Correct Weight / Growth Rate of the Boxer Dog
You may find yourself with a purebred Boxer dog who is smaller than the breed standard and you may be worried about his or her size...questioning if you perhaps have a dwarf Boxer dog.
Because the Boxer is a rather large dog (for technically being a medium breed), the growth rate for Boxer puppies greatly varies.
Until a Boxer dog is 2 years old, you will not know the adult weight, size and physique that your dog will have.
To ensure that your dog is growing at the best rate possible, you will want to:
- Feed your Boxer dog the highest quality food you can
- Provide daily exercise
- Keep regular veterinarian checkups to maintain good health
Is My Boxer Undersized and Why?
As with all dog breeds, there will be Boxer dogs who are smaller than the average breed standard. Just as there will be dogs who are larger than the breed standard. A thyroid imbalance can cause a dog's growth to be stunted. Therefore, if your Boxer dog seems undersized, you will want your dog's veterinarian to perform tests to check the dog's thyroid level. Medication can be given if the thyroid level is low.
If there are no underlying health conditions with your Boxer, as long as a dog is receiving all of the proper care, these smaller dogs can be just as healthy.
In some rare cases, a dog may have Canine Dwarfism
What Causes a Dwarf Boxer Dog to be as Such?
This would technically be caused by Canine Dwarfism....and this is the result of low production of growth hormone produced by the dog's pituitary gland. The low production of growth hormone may be caused by several factors:
Growth hormone has many effects within the dog's body including controlling the growth rate, maintaining the hair coat, and bone and teeth development. Dwarfism is hereditary in many breeds, but is most common with the German Shepherd, Weimaraner and the Spitz breeds. This is rare with Boxer dogs.
- A lack of developmental growth of the pituitary gland
- Cysts on the gland
- Infection of the gland
What are the Signs?
The difference between a dog who is smaller than breed standard and a Boxer dog who actually has dwarfism, is that not only will the size of the dog be affected, but the proportion of the dog as well.
A Boxer dog pituitary dwarfism will not grow at the proper rate and proportion. The dog will generally be much smaller than the other dogs in its litter. There will be noticeable issues with the dog's teeth; they will be slow to develop. The dog's fur will also be affect; most Boxer dogs with dwarfism will keep their puppy coats and not shed out into their adult coats.
Are There Any Negative Health Issues?
Because so many of the dog's organs are affected by a lack of growth hormone, normal life spans are usually a bit shorter than with full sized Boxer dogs.
Can This Be Treated?
Studies have been done to see if the growth hormone that is give to humans would work with dogs. This has had very limited and
varying success. For those who wish to try this treatment should be aware that it is very expensive and there are no guarantees.
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