How skinny is too skinny?

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby pitbullmamaliz » May 31st, 2006, 10:30 pm

I'm watching Animal Precinct right now, and they're saying how if you can see the dog's ribs, the dog is too skinny. I think Inara looks in phenomenal form, but her ribs slightly show, and her spine is slightly visible. According to Animal Precinct, she's underweight. How do I know for sure? Just take her to the vet?
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Postby mnp13 » May 31st, 2006, 10:40 pm

Riggs must be on death's door then. :rolleyes2:

If you can't see the ribs on a Pit Bull they are fat.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » May 31st, 2006, 10:43 pm

That's what I had thought as well - these animal cop shows make me paranoid though. Can you see Riggs' spine?
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Postby mnp13 » May 31st, 2006, 10:53 pm

This is from the show this past weekend
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You can see his ribs and his spine bumps up in his brown patch
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Postby muse » May 31st, 2006, 11:09 pm

He looks thin to me, but then I like a little more meat on my guys. Lance isnt much thicker then that one though.
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Postby turtle » May 31st, 2006, 11:18 pm

I like to see a little rib on a bulldog. Americans are too used to over weight dogs so a lean pit bull often looks too skinny to the average person.

Riggs looks good and it's a lot easier to see ribs on a light color or solid color dog. Mine is brindle and I swear those stripes are camoflauge!
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Postby Malli » June 1st, 2006, 2:50 am

Os lost some weight recently, when I started to feel the muscle mass decline around his spine I decided he was too thin, now we've rebounded and last time I checked he weighed his highest ever :shock:
Lean is always better then fat and unless she acts like she's always hungry, shes probably fine :)
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Postby babyreba » June 1st, 2006, 12:53 pm

I have a question about dogs kept thin enough to see their spinal ridge and ribs . . . do you find that the dogs' behavior changes when you restrict food to keep them in top shape?

I knew a dog once that came to foster care in a way that some might call conditioned. In that state, the dog looked really good, similar to the way Riggs looked. He had been kept super-lean on purpose, the foster home wanted him in shape and felt strongly about how the dog was kept . . .

The dog was eventually moved to another foster home that wasn't really as keen on conditioning, though she initially tried to do as the original foster home did . . . hard exercise, training, and limited food so the pounds would not pile on. She found he was completely a pain in the neck about everything all the time--didn't focus during training, was unable to relax, wasn't responding to her for commands, into everything, etc.

She wondered if changing his feeding routine might help, and asked me about it, but I didn't know anything about that. So she decided to try upping his food by about a quarter to half cup per day. It resulted in a few pounds on the dog, though he was still pretty lean when I saw him. , She said the difference in the dog was significant from a behavioral perspective, apparently he became eager to work for her during training and was more willing to take part in more focused activities like springpoling, whereas before he was going from one thing to the next and acting like a loon.

I keep my dogs leaner rather than fatter, but no where near conditioned or super-lean, so I don't have any experience to draw from here. But I always think about this when a convo about conditioned dogs comes up . . . do your dogs act differently, for better or for worse, when you condition them?
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Postby mnp13 » June 1st, 2006, 1:11 pm

He doesn't look overly thin to me. When Connor was that size Connor looked gaunt. It depends on the dog. There isn't much extra weight on Riggs, but I'd have to take even more off if I wanted to show ADBA (or so I was told by a few ADBA people).

He doesn't act like he is "starving" and has plenty of energy. He has not been "out of condition" since I have had him (3 months) so I can't give you a comparason.

He's a little heavier than he was at the last pull I think, I'll know when they weigh him on Saturday.

When I first got him, I got him up to 48 pounds, 5 pounds heavier than he was at the show in May. You could still see the bumps from his spine on his back. It's just the way he's built. I took that all back off because he smoothed right over.

Ruby, on the other hand, has a ton of muscle on her back even though she does no work. The only time you can see her spine is when she curls up in a ball.

ETA: in that photo he is not properly stacked, so his back is arched incorrectly which makes his spine stand up more than it really does.
Last edited by mnp13 on June 1st, 2006, 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cheekymunkee » June 1st, 2006, 1:13 pm

I can't help you with the answer Erin but not all dogs have to be "kept" lean. Justice has a super high metabolism, I can feed her all day long & she will run it off. She eats as much as Munkee & Ollie combined & is still a thin girl, while those too really need to meet Jenny Craig. She has good muscle tone, a great coat, no worms, but you can see her ribs & her spine when she lays or stands a certain way. That's just her. :|
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Postby babyreba » June 1st, 2006, 1:21 pm

maybe that is the part of the answer--whether you have a dog that has to be kept lean or is naturally that way.

it could also have something to do with whether the dog was being exercised appropriately in order to keep in shape or if food was just being restricted.

i honestly don't know the whole story, just bits and pieces from the two foster homes, so i always wonder whether that dog's situation was typical or not.

thanks for the replies, tho.
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Postby Romanwild » June 1st, 2006, 1:22 pm

mnp13 wrote:This is from the show this past weekend
Image
You can see his ribs and his spine bumps up in his brown patch


Nice stack. :ROFL2:

Pit Bulls are atheletes. The human equivalent of a wrestler. When we see ribs on a athelete we don't think they are too skinny or mal nourished. It should be obvious, the difference between a dog that is underfed and a dog that has low body fat.

Babyrehab:

I think your story sounds like a good example of "every dog is different". :|

I'm always tweaking the amount of food I give my dogs. I have a certain way that I want them to look and they each have a different way that it needs to be done.
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Postby blkngldbabe » June 1st, 2006, 1:22 pm

Hmmmm... My Herbie is Full Grown at 82 Lbs and Steeler is 52 at 1 year. he's alot taller though. I'll post some pics where you can see it...but I don't hin he's pudgey really...she's thick through the chest and shorter..we figure she'll top out at about 55-60. Is this too heavy?
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Postby blkngldbabe » June 1st, 2006, 1:24 pm

Here's a link to my yahoo photo album. its about 7 months ago though...She's grown alot as you can see from my intro photos. I have to upload my most recent photos.

edit:Maybe i should link it huh!!!?? :oops: :P

http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/blkngld_babe/album?.dir=d45d
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Postby mnp13 » June 1st, 2006, 1:26 pm

Romanwild wrote:Nice stack. :ROFL2:


We need a bitch slap emoticon.

Hmmmm... My Herbie is Full Grown at 82 Lbs and Steeler is 52 at 1 year. he's alot taller though. I'll post some pics where you can see it...but I don't hin he's pudgey really...she's thick through the chest and shorter..we figure she'll top out at about 55-60. Is this too heavy?


It all depends on the individual dog's build as to what is "too thin". Personally, I think that if you can't see at least the last two ribs on a Pit Bull then the dog is too heavy. It's different for different breeds though - Labs and other water dogs should have a layer of fat over their ribs for example.
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Postby Romanwild » June 1st, 2006, 1:28 pm

blkngldbabe wrote:Hmmmm... My Herbie is Full Grown at 82 Lbs and Steeler is 52 at 1 year. he's alot taller though. I'll post some pics where you can see it...but I don't hin he's pudgey really...she's thick through the chest and shorter..we figure she'll top out at about 55-60. Is this too heavy?


It's the way they look. Pounds are pounds. If it' muscle and bone they might look skinny, if it has a lot of fat then it will look fat. Does that make sense? :?
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Postby Romanwild » June 1st, 2006, 1:29 pm

blkngldbabe wrote:Here's a link to my yahoo photo album. its about 7 months ago though...She's grown alot as you can see from my intro photos. I have to upload my most recent photos.

edit:Maybe i should link it huh!!!?? :oops: :P

http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/blkngld_babe/album?.dir=d45d


It's hard to tell from your pics because they are mostly head shots. Do you have any sides shots like the one of riggs.
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Postby blkngldbabe » June 1st, 2006, 1:39 pm

In my newest set I think I might...I'll upload them after work. i think he has a layer of "pudge" but isn't heavy. Does that make sense? I can feel his ribs still but can't really see them. Hmm I will have to upload later on.! :D
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Postby mnp13 » June 1st, 2006, 2:58 pm

blkngldbabe wrote:i think he has a layer of "pudge" but isn't heavy. Does that make sense?


well... no. :wink:

If he has a layer of fat over his ribs then yes, I would guess he is overweight. Pits are supposed to be athletes like Olympic sprinters; all muscle and bone.
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Postby blkngldbabe » June 1st, 2006, 3:07 pm

He IS possibly part lab though and when taken to the vet he said that he is at a very healthy weight. He's not hugely muscled either. I need to work him more.
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