honestly advise that you don’t worry about it too much right now.

It is absolutely normal for an adolescent Rottweiler pup to look lean/leggy or light. They DO mature very slowly and reach their full height well before they reach their full weight which accounts for the awkward, out-of-proportion stage some Rotties go through. Your boy could continue to grow for at least another year, possibly 18 months or more. 87lbs at 13 months is not a weight that I would be worried about.

Height, bone size and adult weight is MOSTLY genetically determined, diet plays a role (and obviously starvation or poor nutrient intake would impact it negatively) but a pup who is eating a nutrient rich, healthy, premium puppy food shouldn’t be affected. Genes are the biggest factor and as your pup has a good lineage he has a head start.

As long as your vet says he’s healthy then simply feed him the most nutrient dense premium puppy food you can find and also allow him to eat the quality dried meats you were doing before. A mix of both should be just fine for him.

Puppies are like kids, their appetites can vary, food-cup intake guidelines are for an average puppy, many will eat less, many will eat more… a few will fit the ‘average’. Health is the most important thing here, if your puppy is healthy and not underweight in an unhealthy way (according to your vet) then just give him the time he needs to grow and develop at his own rate.

Sometimes the biggest pups take the longest to reach their full potential. I had a male pup who literally looked like a ‘bobble head’ toy for a-g-e-s and didn’t grow into his head or legs until he was almost 3 years old. He was huge, eventually, (and also a picky eater) but he got there.

No amount of encouragement can make a puppy/dog eat more than they want to, and it shouldn’t be a factor. Your pups’ adult weight/height is predetermined genetically with a min and max. range, the value of the nutrition he gets (and to a lesser extent, the volume of it) will decide where he falls on that scale.

Have him checked by your vet to make sure there’s no underlying health condition and that he’s not clinically underweight (if he is your vet will have advice for you), other than that just feed him good food and let him decide what he wants to eat.. and give him time to grow at his own pace.

Hope this helps and eases your mind a little. Best of luck to you both. ~ Sue

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