I'm going to keep this as simple as I can. For more detailed information please do your own research. My goal here is purely for the understanding of why I feed my dogs as I do. Dog food is complicated and the reason why is purely marketing! These companies see a profit to be made and the competition to make their product more valuable to others has created a science battle for all sides. With that said I went back to basics for what I would feed my dogs. I tossed the complicated stuff to the side and went back to basic requirements for a dog and a puppy to grow and live a comfortable life.
What I mean is this, there are 3 major causes of Developmental Orthopedic Disease (DOD). The first is genetics. The second is overfeeding and the last is too much calcium. It is recommended that a puppy gets a diet with a 1:1 to a 1.8:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. And adult dog needs a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.2:1. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for a bag of dog food to be certified is that the dog food has to be within the ratio of 1:1 to 1.8:1. So as long as you're feeding a dog food that is AAFCO certified you are feeding the right nutrition for your growing puppy or your adult dog no matter what you're feeding. Now we circle back to overfeeding and the next thing that I watch when I choose what to feed my dogs. I want them to maintain a healthy weight for the season. I allow a little more weight in the winter time to keep warm and as things begin to heat up I pull a little of that blubber insulation off of them to help them stay cooler. Watch your dogs weight and adjust accordingly and feed what works for you. Excess weight causes extra wear and tear on the dogs body (and is even worse on a growing pup) so the goal is to reduce that by allowing them to stay fit and at an ideal weight for them. It also makes it very difficult for a LGD to work if they are overweight due to less energy and more weight to carry around causing restrictions. At the end of the day as long as the food is AAFCO certified it comes down to preference and what marketing tactic they used worked for you.
Here at Five C Ranch we feed Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice to all of our dogs and puppies. For me it came down to cost and ingredients. With several adult dogs as well as the occasional litter of puppies the cost matters big time! I can't fathom with how much dog food I go through spending more on their food than I do to feed our family of 5. Diamond Naturals dog food has a very reasonable price with ingredients that I can agree with and this is what made our choice on what to feed our dogs.