Ranger is not like other German Shepherds. This little guy is destined to remain just that – a little guy – as he’s got a rare genetic condition called pituitary dwarfism.
Pituitary dwarfism is a genetic disorder in which the body’s pituitary glands don’t produce enough growth hormones.
Due to his condition, 2-year-old Ranger is much smaller than other German Shepherds his age and looks like he’s still just a puppy.
The lack of growth hormones slows and severely stunts the afflicted dogs’ growth and some common signs of pituitary dwarfism are unusually short legs, an unusually long body, and not growing an adult coat of hair, to name a few.
When Ranger’s owners adopted him, they noticed that he was smaller than the other puppies in the litter but didn’t think much of it.
However, after Ranger underwent treatment for an infection and two different parasites, a vet suggested that he might be afflicted with dwarfism.
The vet had treated Ranger for months and noticed that the pup had not experienced any significant growth in that time.
Now, at two years old, it’s clear that the vet was right. Ranger still hasn’t grown much and still looks like a little puppy.
Pituitary dwarfism can be recessively inherited in certain breeds, such as German Shepherds, and in an interview with SWNS, Ranger’s owner reveals that he thinks that Ranger’s condition is down to his parents’ genetics:
“Ranger’s litter was the first litter that our breeder had bred those to specific dogs together. We believe this was the cause of the genetic defect. And as a responsible breeder will not breed the two dogs together again.”
While Ranger may look cute, his condition is actually very serious. Dogs with pituitary dwarfism often suffer from a range of health issues as a result of their condition.
Ranger himself has struggled with thyroid issues which led to him losing both his hair and his appetite.
Luckily, Ranger has received medicine to manage his thyroid and is now doing very well. His fur is growing back, he’s full of energy, and he’s enjoying life to the fullest.
In a Q&A on Ranger’s Instagram, Ranger’s owner stated that Ranger might “fill out” a little, but in effect, he will not get any bigger than he is right now.
Ranger has two sisters. Hazel the Labrador and Jessie the German Shepherd. While his sisters are bigger than him, Ranger doesn’t let his small stature hold him back.
He loves goofing around, playing with his sisters and enjoying life.
He’s a little guy with a big heart and his family loves him just the way he is.