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Old 02-19-2009, 09:33 AM   #11
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I agree with Haus, I like to be easily able to feel the ribs. Ditto too with the backbone. The backbone in particular is not an area where dogs put on muscle, so in my opinion, if you cannot feel the backbone at least fairly easily, then you need to increase your dog's exercise. I don't bother about any other guide to weight, Tai is far too heavy for me to pick up and hold in my arms whilst I weigh us both in any case ... I go entirely on the ribs and backbone. When the dog is in the bath, despite his very large bone structure, he has a lovely wasp waist ... wish I did !!

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Old 02-19-2009, 11:26 AM   #12
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I was thinking more on this today - I have a lot of people that still assume Susie is a pup(although at 15 months old I consider her all grown up). Now part of that may be because you can see she has Sheppard in her, those who know the breed can also see the husky but most people think lab/shep. I explained today to a lady who said "A year old? But she looks like a pup!" that part of the reason she is small is because she is female and also has the small husky breed mixed in.

The other part may be because she's not barrel shaped like most adult dogs are these days. She's 50lbs and looks lovely well muscled and with a waist and a nice tummy tuck, she's too furry to see ribs but I can feel them and her spine just fine. She's just smaller than they expect - poor Susie people are going to think she just a puppy even when she's an old dog of 12

Too bad I couldn't be so lucky! LOL

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Old 02-19-2009, 01:38 PM   #13
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I had this problem with Hal. He was really quite small because of the terrible trouble we had with his diet, until we discovered the BARF diet. His growth was stunted as a result, bless him.

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Old 02-19-2009, 01:42 PM   #14
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I gotten into the habit of ignoring people when they mention how skinny Boone looks. Yes he gets fed, but half the time he won't touch his food and it'll sit there for a day or two before he finally shows down, he's also very active and is in no way skinny, he's ideal weight to me for a dog his size. You can't see his ribs, you can feel them easy enough and he has a nice little tuck at his waist.

Now Drifter is for sure obese, he was never what is called ideal weight he's always been a tank of a dog but that was just the way he was built until recently he's put alot of weight on that I managed to get him to loose while he was living with me. But dad is being more careful now about what he's giving him because of his recent health issues so hopefully, with the better diet and loosing some pounds it'll help him out some.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:03 PM   #15
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Maddie has always been just right in our eyes but when we moved to a house with a bigger yard; she lost 7 pounds. Then we adopted Rusty and she lost another 7 pounds. Now she looks a little skinny to me but we were at the vets office a few weeks ago for her seizures. He did blood work for her seizures so he could tell me 100% that she was fine....this was over the phone after the visit. The vet didn't say anything about her being skinny during the visit. Everyone that comes to our house says that she is so skinny. Oh well, I figure if she is eating the right amount, healthy and running around then who cares.

I agree that a little bit of feeling the ribs are okay but not to be able to see them from a distance. If a dog is not active or eating human food a lot and over weigh then that's a problem. But, really who am I to judge someone else dog, which could have a health issue that I don't know about. Plus, fur can be tricky to see if a dog is healthy or not. I'm stopping the soapbox

My dogs are both healthy.

Rusty (boxer/beagle - brown with black face) weighs 43 pounds. 1.5 years old.
Maddie (pit/boxer - brown brindle with white) weighs 54 pounds. 4 years old.

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:37 AM   #16
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I met our vet once in the local woods with her dogs, and they were thin and well muscled. You could see the outline of their ribs, and they were bursting with health and vitality. All the vets I know like to see a bit of rib on a dog. Only puppies should be round and plump like pouter pigeons ! Ooo, that's a lovely bit of alliteration I've written there ! I am quite proud of that.

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Old 02-20-2009, 11:20 PM   #17
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People are always telling me that Billy in too thin. I will agree that he is on the lean side, but his he very athletic. He weighs in at 64lbs and is 24" at the withers - bang on (I believe) for his breed. He has very defined muscles (from lots of hiking) but not any fat. If only I was built the same way!!!

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Old 02-20-2009, 11:34 PM   #18
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Both my big girls are just that - big - with little to no success on weightloss. That's not my opinion, that's the vet's opinion.

I personally, would never try to guess if my pet is overweight, as the vet is most qualified to do that I'll let him. Besides, I'd never tell my girls they're *covers their ears* F-A-T! LOL
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:34 PM   #19
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I always worried that Nellie was too thin, but having seen these charts she seems to fall into the "optimal" category.

She is 11 inches tall and weighs 12 lbs - exactly the breed standard.

So, thank you for posting those links!

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