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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

My name is Amy and I have an 18 week old Golden named Tucker. My husband is in the Army and we are in South Korea. We have been here for almost two years and have about a year and a half to go. We also have a 17 month old son who is Tucker's best buddy.

We also have a little rescue doggy named Scout that we just love. He is a mutt who was a chain dog, abused and escaped/abandoned and found wondering the streets of Seoul with heartworms. After about six weeks, he began to approach me, two months he wagged and here we are five months later heartworm free and with the sweetest little pup ever. He and Tucker are also great friends although the size difference is catching up to them as Scout is only 12 lbs:)

Tucker is a typical high energy super friendly Golden. He is very smart and is learning his manners for the most part. I am a little concerned about his size which is what led me here. At 18 weeks he is nearly 50lbs. He is also 20 inches at the shoulder. He appears to be a little overweight but not obese. We also take two 20 minute walks a day. The Korean vet said, 'he's fine, he's a growing puppy' and the American vet at the other base said to feed him less if I was concerned.

Because we are in Korea and in a more remote area, we don't have access to any good food. Our commissary stocks Puppy Chow and some other low end crap (although we just got Newman's Organic and I am using it) and our PX has lower end brands and Science Diet. I was feeding SD Puppy Large Breed but since we were having problems and I read the label and realized it was corn and by product I tossed it two weeks ago and switched.

Tucker's stomach wasn't tolerating the SD, he didn't have his first firm poop until 16 weeks old when I started feeding a homemade diet along with the Newman's natural food. I am pretty sure that the reason he is pudgy is the SD also because he would eat so much of it but still act hungry and I don't mean sniffing the bowl and demanding more, I mean scratching the food bin, barking, tossing his food bowl! The SD recommended portion is also nearly double that of a natural brand so I guess he was eating tons of fillers that was going to his hips.

Since adding homemade food he seems much more satisfied and it takes him longer to eat it so I assume that is helping. I am a little unsure of portion size since he is a little heavy. He seems satisfied with 1 cup homemade plus one cup of the Newman's twice a day. Should I still be feeding three times at this age? We have only been on this diet for about two weeks and immediately I saw a poop change but it hasn't been long enough weight wise. How long should it take for me to know if I am overfeeding? I am worried that he will gain more and then just be fat.

The homemade diet I am using was written by a holistic vet and the proportions of meat/carbs/veggies seem to be in line with all the research I have seen. I also give a multivitamin.

OK, sorry so long. Thanks for all the great info every one offers, this forum is great! I will post pictures soon but it's very late in Korea right now :)
 

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welcome to you, your furry friends and your dh. and please thank your dh for being in the army and defending our country. we love to see pictures.. so can't wait

beth, moose and angel
 

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Welcome
I think I would keep him on the Newmans and put some green beans in there to help fill him up. The green beans are empty calories. Two cups a day is good. Goldens are known to be chow hounds so you have to be careful to make sure they dont get overweight. If you can increase the walks too that will help. Do you have a place that you can safely let him run off leash to help burn some energy and tire him out?

Thank your husband for his service to our country. And you too for your sacrifices spouses are just as important. My husband was in the in Marines for 22 years.

Would love to see some pictures of your pups.
 

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I, too would like to thank you and your husband for your service to our country! I'm sure you will receive a lot of useful info on here and from people who have much more knowledge of canine nutrition than I do. I was startled by the size of Tucker! My pup is 15 weeks old and weighs 22 lbs! Talk about a size difference! I definitely think the Newmans along with the homemade diet is the way to go. Maybe some other, wiser people here can help you with feeding amounts. We use lots of frozen green beans in between feedings. She also gets some fruit if I happen to be eating some; a slice of apple or banana. I give her the ends of the romaine lettuce to chew on and sometimes some baby carrots. Both Riley and my previous golden were chow hounds and would eat anything in front of them and act like they were starving afterward. The snacks in between meals really helps.
 

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When Gus was a puppy, he gained about 10 pounds a month. 3 months old, 30 pounds; 4 months old, 40 pounds, etc. If he's 18 weeks, almost 50 pounds is pretty close to the same. And Gus has topped out right around 70.

And welcome to the forum! My cousin is in the army and is stationed in Seoul too!
 

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Amy

Amy

Welcome to you and your puppy!
You will find many helpful suggestions from people in the know about Golden Retrievers here!!!!
God Bless your Husband and you for the service to our country!
 

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Hey there! We are military too! My husband is Navy and we just moved from Hawaii to Washington state!

My pup Leonidas was a big fat round thing just a few months ago! He also gained about 10 pounds a month for awhile and at 9 months old he weighs in at 67 pounds and is 20 inches tall at his shoulders. My Maximus was a pudgy thing too...and really tall! He is normal weight now (about 70 pounds or so) but is 26'' at the shoulder so he looks super skinny!

Sounds like your baby is in the ballpark for normal, as far as I know! There is such a range of sizes and the growth pattern is so different from dog to dog! Some dogs are tiny as pups and HUGE adults and some are just the opposite! Did you get to meet his parents? Were they average size or tall and beefy?

You said you are feeding 2 cups twice a day right? If you are worried you could take it down to one cup plus a cup of fruit and veggies twice a day, or two cups once a day and give him fruits and veggies as treats throughout the day. =)

Leonidas was sooooo round for a while I swore to everyone he was a lab ;) but he has grown proportionally! You know your dog best and if he is happy with the feeding schedule now and isn't having tummy problems don't change it to much!! I would try to excercise him a bit more though, as a pup he needs as much running/walking time as he can get and it is a great time to work on loose leash walking too!!

Welcome to the forum! We can't wait to see pictures and I look forward to getting to know you and your pups better!!
 

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I would be concerned about his weight as well. My pup is over 6 months old and 43 pounds. Although size does vary considerably, the breed standard for full grown male dogs is 65-75 pounds and at 18 weeks, Tucker has a whole lot more growing to do!!!! I don't think you can judge how much to feed by how hungry the dog seems. I know with my dog, she would eat the whole bag of dog food at once if I let her! The recommendations on the bag are also generally more than a dog needs. Retrievers do have a tendency to be overweight because they love food so much (and they are so irresistible!) You don't want to have him overweight at such a young age, especially because it is really hard on growing bones and joints to have that extra weight. You should be able to feel his ribs really easily. A little while back there was a great post with a scale with images of dogs of different weights, from too skinny to overweight. I wish I could find it. I think it might be useful to you to be able to visualize what the ideal weight looks like on a golden. I would definitely be cutting back on his food. Did you say he gets 2 cups twice a day or 2 cups total? If it is 4 cups a day, you could definitely cut back. If it is 2 cups a day and you can really increase exercise a lot, that might be the way to go. Either way, I would strongly recommend that you slow down his weight gain. Good luck!
 

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I found it! I hope this is helpful. Since none of us can see your dog, you are the one who can judge best if he is overweight. It helps to have a guide though!

Understanding Your Dog's Body Condition

Too Thin


1 Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
2 Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
3 Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist.






Ideal

4 Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
5 Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed.





Too Heavy

6 Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above but is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
7 Ribs palpable with difficulty; heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present.
8 Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distension may be present.
9 Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distention.


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome
I think I would keep him on the Newmans and put some green beans in there to help fill him up. The green beans are empty calories. Two cups a day is good. Goldens are known to be chow hounds so you have to be careful to make sure they dont get overweight. If you can increase the walks too that will help. Do you have a place that you can safely let him run off leash to help burn some energy and tire him out?

Thank your husband for his service to our country. And you too for your sacrifices spouses are just as important. My husband was in the in Marines for 22 years.

Would love to see some pictures of your pups.

I like the green bean idea and he loves veggies so that should work. I am also putting a tennis ball in the food bowl now to slow him down. Maybe he will realize he is full if he isn't inhaling it! I have wanted to increase his walks but was nervous about over exercising his already big frame. We do have a very large fenced in yard (we are very lucky, houses are rare in Korea) and he spends a good bit of time running and playing (terrorizing) with Scout. We also play outside a lot with my son.

And wow, 22 years as a Marine? Your husband is the one who needs thanking :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey there! We are military too! My husband is Navy and we just moved from Hawaii to Washington state!

My pup Leonidas was a big fat round thing just a few months ago! He also gained about 10 pounds a month for awhile and at 9 months old he weighs in at 67 pounds and is 20 inches tall at his shoulders. My Maximus was a pudgy thing too...and really tall! He is normal weight now (about 70 pounds or so) but is 26'' at the shoulder so he looks super skinny!

Sounds like your baby is in the ballpark for normal, as far as I know! There is such a range of sizes and the growth pattern is so different from dog to dog! Some dogs are tiny as pups and HUGE adults and some are just the opposite! Did you get to meet his parents? Were they average size or tall and beefy?

You said you are feeding 2 cups twice a day right? If you are worried you could take it down to one cup plus a cup of fruit and veggies twice a day, or two cups once a day and give him fruits and veggies as treats throughout the day. =)

Leonidas was sooooo round for a while I swore to everyone he was a lab ;) but he has grown proportionally! You know your dog best and if he is happy with the feeding schedule now and isn't having tummy problems don't change it to much!! I would try to excercise him a bit more though, as a pup he needs as much running/walking time as he can get and it is a great time to work on loose leash walking too!!

Welcome to the forum! We can't wait to see pictures and I look forward to getting to know you and your pups better!!

Thanks! I know how big Tucker is at 50lbs and 20 inches so I imagine yours was HUGE looking at 67lb and 20inches. Thanks for all the advice. I did forget to mention that we have a huge fenced in yard so he gets lots of running around time. I have been wanting to increase our walk distance but have nervous about stressing his big frame.
 

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You could also order a better product online...just make sure they're able to deliver to an APO address (provided it's worth the added expense). Also with the Commissary, you might be able to talk to the manager to see if you could do a special order & get a better quality food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would be concerned about his weight as well. My pup is over 6 months old and 43 pounds. Although size does vary considerably, the breed standard for full grown male dogs is 65-75 pounds and at 18 weeks, Tucker has a whole lot more growing to do!!!! I don't think you can judge how much to feed by how hungry the dog seems. I know with my dog, she would eat the whole bag of dog food at once if I let her! The recommendations on the bag are also generally more than a dog needs. Retrievers do have a tendency to be overweight because they love food so much (and they are so irresistible!) You don't want to have him overweight at such a young age, especially because it is really hard on growing bones and joints to have that extra weight. You should be able to feel his ribs really easily. A little while back there was a great post with a scale with images of dogs of different weights, from too skinny to overweight. I wish I could find it. I think it might be useful to you to be able to visualize what the ideal weight looks like on a golden. I would definitely be cutting back on his food. Did you say he gets 2 cups twice a day or 2 cups total? If it is 4 cups a day, you could definitely cut back. If it is 2 cups a day and you can really increase exercise a lot, that might be the way to go. Either way, I would strongly recommend that you slow down his weight gain. Good luck!

I agree with everything you are saying but it's not just his weight. He is a little heavy but that has only recently happened and he is also very tall, already 20 inches. I have a friend with a well proportioned 120lb Golden so I know they camn get much bigger than breed standard. I know what chart you are talking about, I think another poster responded here with it as well, and I would say right now he is a 6-7 but up until four weeks ago he was always more like a 5. He just beefed up recently which is why I started (along with the poop issues) started questioning the food. The SD recommended 4-5 cups a day for his size, he never got that much though. I was doing 1 cup homemade/1 cup Newmans for the first two weeks after the switch but now I am going down to 1 cup homemade/.5 cup Newmans (twice a day) with a tennis ball in the bowl to slow him down :)
 

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OMG Tucker is a doll!! What a face!! =) He looks like a normal golden puppy to me...but I am not an expert by any stretch of the word!

Oh, and Leonidas is 9 months old and currently weighs 67 pounds and is 20 inches to the shoulders! His body(nose to tip of tail) is really long though... Gosh, could you imagine if he were that big as an 18 week old with a short puppy body?! Holy cow that would be a sight! lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You could also order a better product online...just make sure they're able to deliver to an APO address (provided it's worth the added expense). Also with the Commissary, you might be able to talk to the manager to see if you could do a special order & get a better quality food.

I have looked at Amazon, who has free shipping but all they had was Newman's which is what I do have here. I need to look a little more but I think that I am ok with the homemade and the Newman's once I find the right portion size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OMG Tucker is a doll!! What a face!! =) He looks like a normal golden puppy to me...but I am not an expert by any stretch of the word!

Oh, and Leonidas is 9 months old and currently weighs 67 pounds and is 20 inches to the shoulders! His body(nose to tip of tail) is really long though... Gosh, could you imagine if he were that big as an 18 week old with a short puppy body?! Holy cow that would be a sight! lol!

Thanks :) He isn't extremely overweight, just a little hefty. I think with a good growth spurt he should slim back down a little. I have never measured Tucker from nose to tail, he seems pretty long that way too.
 

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Welcome to the forum and thank your husband for his service. We all appreciate what it takes to keep up safe here at home. And thank you for your service along side him. We're former Navy parents!

I wonder if a 'lunch' of cooked carrots and green beans might not help take the edge off his appetite. We had a dog who lived 8 years (after a diagnosis of cancer) on homemade food and vitamins. Hamburger boiled with instant rice and frozen peas and carrots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Welcome to the forum and thank your husband for his service. We all appreciate what it takes to keep up safe here at home. And thank you for your service along side him. We're former Navy parents!

I wonder if a 'lunch' of cooked carrots and green beans might not help take the edge off his appetite. We had a dog who lived 8 years (after a diagnosis of cancer) on homemade food and vitamins. Hamburger boiled with instant rice and frozen peas and carrots.
Thanks and thank you to your family. i might try some lunch. He doesn't really act hungry or look for food in the day time, only when it's close to meal time and after he's eaten. I do think that the Newman's is really helping, it's been a week now and I think it's more filling than the SD was. I feed him half of what he used to eat. Makes sense as it's real meat and veggies rather than by product and fillers. Hopefully in the next week or so he will start to look a little more trim.
 

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Welcome...and Thank You for your service.
We are an Air Force/Navy family, though all are retired now.
My Sam was a very big Golden, he weighed 68lbs at 6 months, so a little ahead of your Tucker. He topped out at 103 lbs and 27" so looked very proportionate, just longer and taller than your average Golden....and he was the runt of the litter! :) He only ate 2 cups of food daily, same of my Ike does now, who is a smaller Golden and well within the breed standards, so I don't necessarily think your food is the culprit to his size. He may just be a big boy.
 

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Amy

Amy

So glad you are here!!

Here are my 10 year old Rescued, Golden Retriever ,Smooch and my 9 year old Samoyed, Snobear.
 

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