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I recently got a Belgian Terv puppy. At just shy of nine weeks, he weighed 9 pounds 5 oz. Three weeks later, he weighed 10 pounds 8 oz, a net gain of only 1 pound 3 oz. I was surprised, the vet was 'meh'.

He is eating a 5 star rated puppy food (dogfoodadvisor.com), was one cup 3x/d. Good energy, normal stool, looks healthy, but so furry, hard to tell if he's too thin or not.

I started adding toppers to his feeding and added an extra feeding/day to get him to eat more. Plus, for training treats, I'm giving boiled chicken, beef or other high-quality treats (freeze-dried liver, etc.).

I've looked for growth charts for the breed and I can't find any.

Because of intermittent regurgitation and vomitting, there's a small chance that the pup can have an esophageal or pyloric problem. The pup is scheduled for a visit next week, and if inadequate weight gain, this will be followed by a barium swallow study.

I spoke with the breeder (450 miles away, mind you) who at first wanted to switch out the puppy for another one (what? No, I've bonded to this puppy) and when I ran the possibility of a medical problem by her, she literally screamed at me not to get the puppy tested, not to trust the vet ("They don't know what they're doing! They know nothing about this breed! They're only in it for the money!"), and when I said I would trust the vet, she threatened to reclaim the dog because of abuse, so I think she's out of the picture.

I've tried two other puppy foods to see if the pup likes one more than another. He looks great to me, but definitely smallish.

Any suggestions? (Googling BT growth rates gets me no helpful hits.)

  • I have to go out now, I'll research this when I return. I hope the pup is ok re: the reflux? regurgitation. Yes the breeder sounds a tad unstable. – Yvette Sep 1 '17 at 2:32
  • @YvetteColomb - I've not had the best luck with breeders this year. Thanks. – anongoodnurse Sep 1 '17 at 3:00
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It's hard to find particulars on growth rates for the Belgian Tervuren. However the growth rates are comparable to the German Shepherd and the Malinois Shepherd aka Belgian Malinois.

German Shepherd

As large dogs, both the Belgian Tervuren and the German Shepherd have very similar growth patterns. By the end of the first year, both dog breeds will be nearly 2 feet at the withers. Growth requires proper nutrition and these dog breeds will need approximately 2.5 to 3 cups of dry dog food daily.

enter image description here from Pet Breeds

Left: Belgian Tervuren ....................... Right: German Shepherd enter image description here
from Pet Breeds

So the German Shepherd is a little larger than the Belgian Tervuren. So looking at a detailed chart for the German Shepherd growth rates, this should provide a good guide, taking into account the Belgian Tervuren may be a little lighter and still healthy.

A German Shepherd growth chart.

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German Shepherd Growth Chart by Weight & Age

Malinois Shepherd

The Malinois Shepherd, has closer weight and height to the Belgian Tervuren, than the German Shepherd.

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enter image description here

This growth chart of the Malinois Shepherd shows your pup is underweight. At 3 months he would be expected to be over 10 kgs, which is 22 pounds - and that's at the lower percentile of the healthy curve.
enter image description here

At nearly 9 weeks - 9 pounds 5 oz seems light - a figure closer 15 pounds would be better

At nearly 12 weeks - 10 pounds 8 oz, only gaining 1 pound, there's definitely an issue, as this is one of the quickest points of weight gain, as seen below.

enter image description here

Monitor his weight and keep checking with the vet, if you're not happy with the vet's attitude, seek a second opinion (I would).

Also using this little calculator for a Malinois (which is similar to the Belgian Tervuren). The puppies predicted adult weight is only 23 pounds with this growth rate, so there's obviously a problem.

| improve this answer | |
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    @anongoodnurse you're welcome, please let me know how he goes. – Yvette Sep 3 '17 at 1:45
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    he put on 9 pounds in the past 3 weeks on the diet I have him on (which requires a lot of work, but that's ok.) Using the Mallinois calculator for the new weight, he's still way too small. His barium study was normal esophagus, borderline pyloric thickening. Reco continue semi-liquid diet and will f/u 3 weeks; radiology consult. It could have been worse. – anongoodnurse Sep 6 '17 at 17:50

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