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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I have three pieces of info on Wally's weight.

Vet said he was underweight (at 14 lb)

Groomer says he's the perfect size and body shape.

Info I can find on his breed standard (Coton de Tulear) varies, but 14 lb is within most ranges, though one range says between 9 and 12 lbs :eek:

So....who's right?

Is there a way Wally can tell me if he's getting enough food? (I.e. that he actually needs more food, not that he just wants more food :D)
 

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To answer your first question, it's dependent on your dog's build. You should be able to feel his ribs, but not see them, and he should have a visible tummy-tuck from the side and the top. If he fulfills this criteria, he's fine.

To answer your second question, no.
 

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It doesn't sound as if we're talking about a dog that's dangerously or even seriously under weight. I'd ask your vet what he's basing his opinion on? How familiar is he with the breed? And I'd ask the groomer the same questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
To answer your first question, it's dependent on your dog's build. You should be able to feel his ribs, but not see them, and he should have a visible tummy-tuck from the side and the top. If he fulfills this criteria, he's fine.
I can feel them, but he's got long hair so I'd never be able to see them under all his hair.

I can see the tuck from the side - well-defined. From the top - I think the hair gets in the way again.

It doesn't sound as if we're talking about a dog that's dangerously or even seriously under weight. I'd ask your vet what he's basing his opinion on? How familiar is he with the breed? And I'd ask the groomer the same questions.
Well, the vet based her opinion on body shape, though I don't know if she (or anyone there) is familiar with the breed.

The groomer that told me that has groomed Cotons before, so her opinion has carried the most weight so far.

Though, it sounds like he's probably fine from the responses so that's good. Thanks for your help :)
 

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To be honest, the majority of dogs in the U.S. are overweight, to the point where many people, even vets, may be unfamiliar with what a 'fit' dog should look like.
 

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Here is chart with body conditioning scores on it. Since your dog is long haired running your hands down his/her sides while viewing from above will help you determine whether this is a waist. Also running your hands down the rib cage you should be able to feel the ribs, there should be a light coating of fat over the ribs. You should not be able to feel your dog's backbone (like a Stegasarus)

http://www.cvm.tamu.edu/clinicalnutrition/bcsdog.shtml
 

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I find when assessing longer haired breeds its easier to do it while they are wet. :)

Personally, I like my dogs a little on the lean side. Not many people look at my Lexus and DON'T comment "she's so skinny!" to which I of course reply "No, she's just not FAT." Which generally ends the conversation.

Here's a photo of her (and obviously it's not the best photo of her, as she's sitting down and SHOULD be standing - but I'll try to post a better photo of her tomorrow - I only have the most recent ones on my laptop and all of her new pics involve her wearing a jacket)



She's actually a bit thinner than she appears in this pic. Not a lot, but a little. You can see the rib definition of her last two ribs, which for her is what we've come to consider normal. When she gets a fat cover of those ribs, she also gets portly around the middle and gets lovehandles when she sits down.

I'll post better pics tomorrow. We use her as our example dog to make the "your dog is chubby" point to owners in denial. :D
 

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I find when assessing longer haired breeds its easier to do it while they are wet. :)

Personally, I like my dogs a little on the lean side. Not many people look at my Lexus and DON'T comment "she's so skinny!" to which I of course reply "No, she's just not FAT." Which generally ends the conversation.

Here's a photo of her (and obviously it's not the best photo of her, as she's sitting down and SHOULD be standing - but I'll try to post a better photo of her tomorrow - I only have the most recent ones on my laptop and all of her new pics involve her wearing a jacket)



She's actually a bit thinner than she appears in this pic. Not a lot, but a little. You can see the rib definition of her last two ribs, which for her is what we've come to consider normal. When she gets a fat cover of those ribs, she also gets portly around the middle and gets lovehandles when she sits down.

I'll post better pics tomorrow. We use her as our example dog to make the "your dog is chubby" point to owners in denial. :D
Beautiful dog! She's not thin she is fit. I know what you mean about clients in denial. We have so many fat dogs that come in. We have actually had a few come in and say that their dog was a picky eater and they were concerned. Meanwhile the dog looks like a coffee table with legs. (Sometimes it ends up being a thyroid problem but, most of them are just fat.)
 

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Beautiful dog! She's not thin she is fit. I know what you mean about clients in denial. We have so many fat dogs that come in. We have actually had a few come in and say that their dog was a picky eater and they were concerned. Meanwhile the dog looks like a coffee table with legs. (Sometimes it ends up being a thyroid problem but, most of them are just fat.)
Thank you :p

She's actually much prettier - she looks a bit butch in this photo... lol.

I know EXACTLY what you mean about the coffee table dogs. Generally when I start talking about thyroid disease and point out a few of their dog's symptoms (which could most likely be due to the fact that he's OBESE!) they jump to the vet to get the dog checked out. Sometimes it's thyroid, sometimes it's not, but they always come back and sheepishly admit that their vet mentioned the dog was overweight.

I love this one too - "He just eats and eats!"

My comeback - "No, you just feed him and feed him!"
 

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Not many people look at my Lexus and DON'T comment "she's so skinny!" to which I of course reply "No, she's just not FAT." Which generally ends the conversation.

Here's a photo of her (and obviously it's not the best photo of her, as she's sitting down and SHOULD be standing - but I'll try to post a better photo of her tomorrow - I only have the most recent ones on my laptop and all of her new pics involve her wearing a jacket)
Your dog looks great!! Very healthy.

May I ask... what breed(s) is she? Not pure rottie, right? My foster, Chelsea, looks a LOT like her... obviously a lab mix, but with what? Chelsea is about 45 lbs, too small to be a lab/rottie.
 

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huh, no kidding! that would be a better fit for size... but we will never know!

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here is chart with body conditioning scores on it. Since your dog is long haired running your hands down his/her sides while viewing from above will help you determine whether this is a waist. Also running your hands down the rib cage you should be able to feel the ribs, there should be a light coating of fat over the ribs. You should not be able to feel your dog's backbone (like a Stegasarus)

http://www.cvm.tamu.edu/clinicalnutrition/bcsdog.shtml
Thanks for this.

Looks like Wally's got a nice, fit body type. I could feel the ribs, but not so much that it made his body seem "bumpy". I could also tell there was a waist.

From the side - easily see a defined tuck.

All is well it seems :D

I love this one too - "He just eats and eats!"

My comeback - "No, you just feed him and feed him!"
You know, that's one interesting thing I've noticed about Wally.

He won't just eat and eat. Even if I offer him "people food" if he's full (like right after his dinner and a drink), he'll refuse it. He'll sniff it, give it a lick (and it's a "I guess I better at least lick it" lick - more like a tongue flick) and then go settle in for his post-dinner nap.

Imagine my surprise where I wanted to share some leftover deli ham from a sandwich and he rejected it :eek: :D
 
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