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His ears are big in comparison to his body and he’s still covered in fluffy brown and black fur. Common sense says that the dog is still a puppy, right? Wrong! Ranger is a German Shepard and anything but a puppy.

Ranger, who lives in Arizona, USA, with his owners – sisters Shelby and Darcy Mayo – is a four-year-old adult with a rare genetic condition that’s trapped him permanently in puppyhood, reports News24.

At first the two sisters thought he was just the runt of the litter and that’s why he was smaller than his siblings. They spent thousands of dollars trying to get him healthy as he had parasitic infections, other ailments and tremendous hair loss due to a thyroid issue.

Doctors eventually figured out that Ranger has pituitary dwarfism, a condition that stops him from growing into a full-sized German Shepard. His various health issues and condition is because of inbreeding.

His owners are trying to convey the message that inbreeding is unnatural and that it can lead to dogs with serious health conditions, like Ranger.

While the average lifespan of a German Shepard is anything between nine and 12 years, doctors have said that Ranger will probably not live that long.

Mentally, doctors say there is nothing wrong with him. In his head, he is a full-grown German Shepard with the same personality as that of his normal-sized counterparts.

Image credit: Awesome Inventions

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