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J Anim Sci. 2000 Jan;78(1):27-32.

Breed and sex differences in growth curves for two breeds of dog guides.

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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA.


A desirable dog guide weighs 18 to 32 kg as an adult. Male and female German shepherd dogs and male and female Labrador retrievers were weighed between birth and 18 mo of age, with at least one weight recorded after 290 d of age. Growth curves were constructed from 10,484 observations on 880 dogs using the Gompertz function in the form Wt = W(max)exp(-e[-(t-c)/b]), where Wt is weight at time t, Wmax is mature body weight, b is proportional to duration of growth, c is age at point of inflection, and t is age in days. Estimates for mature body weight were 2.4 +/- .3 kg higher for Labrador retrievers than for German shepherd dogs and 4.7 +/- .2 kg higher for males than for females. Male Labrador retrievers were closest to the upper limit for desirable weight, with an average estimated mature weight of 31.4 +/- .3 kg. Duration of growth, 4b + c, was not different between the breeds; however, the estimate for males was 8 +/- 5d longer than for females. Female Labrador retrievers had the shortest estimate for growth of 319 +/- 6 d. The estimate for age at the point of inflection was 3.6 +/- 1.2 d greater for males than for females, but not different between breeds. A better understanding of growth curves for dog guides may aid in estimating mature weight at a young age, thus allowing earlier breeding and training decisions to be made and increasing genetic change per year.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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