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Thread: What is too thin?

  1. #1
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    Default What is too thin?

    I keep Koda lean there is no denying that. I can easily feel his ribs and he has a waist... even with that thick coat you can tell he's got a waist. What i'm wondering is how can I tell if he's too thin? There is no way I can see his chest because of all his fur, he fits in with the weight guide for the breed (he is almost too tall for the standard though... he's a lot bigger and more solid than most aussies I've met).. big boned I guess...

    At the moment I can feel his spine when I run my hand down his back... Not sure whether this is just the way some dogs are, or if this means he's too thin...

    I haven't changed the amount of food he's had since he was a puppy and his weight has always been fairly constant, it changes every now and then, but not drastically. He did have extra food while I was away so if anything, I expected him to put on weight, but he hasn't put on anything.

    I'm happy to up his food if he's too thin, but I'm just not sure how to tell what "too thin" is for him....

    I see a lot of working Kelpies who are extremely lean with a couple of ribs showing... obviously thats not something you'd want in every breed, but I do find it interesting that Kelpies seem to do well at that kind of weight. Dodge isn't like that, she's gotten slowly chubbier as she's gotten older She's not overweight, just a little tubby... for a Kelpie that is.

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    I had this worry about my boy too, but after going to the dog park a few times and seeing other huskies he seems pretty well on track.

    That said though you can feel his spine pretty clearly as well. I think as long as he's within his standard breed weight it's not a problem. That's the idea of a standard breed weight anyway

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    My dog, I like to be able to feel her ribs but not her spine and not her pelvic bones.

    But I see plenty of whippets with spine sticking out... and they're fine.

    I really don't like the old dairy cow look on a dog.

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    Feeling him, I doubt that you'd be able to actually see his ribs or spine if he had short hair, but its hard to tell. Definitely, nothing like the dairy cow thing though!! We mostly have beef cattle but we do have a couple of friesian and friesian cross cows... they tend to have a bit of that sticky outy hip thing going on... i hate the look of it. Its not as bad as that pic though...

    These two photos are very recent, and you can see what i mean about the hair... you wouldn't expect to easily feel ribs or a spine when you pat that :P





    I'm not particularly fond of being able to feel his spine... and i don't remember it being this noticeable in the past... but that could just be my ridiculous memory failing me... He's still totally normal otherwise, eating fine, exercising normal, happy as anything... Its probably nothing to worry about, but you guys know what its like when you're not totally sure about something

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    Bernie is a long haired GSD. Tends to be on the lean side. 2" taller than breed standard like yours. so weight charts are not much use for us.

    I usually can feel the first 2 ribs easily, and the spine in certain spots like lower vertibrae to cocyx. Too much bone to touch = 1 x satin ball. Way too thin, satin balls every 3 days, till he's beefed up a little.

    Rabbit season, causes my dog to thin down, as he's exercising a lot dawn/dusk trying to catch them. so seasons affect his weight. But skinny, and fast, is how he's been for 7 yrs, so i never worry.

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    My working sheepdogs are all lean. You can certainly feel spine and ribs but cant really see them as they are very well muscled. In the sun you can see the muscles rippling over their bodies when they work but not so much their bones, maybe the odd rib. They do well at this type of weight as they have to do a lot of jumping in the yards and much less stress on their structure if they are lean. They tend to self limit their intake. My Border collie physically wont eat more than I feed him anyway, he just walks away. My vet calls him Mr Lanky and reckons he is in fine working condition.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 10-04-2014 at 03:33 PM.

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    Took Koda to the vet today for a check up and vaccination.

    I've had him on his normal amount of Supercoat + 1 cup of Black Hawk for the last month and a half. According to my Wii Fit Scales he weighed 24kg before I upped his food.
    Since then I've only thought I might be seeing a very slight difference in his weight, but I wasn't sure.

    When I weighed him at the vet, turns out he weighs 27kg now... Not sure if my scales are not accurate or if he really has gained 3kg in 1.5 months... The vet says he's still under weight though, and If I can't get him to gain weight she would be concerned that it might be some kind of underlaying health problem. So she's set the goal of 30kg for him.

    I've now decided to turn the tables and give him the amount I used to give in Supercoat, in Black Hawk, and only give him 1 cup of supercoat. If he doesn't start gaining weight (surely he should be... its a lot of food... even the vet was surprised that he isn't fat considering how much food he's getting) then we may have to get some blood tests done.

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    My BC stands 55.5 cm at the shoulder and weighs in at about 19 kg and he is a BC with very good bone. I can certainly feel the hips and spines of all my working dogs and they probably have more condition on them than a lot of farm dogs I see. They do a lot of jumping so I absolutely dont want them carrying any excess weight. My local vet deals mainly with farm dogs so she knows that what pet owners and pet vets might think is to thin is actually perfect for a working dog. Reduces the risk of cruciate injuries and the like. My BC has mild HD so I need to keep him lean.

    I dont obsess too much, I think research has sown the keeping a dog lean is medically healthy.

    Heres a recent phot of my BC, you can see he has a defined waist and is also quite a well boned dog.

    IMG_1856_1_1.jpg

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    Nice looking dog you've got there! Definitely makes sense to keep your working dogs lean like that!

    Its hard to tell from that photo, but i'd nearly say that Koda is leaner than that... its also hard to tell with all his fur I can only go by what I feel. Visually he doesn't even really look that lean. Considering he isn't being used for working or competing in agility or anything, I think I'd like at least a few more kg on him.

    I think even with an extra 3kg he will still seem lean compared to most of the pet dogs I know.

  10. #10
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    How old is Koda again? I had a young cattle dog who was very lean and I thought she too thin and she ate like a horse. Very fit and healthy though. As she matured she bulked out to the point where I had to watch her weight. So sometimes age has an effect. I keep my couple of non working dogs lean as well. In the past I have found it better on their hind end health as they age. Most pet dogs I see are quite chubby even if their owners dont think so. I think it also depends on the breed, my cattle dogs are not wasp waisted and lean like my sheepdogs but neither are they carrying any extra padding, they just look stockier and I am less likely to see any bones on them.

    If a dog is healthy and full of energy being on the lean side is probably better for them in the long run.

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