Dogs weighing 56-100 pounds at adulthood are considered large breed dogs. Originally bred as working dogs, they still excel as sheep dogs, trackers, emergency rescue dogs, guard dogs or as guide dogs for the blind. They are faithful, affectionate and make ideal pets.
Large breed dogs can withstand tests of endurance such as long walks, working under extreme conditions or keeping guard. In order to combat the oxidative stress these activities produce, large dogs put a heavy demand on their natural defences.
The growth period for a large breed dog is approximately 15 months - almost seven months longer than the growth period for small breed dogs. Through the course of this long growth period, the large breed puppy's diet should contain a moderate energy level to help maintain the puppy in optimal body condition.
Large breed puppies multiply their birthweight by 70 to 90 times, compared with 20 times for small breed dogs. It is important that the nutritional needs of the large breed puppy are met in order to prevent any malformation of the skeleton during this developmental stage.
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