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Why is my german shepherd so small?

German shepherds have been bred for more than 100 years. As you might imagine, it is not easy to maintain a breed that remains true to its original characteristics. One factor contributing to the size and weight of a German Shepherd is its genetics. 

Dogs generally come in different sizes, but some breeds naturally seem more significant than others because their ancestors were more significant. Usually, German shepherds were bred with larger dogs. But why is my German Shepherd so small? German shepherds are a large breed, and as such, they are expected to have larger frames. 

Unfortunately, small dogs can be affected by various diseases that can shrink their body size. Additional factors may cause your German Shepherd to appear small. So let’s know about the reasons.

Why Is My German Shepherd So Small?

Why is my german shepherd so small

While this is a prevalent question, it’s not always the easiest to answer. If you just got your puppy, and it is smaller than the average size, then it could be any of the following reasons:

Inherited Smallness

If your puppy is smaller than average for its breed, make sure that it gets enough food, and you monitor how much. It could be stunted growth if it does not get enough food. It happens when a pup eats less than necessary to grow to the appropriate size and does not get proper exercise.

Nutritional Deficiencies

If a dog receives poor nutrition, that can result in stunted growth. A slow-growing dog does not have fewer nutrients available to them, so its growth is also decreased.

Underlying Medical Illness

If your puppy is smaller than average, you should have it checked out by a veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying illness as the cause of stunted growth.

Intestinal Parasites

The most common parasites that can cause stunted growth are intestinal worms. Hookworms, can cause a pup not to receive nutrients. It is one of the big reasons, your puppy is not growing.


Hypothyroidism is the opposite of hyperthyroidism in that the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. This condition will again stunt growth because it doesn’t produce enough T3 and T4 hormones, which are essential for metabolism and growth.

Poor Nutrition for a Large Breed Dog

A large breed dog, such as a German shepherd, is already prone to growth-restricted. Not only do they need to eat more food than smaller dogs, but they have a unique hormonal system. Some dog foods are not formulated for large breeds, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Too Few Calories

A dog not meeting its energy needs is unlikely to grow to a healthy adult weight. It can happen if your puppy has stunted growth, and you should consult a vet for advice about a higher-calorie diet.

Stunted Growth

The most common cause of stunted growth in puppies is inadequate nutrition. If a dog’s nutrition is too low, it will suffer from stunted growth. 

Small Portions

Your dog must get enough food, but it’s just as crucial for him to get enough exercise. If you’re feeding him too little food and he doesn’t get enough exercise, he could suffer from stunted growth.


If your dog is getting too much food and not getting enough exercise, it can also lead to stunted growth. If you overfeed your pup, it can lead to obesity.

Digestive Trouble

Digestive trouble can lead to stunted growth as well. Blockages, for example, can prevent enough nutrients from getting to your dog.

Too Much Exercise

Too much exercise can keep your dog from growing. It could explain stunted growth if your dog is getting enough food but not enough rest.

Hormonal Imbalance

If a hormonal imbalance stunts your dog’s growth, it won’t be able to continue growing normally.


When your dog becomes obese, it will have trouble growing normally. Obesity affects the rate at which an animal grows, so if your pup has grown too fat, it may need to diet to get back on track.


If your puppy is smaller than average, you can blame it on its genes. More minor parents tend to have smaller offspring. Your puppy is naturally tiny, and you should give it time to grow.

How Do I Make My German Shepherd Tall?

How Do I Make My German Shepherd Tall

German Shepherds are tall and muscular dogs. But as we already know, there are some reasons why they can look smaller than their actual size. Here in this article, you will learn how to make your German Shepherd grow faster.

1. First and most important thing is to take your dog for regular exercise, exceptionally long walks on the leash. Or he should run in fenced areas for at least 30 minutes daily.

2. Your dog should have a balanced diet with the proper combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Ensure that he eats the right amount of food at regular intervals throughout the day.

3. Give them enough exercise, and never tie your dog to the fence. The best way to train your dog is to take him to the park and walk him on a leash. Also, allow him to play with other dogs at least once a day or run fenced areas for 30 minutes or more.

4. If you want your dog to be taller, you should increase his activity level. And add food that contains high levels of calories and fats, such as salmon-like kibble. If you have time, give him 2-4 cups of raw meat and the kibble every 5-8 hours of the day.

5. Along with the above exercise and dietary methods, you can also give your dog supplements specially designed to increase the height of dogs.

Final Words

If you’re wondering- why is my german Shepherd so small and have not found any helpful answer, this post will meet your demands. 

If your dog is getting enough food or if you should change its diet, consult with a professional. When your puppy is still growing but not gaining weight, ask your vet for advice about what to do.

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