Growth Performance, Survival Ratio and Body Measurements Until Weaning Age of German Shepherd Dog
This study was carried out to establish body weight, survival ratio and average body measurements of the German Shepherd Dogs raised under the condition at Gemlik Military Veterinary School and Training Center during suckling period. Live weight and body measurement records of 82 pure bred (54 female, 28 male) puppies were used for determining growth characteristics. Mean weights of puppies at 1st week and weaning were 776 and 2614g, respectively. Mean live weight of male and female puppies were statistically different at 2-4 week of age. Survival rate of puppies at weaning was found 83%. At 52 day age, head length, head circumference, body length, wither height, ear length, body circumference, rump height, cannon circumference, tail length and hind leg wrist circumference were 14.76, 24.03, 22.97, 25.16, 5.93, 30.64, 24.16, 6.62, 15.51 and 5.99 cm, respectively. Birth weight was statistically affected by mother's age. And tail length and wither height at 24, 38 and 52 day age was affected birth type (6 litter) (P<0.01). Body measurements before weaning were not affected by sex (P>0.05) except for head circumference (P<0.01). Correlations between live weight and body measurements were also determined. Correlations between live weight and ear length were significant before weaning (P<0.001). Correlation between live weight at 35 day age and all body measurements were statistically significant (P<0.001). In conclusion, it was determined that live weight and body measurements of German Shepherd puppies before weaning period should be a beneficial tool for selection.