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Thread: How Long to Get Fit??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    NSW
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    Question How Long to Get Fit??

    Hi all! I'm a complete newbie here but I'm looking for advice on a few things and thought "Bugger it, I'm gunna join."

    So, my brother's dog "Brody" is a 6 year old, female, chocolate, Australian Show Kelpie. She was given to him for his 21st and they absolutely love each other... problem is, my brother moved out of home when she was 2 and a half He always visits on weekends to walk her but -lets face it- she became a family dog not long after he moved out.

    Long-story-short, my bro has gone overseas (yet again) and my Beagle died not long after he left, (absolutely heartbreaking for the whole family) so I have decided to take Brody on.

    Training is going well I think, I've had to wait to take her to obedience club because she needed her vaccinations topped up, but I'm a little concerned about her health. I don't know how long it normally takes for dogs to lose weight, but I've been running her while I cycle (3-5kms, plus time at the beach/park and training) 6-7 days a week for over three weeks and I don't think there has been a dint in her weight!

    So 1: Should I be worried she had insulin resistance or something? Or does it just take that long for working dogs? I know it takes around 6 weeks to get a horse from paddock to endurance race fitness...
    2: Should I be more patient? Or am I not working her hard enough?

    She had yesterday off and today we did: 15mins obedience, 1/2hr at the beach (fetching sticks in the water) then trotted/canter/galloped for 4kms.
    I'm worried about her recovery times. IMO after three weeks, her recovery time should be around 10-20mins MAX and on a warm day like today it can take her up to an hour to stop panting...

    3:Is she too old to be starting this now?


    Today at the beach, (ya gotta love that goofy smile)



    Sorry for the long winded thread! Any opinions/advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Victoria
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    Sorry do you have a side on and above view?
    A working Kelpie should have absolutely no fat at all. Any extra 'baggage' is too much. A member here Kalacreek, has working Kelpies. She has a photo where you can just see the points of its hips, which is actually perfect.
    I have an unworking Kelpie, and while you can't see her hips, I still keep her very lean. I can feel her rips just by softly touching, from above, she dips in after her rips and she has an upwards tuck on her abdomen.
    How much is she eating?
    Education not Legislation

  3. #3

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    How much and what does she eat?

    Does she get lots of treats and tidbits? Leftovers etc?

    Those will impact pretty quickly.

    My boy is mostly Kelpie and I keep him quite lean too. You can feel his ribs (well the last 3) just by running your hand over his body (can't actually see them though). Some dogs, just like humans need a diet to lose weight. Sadly just exercise isn't always going to cut it.

    If she doesn't have any health problems (after you've seen a vet with her?) and she's still not losing weight I'd be looking at her diet and exactly how much she's eating.

    Good quality food works a treat too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,561

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    I agree with AngelanBatty's post. Look at what her diet is and where extra calories are being added by snacks or treats.

    A dog is never too old to get fit.

    Give her time to increase her fitness, she is the equivelant to a middle aged woman so she will need a gradual build up on fitness.

    Has she been on heart worm prevantatives all her life?
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    Sutaku

    Weigh out all the food you give her, including dry, wet, left overs, treats, and cut it back by 5% ie just a little bit less. Try that for a few weeks and if it's making no impression, cut back a further 5%. Keep doing this (but only cut back every few weeks), until the dog starts to lose weight. If you have a day off - as far as exercise goes, you can feed a little less. Weigh your dog and measure with tape measure around the waist, ie just behind where the ribs should be.

    You may suddenly find you have a dog that is much easier to train because she is much more interested in food too. And you may have to take measures to prevent foraging opportunities ie wash the dishes more often, and put food out of reach, and stay away from picnic areas or places where food gets dropped and not picked up (eg near schools and sports grounds).

    A kelpie will run till it falls over so it's up to you to limit things to a reasonable amount. I would also build up the exercise slowly like 5% a week, but that seems too late now. Watch for her seeming slightly less enthusiastic about whatever you're doing and stop. You may also want to add some joint lubricating supplements like sasha's blend or GSM (glucosamine supplement) to limit damage from over doing the exercise. Muscle and fitness can build very quickly but joint and tendon strength takes longer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    NSW
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    Thanks everyone! Okay so food wise she gets:

    *200-250g of Platinum lite low fat sausage meat, +
    *3/4 cup of Optimum Adult weight management dry food, +
    *~5-10g of liver treats.
    She gets our vegetable scraps around 3 times a week, roughly 200g of pumpkin skin, broccoli, cabbage, carrot. (She's a weirdo, and will eat raw carrot/cabbage if you give it to her

    She hadn't been taught "Stand" till tonight. I was trying to get ppl to help hold her etc in the first photo (it wasn't working)


    then I took a different approach and spent about 3mins training her to "Stand" and whalla!


    It's hard to get a real idea cos of her coat colour but you can only just feel her ribs- she's a fatty.

    Thanks for the tips Hya, I did start her slower, I just watch her as we're going and I can tell by her breathing and enthusiasm when she's had enough. I just doubt myself when A) she doesn't seem to be dropping weight like I would have expected and B) People tell me things like, "Kelpies are bred to run 100ks in a day!"

    I must be feeding her too much... I spos working dogs are bred to run off the smell of an oily rag...

    Anyway, thanks again! I'm excited to be here actually, talk dogs with like-minded people

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
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    I like a porky dog, personally.

    Kelpies are working dogs, but Brody has been living a life of luxury the past 6 years. She's clearly a very smart cookie, just be patient and give her time to adjust to this new lifestyle.

    Is there a reason all this has to happen so fast?

    My dogs love raw carrot, they eat peaches, apples, raw cauliflower. Someone even stole a mushroom from the kitchen the other day and had a nibble.

    Oh, and dogs are never too old You can teach them anything, and with a smarty bum like Brody you're going to have a lot of fun

  8. #8
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    She is so friggen gorgeous! Looks like my girl minus the white.

    The food sounds like too much. Lady^ gets 1 1/2 cups of kibble(more or less depending on exercise that day) and if we have suitable scraps, she'll get them. But im not hugely knowledgeable in diet, so maybe someone else can help you with that.
    Hyac, I actually disagree. IMO the more exercise a Kelpie gets, the better. For an overweight dog maybe not. But once she's fit, run her till she drops I reckon.
    Education not Legislation

  9. #9

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    I used to feed Batty Sentient Yoghurt Plus - he did wonderfully on it.

    The kibble sounds about right, but the meat is heaps. I'd be dropping the sausage meat altogether, buying chicken frames/chicken pet mince from Lenards Chicken & feeding her 3 or 4 frames per week to start with and keep the same amount of kibble.

    What kind of liver treats do you feed?

    Have you tried chicken or lamb chunkers (in cold meat section of the supermarket?

    She doesn't seem hugely overweight, but she could lose a little IMO. Drop the household scraps for the moment. If you feed treats, take approximately the same amount out of her meals. Try her like that for 2-3 weeks then re evaluate.

    Dogs are not harmed in any way by having a day to fast (a day with no food). Experiment with training with toys too - it's tonnes of fun!

    NB: This is only if she's been checked by the vet and there isn't a health reason behind her being a bit overweight.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Adelaide
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    We had a heeler x kelpie and literally ran her until she dropped and the last few years of her life, she was super uncomfortable - all her joints were stuffed. So I reckon run the dog until it's tired but not falling over.

    Food wise, I think I'd swap the sausage meat for roo mince or lean beef - depending on how the dog handles it. I don't see much point in feeding "lite". Less of something that doesn't have "sawdust filler" in it to make it "lite" would be better. Same deal with the optimum dry food.

    If she's desexed - she needs 1/3 less of the recommended amount of dry food for adult target weight to start with. Eg if the recommended dose is 300gm for the target weight (eg 15kg to 20kg), well you'd want her under 20kg, and she's desexed. 1/3 is 100gm so your starting feed is around 200gm and then reduce based on the other stuff you're feeding.

    I found I was feeding 1.5 cups of dry (nutro) for my dog when she was growing and cut that back to 3/4 cup (plus some sardines) and if I'm feeding home made casserole (450gm) I cut the dry back to 1/3 cup - and use that in her training treats too. I give her 1 slice of bread with promite and marge (chopped into tiny pieces) and a small amount of kitten kibble with each walk (1 hour per walk or more).

    I was feeding quite a bit more and have cut it back about 20% on where it was at. She's quite hungry but also much leaner looking and I can actually find ribs.

    She gets 2 to 3 hours of dedicated exercise per day unless a club session gets unexpectedly cancelled or I get slack cos I don't like stormy weather. And then I feed her less.

    PS she gets a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt in the morning if I'm having some. But she has to practice sit stays on the mat to get it (and all her other dinner).
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 03-24-2011 at 09:55 PM.

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