Do they look too skinny?

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Malli » December 2nd, 2009, 2:32 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
Malli wrote:They look good to me :|

Next time you have them at the Vet, ask point blank, then when the Dr. tells you your dogs are a good weight you can relay that to the nosy folks!


Except so many vets can't judge good weight either...I hear that all of the time..."but the vet says they're fine!!!" :doh:



Really? None of the 20 + or so that I worked with ever had issue with it :| Maybe it's different in the states where it seems like its a bit more of a competitive then here :|

They actually have a Body Conditioning scale that they learn ("BCS score II/VI" etc), there are descriptions for each different level of emaciation or obesity.
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 2nd, 2009, 3:40 pm

I have to convince the other Service Dog trainers that the dogs are fat...of course I'm coming from a dog sports perspective, which is different than even pet dog owners that prefer slim dogs. My guys are VERY lean...which is hard to tell with fluff sometimes...I have my hands on them daily, adjusting food. With Score and The Wiener, it's easier as they have short hair. My newest SDiT, Dove, is VERY fat...she just got back from our prison program, which should be subtitled: Fat Farm. She's positively roly-poly! :rolleyes2: All of the other trainers say, "oh, she's not too bad." I can't feel ribs unless I'm pushing hard.

My vets are always pleasantly surprised at my dogs' condition...and say, "it's lovely to see in-shape dogs...and such strong athletic heartbeats...we don't see that often". Most vets I know are "scared" to say anything negative to their clients.
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Postby mnp13 » December 2nd, 2009, 4:52 pm

I like more muscle, but they are definitely a healthy weight! They look great!
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Postby blabsforbullies » December 2nd, 2009, 8:00 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:A lot of vets are hesitant to tell clients their pets are obese because they can easily lose clients that way. :|


Yup... I once got a new client because the previus veterinarian called their dog...... (and the client leaned in, got very serious, and whispered this as if it were a naughty, not to be repeated word :neutral:).... obese. :swoon:

She up and left the practice right then and there. :shock: It's all in the way you approach it and the way you read your clients. It's often times not what you say, but how you say it. Even when I want to yell and scream (and believe me, it happens.... :wink: ), I can't because in order to treat the patient, I have to "treat" the owner so that I get my point across, but not offend them. POLITICS!!!! uuuggghh... :nono:

But, on the other hand, I have some clients that I am on excellent terms with and just today I came in the room and said, and I quote, "Ah, I see, not unlike myself, you have a little extra junk in your trunk". 8) The client burst into laughter and promised to cut the cookies down. :dance: I, other the hand hand, made no such foolish promises :crazy2: .... especially with the holidays coming up! :popcorn2:
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Postby amazincc » December 2nd, 2009, 9:04 pm

I don't think it's politics as much as... people get really hurt when someone criticizes their "babies"??
Even if it's well-meant... it still stings a little bit when someone points out that you haven't done the very best possible job for your dog/pet, you know? :wink:

But you're right - it's all in the approach, and how you word it.

My own vet has a rather... err... plump... office cat, and (among other dogs) a Beagle who waddles, literally. :nono:
They do have a chart there that explains/shows anything from obese to severly emaciated, and from looking at the pics mine are right in the middle (ideal). :)
We have never discussed my dogs weight, except when I first brought in Faust - she told me I definitely needed to work on "fattening him up".

I'm going to ask her at our next appointment and see what she says.

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. :D
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Postby Leslie H » December 2nd, 2009, 9:45 pm

What is ironic to me (as a skinny dog owner) is how many people are willing to tell you your dog is too thin. I'm not talking about vets, just regular people. I am pretty good about responding politely, but I want to say "My dog is lean and conditioned. You on the other hand, are shortening your dog's life." I was watching an agility trial, and a competitor told me she thought Soleil was too skinny. I was feeling kind of bad, because outside of an ADBA show (where I typically get compliments), I thought agility people would be oriented towards a lean, conditioned dog. Maybe 5 minutes later I walked by a woman who said "It's so nice to see a dog in good shape." I felt redeemed.
To my surprise, there are a few people w/overweight agility dogs, which IMO, is just short of abusive.i
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Postby AllAmericanPUP » December 2nd, 2009, 10:02 pm

they look good in those photos!
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 3rd, 2009, 10:27 am

I'm with Dr. Blabs...there is a bad way of telling the news.

I used to be on a flyball team with a very, um, forward woman as captain. When new folks would show up with a fat dog, she'd immediately bellow..."YOUR DOG IS TOO FAT FOR FLYBALL!"...then she'd wonder why they didn't show up the next week (or ever again).

I let it go...if someone walks into flyball with a fat dog, I don't mention it...I wait to see how they are, if they're open to suggestion, and so on. Some folks never hear me utter a word...some folks I wait until the dog is wheezing while playing. My flyball teammates, we can tease each other mercilessly about fatty dogs...because we're all on the same page.

My pet-sitting/dog-walking clients are the same way...some I drop subtle hints, some I tell them straight up (my one client calls them "fat notes") and some, I just let it go...as there's no point in mentioning the weight. :| I pick my battles! lol
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Postby plebayo » December 3rd, 2009, 11:15 am

I think the other common misconception as well is that because they are Pit Bulls they are supposed to be beef cakes. We have a client who has a dog that she calls a pit bull. It's more like a cattle dog MAYBE pit cross, but she has a pin head with cattle dog freckles on her legs. She just got diagnosed with Diabetes and she is about 20lbs overweight. The woman is always saying she's a Pit Bull and usually won't let us take her in the back even for a simple shot because you know, the dog might bite someone. [She's a total neurotic nut case, but no mean bone in her body] I think the dog got that fat because she is saying it's a Pit Bull and probably thinks it's acceptable for the dog to be "stocky" because Pit Bulls are generally stocky. I know other people who have Pit Bulls that are overweight, and again I think they just think that that is how the dogs are supposed to look.

Your dogs look perfectly fine to me. When you're standing over them you want to see a slight waist line between their ribcage and back end.

Here's a chart:

http://www.mylifemypace.com/images/dog_weight_chart.jpg
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Postby Malli » December 3rd, 2009, 3:17 pm

I think the fat Pit Bull issue is compounded by the fact that there are some lines that now are stocky, and there are also some that are more traditional, and rangey - people don't realize rangey and lean is what the look(ed) like :| They think they are all supposed to be heavy set.
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Postby pitsnok » December 3rd, 2009, 7:06 pm

They look perfect! Seriously they are GORGEOUS dogs.

Degan and Sepp are built very simiarly, (only Degan is a bit chunkier) and when we were at the vet a couple of weeks ago he told us to cut Degan's food by 25%. He said if you have to 'search' for their last rib they are overweight. (what he didn't know is that we had already cut his food back considerably... he turned into kind of a roly-poly there for a while!)
Hopefully Degan will be in the same shape as Sepp once his 'diet' has kicked in. :)
What is crazy to me is that Degan and Harlow eat just about the same amount of the same food, (Degan gets about 1/2 a cup more a day) and Harlow is literally HALF Degan's size. I can't figure that out... guess I'll just chalk it up to her fast metabolism :mrgreen:
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Postby HappyPuppy » December 3rd, 2009, 8:41 pm

mnp13 wrote:I like more muscle, but they are definitely a healthy weight! They look great!


Michelle, do you mean more muscle tone (?) or more bulky muscle ???
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Postby plebayo » December 3rd, 2009, 9:07 pm

I think the fat Pit Bull issue is compounded by the fact that there are some lines that now are stocky, and there are also some that are more traditional, and rangey - people don't realize rangey and lean is what the look(ed) like :| They think they are all supposed to be heavy set.


I definitely agree with that as well!
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Postby ArtGypsy » December 3rd, 2009, 9:20 pm

Image

Gerry's always concerned that I'm not feeding Dar enough, because she can see 'ribs' when he leaps, runs, stretches, etc. I'd rather have him a bit lean, I think, that pour on the weight....
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Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby mnp13 » December 3rd, 2009, 9:39 pm

HappyPuppy wrote:
mnp13 wrote:I like more muscle, but they are definitely a healthy weight! They look great!


Michelle, do you mean more muscle tone (?) or more bulky muscle ???


Like on my shirt :D
Image

either is fine :wink:

How much muscle "bulk" can be put on is largely genetic, though of course the work needs to be put in.

I had someone call Riggs emaciated when he had muscles popping out all over the place. Was he very lean? Yes, definitely. Perhaps a little too lean, but emaciated? Not hardly. When he's being worked all he is is bone, bulging muscles and veins. I can't imagine what he looked like when he was young!
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 3rd, 2009, 9:59 pm

mnp13 wrote:How much muscle "bulk" can be put on is largely genetic, though of course the work needs to be put in.

I had someone call Riggs emaciated when he had muscles popping out all over the place. Was he very lean? Yes, definitely. Perhaps a little too lean, but emaciated? Not hardly. When he's being worked all he is is bone, bulging muscles and veins. I can't imagine what he looked like when he was young!


Yeah, I work Score hard, he does a lot of cross-training...and he'll never been bulky like Riggs...though he is muscled and lean.

But he's got great butt muscles...I love to pinch 'em when he walks by... 8)
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Postby mnp13 » December 3rd, 2009, 11:02 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:Yeah, I work Score hard, he does a lot of cross-training...and he'll never been bulky like Riggs...though he is muscled and lean.

Exactly - he is definitely muscular, but also a very different build overall.
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Postby blabsforbullies » December 4th, 2009, 3:33 pm

Yup... I get it all the time with my dogs, even at competitions. :cuss: If I had a dollar :dollar: for everytime someone told me Ham was too thin. :rolleyes2: This is him getting 5 cups of Taste of the Wild TWICE A DAY!!!! :shock:
I think we just get used to seeing overweight animals. And then desensitize to it and begin to think it is normal. Some breeds more than others, for sure. :nono: <big heavy sigh>
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Postby mnp13 » December 4th, 2009, 4:37 pm

Wow, he looks good.

Matt, post pictures of Earl, they look a lot alike!
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Postby jnreem » December 5th, 2009, 1:11 am

they look great!!
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