Dwarfism, also known as pituitary dwarfism or hypopituitarism, can happen in many breeds of dog, but is particularly seen in German shepherd dogs. Other breeds affected include the Weimaraner, spitz and Karelian bear dog, according to veterinarian Bari Spielman.
Pituitary dwarfism is caused by genes from both the mother and father dog. These genes tell the pituitary gland to not produce proper amounts of growth hormone or GH.
Dr. Bari Spielman notes that German shepherd puppies do not show signs of dwarfism until they are about 2 to 3 months old.
The German shepherd is given hormone injections for the rest of his life in order to control complications from dwarfism, but the dog will still be very short.
A German shepherd with pituitary dwarfism will also commonly experience many other health problems, according to "The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms." These include skeletal problems and tooth loss.
Although there are "dwarf German shepherds" for sale on the Internet, this is not a new breed. These dogs have pituitary dwarfism.