Adorable German Shepherd dog’s unique genes mean he will always be a puppy

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Ranger the German Shepherd doesn’t look his age. And he never will.

The two-year-old German Shepherd has a super-rare medical condition that will keep him a puppy for the rest of his days.


The adorable pooch has Pituitary Dwarfism, which has permanently pressed “pause” on his development.

Ranger has become an Instagram celebrity

While it means he’ll always look cute and cuddly, there are a number of downsides. Ranger has suffered several health issues in the past as a result, including shedding fur and flaky skin.

Ranger’s rare condition came to his owners’ attention after he became infected with a parasite called Giardia.

Although the mutation makes Ranger look sweet, it also causes shedding fur and flaky skin because of hypothyroidism

As Ranger was recovering from the disease, owner Shelby Mayo noticed that the pooch wasn’t growing at the expected rate for a dog of his breed.

So they took him to the vet, where they discovered that Ranger is doomed to permanent puppyhood.

Despite this, the little dog has a cheerful demeanour, and has become something of an Instagram celebrity.

Owner Shelby said: “When we originally got Ranger from the breeder, he was smaller than all his other litter-mates, but we figured that was because he had a parasite .

“At the same time, we also discovered that Ranger had a large infection on his neck.

“We were eventually able to get the infection under control, fast forward a few months later we were finally able to get rid of Giardia.”

Ranger, who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his guardian Shelby Mayo

She continued: “During this time Ranger remained very small, the vet had suspected that he may have Pituitary Dwarfism, a genetic mutation. But we were still sceptical as the condition is very rare.

“Over time Ranger still did not get much bigger and at this point we are certain he has the condition.”

The puppy was found abandoned in the US and taken to a Missouri-based rescue centre

Shelby believes that Ranger’s extraordinary genetic defect was caused during breeding.

“Ranger’s litter was the first litter that our breeder had bred those two specific dogs together,” she explains.

“We believe this was the cause of the genetic defect and a responsible breeder will not breed the two dogs together again.”

She added: “He’s healthy and happy as can be as of now and loves jumping around and playing with his ball and squeaky toys with his two sisters Hazel and Jessie.”



By staronline@reachplc.com (Michael Moran)

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