- German Shepherd Dog
Pituitary dwarfism is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by a deficiency in the functioning of the pituitary gland that releases several important hormones. It is only known to be found in the German Shepherd dog and related dog breeds such as the Saarloos Wolfhound, Czechoslovakian Wolfdog and the Karelian Beardog. Once thought to be quite rare, the condition has been reported to have recently spread quite rapidly in Europe through the breeding of unsuspected carriers. The condition usually becomes evident in puppies after a few months, and is characterized by retarded proportional growth and a poorly developed coat. These undersized dogs tend to live shortened life spans.