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growth spurt at 4 months...

Discussion in 'Getting Started in Conformation' started by blaiseshimmer, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

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    ...or, Another Way To Make Blaiseshimmer Panic...

    Hi everyone, resident newbie here. I need to try to get some decent pictures of my puppy Kelby (since most of the ones I have consist of him covered in leaves/dirt/unknown smelly stuff). His ear training is still a nightmare since he and his minion, Tal, are becoming very efficient in removing the glue/tape/braces from his ears at least twice a week (<another topic for another thread)

    But I tried to measure him this weekend. My DH, bless him, is still pretty helpless when it comes time to do anything to this puppy, and Kel knows it; will start whimpering and wailing and poof! DH lets him go. BUT...I try to measure him, and after several tries, I *think* I got a height measurement (still need to try again since DH also wasn't that firm in holding the pup steady). According to pretty much every chart I can find, he's borderline OS. I will admit that the only time I DID measure him was at 9 weeks where he was just a hair over 9". I know that he still has a bit of growing to do, but wonder just how much?

    At 18 weeks, I got a measurement of 13.25" and I am not sure if I should worry or not, since we are still in the beginning, rose-colored-glasses stages of taking him to conformation shows. To his credit, this puppy has had some weird growth spurts the past few weeks, some days looking like his head shrunk into his neck, his body seemed stretched out the next day, and right now he's full into his Ugly Coyote stage (longish legs).

    He also started teething. I know that, like human boys, the males could just shoot up in height, then stop, but I was curious as to whether or not this growth spurt will slow down within the next month or two. DH is already setting up an agility course in case this guy decides to go oversized.<can't blame the guy for having a Plan B. Though I don't have to guess who'll be the one running around an agility course with the dog...

    His sire is 14", his dam under 15".
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
  2. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

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    Um he is a risk if that is his height. It really depends on his lines and how they grow, feature size, knuckle left etc. If it is the line my boys are from, we'd be in trouble. Another may be ok.

    At 5 months add 2" to a male. We usually see the last big growth spurt here at 9 months. They settle a bit but all I can say is close your eyes and hold your breathe.
     
  3. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

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    Thanks for the input, Shelli. I need to prep a letter to his breeder and ask her about his mom's history, since she didn't breed the male. His dad's background has a slew of CHs and more so I can 'assume' that at least that side is within size range, but then again, the same can be said for his mother (though I don't think she was ever shown, although one of her littermates was championed<sorry; former cat show exhibitor, I still use that lingo...

    I need to re-check his size, preferably soaking wet (so no poofy hair), and with my husband and other dogs out of the house (so no distractions). Honestly, it's not (too) big of a deal if he goes oversized but not only are his breeder and his sire's breeder hoping he could head towards conformation, but I am also looking forward (even if he gets dumped...then we head over to the agility arena...)

    I do have a question; when you mention feature size and knuckle left, what do they mean? In the past month his face has matured, his muzzle lengthened (he's already teething, so he's set those ears all over the place), and his puppy coat is gone...he's in full Ugly Coyote phase.

    I need to try to get some pictures of him...and wonder how I can find actual sizes of dogs in his background (he's full AKC, so I have the pedigree)

    Thanks!

    Trying not to panic (too much)!
     
  4. tofu pup

    tofu pup Moderator

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    Yes, he is pushing it, height-wise.

    Here's the thing: you really can't do anything about it, and it sounds like you are going to keep him, either way. Please don't stress or panic.

    Unfortunately, the heights of the sire/dam don't tell you a whole lot. Size is highly variable, and a dog who is phenotypically in-size may skew, genotypically, towards oversized (and a 15" bitch may, genetically, have been 16.1" if she'd been born male).

    Now, if you came to me and said that you were trying to decide whether or not to place this puppy, we would be having a different conversation.

    But if you are going to keep him either way, then don't overthink his height. Measure and chart him weekly, and see where he goes. If he goes over, you will still have the companion dog you originally wanted.
     
  5. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

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    Thanks, Meg. We love this little stinker and have to admit that we've let him get away with way too much already. He's entered in the Beginner Puppy Competition in a show scheduled for May, so he'll still be under 6 months. I *think* that this particular 'class' doesn't go into minute detail with regards to size, so at least we can have that under our collective belt.

    When I get home I'm going to measure him again (but it's really REALLY hard to measure a wriggly puppy - everything to him is a toy, including the ruler.

    We got him first and foremost to be our pet, to fill in the giant hole our last sheltie left behind; the breeders of his dam and sire have encouraged me to try to show him since they both saw/see potential in him, and, well, conformation is something we never considered before Kel.

    Funny thing, though...my husband is an engineer and he does not possess one single straight-edge ruler thing...like a wicket. Maybe I'll finagle one today here at the office like I did the stacking box (because, y'know, work is boring...:biggrin2:)

    You guys are great. Even if I end up with a big sheltie. :smile2:
     
  6. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

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    By features I mean size of nose ,size of head compared to body, feet size etc. You can have 2 puppies of same height sometimes one just looks bigger because they have bigger features that is the more at risk puppy. Knuckle is the growth plate above the carpus(wrist). It sort of creates a bulge when there is still more growing to do. It smooths out as they finish growing. A huge knuckle means a lot more growing.

    The hard thing and heartbreaking thing about shelties is they do not breed true in size. That's why we are obsessed about measuring and charting puppies because it helps us decide who to continue to grow out for show and who should be placed. Some don't follow the charts.

    My Birch was a puppy, I decided to grow out and keep regardless. He flirted with the oversize line his whole puppyhood and finally went over at 9 months ended up 16.5". His brother Spruce was well insize on the chart and even was shown and picked up 10 points and a major. He unfortunately continued to creep up. At 14 months he had a last unexpected growth spurt and went over and in the ended up at 17" He lives with Toffee's mom Irene now. You just never know a bout shelties. Their dad is 15" and a CH and Mom is 14.5" My little Ember who is 13" has parents that are both near 16". So the only thing you can say about shelties is size is unpredictable. So just enjoy your boy.

    BTW Birch is the best sheltie I could ever hope for even if he is a bigger than he should be. He is an absolute amazing athlete. If he wasn't so handler challenged he would likely be world class.
     
  7. Bradt9881

    Bradt9881 Forums Enthusiast

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    Size in Shelties is just variable. My good friend had a litter with 2 undersized 12" dogs, 2 over at 17", and one at 14 1/2". It's a throwback to when we bred in rough collie genes, and have decended from little Nordic herding dogs and Poms.
     
  8. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    You've gotten great advice and information here, Brandy. A few more things that will help you figure out where Kelby is in terms of size.

    The first is don't measure him with a ruler. Invest in a wicket...if you buy a puppy wicket, it doesn't break the bank and will measure up to 16". It's far more precise and accurate than trying to juggle a puppy and a ruler. You can get one from Wickets by Mel. He ships quickly too. Here's a link:
    http://wicketsbymel.com/wickets.htm


    Next, chart his growth with the Nobel Growth Chart for Shelties. It will tell you where he is week by week and although nothing is foolproof and there are always growth spurts and stops, it will give you a good idea of where you are. Here's a link to one you can print out and keep.
    http://www.granitegables.com/Sheltie.html

    As everyone has said, since Kelby isn't leaving anyway, his size is not a deal breaker. And it would be great if you at least get him started at the May show. You never know!
     
  9. blaiseshimmer

    blaiseshimmer Forums Regular

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    You guys are great

    Yeah, Kelby is a keeper. We have a Shiloh where we hope he grows as tall as possible (he's 'short' at 28":rolleyes2:) and really weren't too concerned about Kelby's height since those DURN EARS take up all my free time.

    I did find my rather pathetic attempt at keeping track of his height using the Nobel Chart. When he was 8 weeks he measured at 8.5" (so looking back, borderline), and at 3 months, I measured him several times and got an average of 11-11.5" because he wiggled everywhere. So my concern was that - now that I looked at the small marks - he sprouted up more than 2 inches in a month. Which may or may not be normal.

    Honestly, I will admit that I was still and still am hoping to take him to conformation, and there is a part of me that hopes that this growth spurt is it.

    AND there's also a part of me that is looking at DIY agility courses in order to get this little whirlwind running around my yard in an orderly-ish fashion.

    Still hope that I can take him through the Beginner Puppy Competition even if he still grows taller and gets mistaken for a rough collie, if anything, just to say we did it:biggrin2:
     
  10. Cara Sandler

    Cara Sandler Forums Enthusiast

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    It's really hard to say what will happen. My Spirit Joy was tiny from the beginning - the smallest in her litter by far, and she has remained tiny her whole life. She's very petite and fine boned, with dainty features. She had a "growth spurt" (if you can call it that, it was so short) at about 5-6 months, where she grew a few inches, but by 6-7 months basically stopped growing. She's now about 12" tall and 11 pounds at a year and a half. One of her littermates is twice her size - oversize at 18" and 30ish pounds. There really is a huge amount of variance in shelties.
     

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