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    1. #1
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      It's official: My conformation dogs are "skinny"

      Well, the boys went to the vet for their annual and they are both officially "skinny" conformation Labs. At 24" tall (both of them) they weigh 78 (Sam) and 74 (Linus) lbs. That is down from highs of 110 and 96 lbs, respectively. Whew! Initially, the vet thought Sam could stand to lose about five to ten lbs but thought Linus looked fine. Both dogs had waists (from above) and you could feel their ribs (though you had to try) so they were not obese. It's crazy how much extra weight they were carrying around that wasn't even that noticeable. I'm not sure where they were hiding it!

      I cut down on the food, and went less processed (finally ended up on Fromm Pork and Pea, sometimes switching it up to another grain-free food) and did swim them a little more than usual this summer. Linus is also pretty active with training. Cutting down the food and taking them off of corn I think was the big thing. It's hard for them to lose the weight on corn, same for humans, which is the food that we use to fatten up cattle before we eat them and make foie gras (fatty duck or goose liver)...so, makes sense.

      Though I think they look better a little heavier, I think they feel better leaner and I know that each lb off of their joints is for the best in the long run, especially Linus who takes a 24" jump with ease now (even though everyone and their brother feels that 24" is ridiculous for a dog with his build - deep chest, shorter legs, heavy bone -- and I do not disagree). Both dogs handle the heat much, much better and come to think of it, spent about 50% less time cooling off in the kiddie pool this year, even on the hottest days. Their stamina has improved greatly. In fact, Sam plays fetch with the chuck-it now, at six years old!

    2. #2
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      Berna's Avatar
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      Of course they feel better when they are leaner, the extra fat only puts unnecessary stress on their joints. Cookie was at his best when he was 7, so a 6 years old I still consider to be a young dog. I am saddened when I see 4-5-6 year-olds, and even older Labs who look like fat sausages and can barely move. They look miserable and I can only imagine how they would feel in their senior years.

      You did a great thing for them!

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      Labradorks (12-10-2016)

    4. #3
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      Congratulations!!!
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      Labradorks (12-10-2016)

    6. #4
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      WOW! that's a lot of weight loss, that's great


      Makes you wonder how many other dogs need to loose weight if they didn't even look like they needed to lose much to begin with!

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      Labradorks (12-10-2016)

    8. #5
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      I think as the weight of show dogs has risen over the years, our eyes get used to it and think it's "right". I was looking through some old pics, and Mary Roslin Williams book "The Dual Purpose Labrador" and the "show" Labs from many years past look nothing like these dogs running around the show ring. I went to a show back in the spring and was shocked at how heavy the dogs looked, waddling around the ring. Short legs, ridiculously deep rib cages, incorrect head shape. Not all were like that, there were some very nice looking dogs. The problem was the judges leaned towards placements of the heavy dogs, although on very handsome boy place first in two puppy classes.

      My friends sent me a book on the 100 year anniversary of the Labrador Retriever Club. It showed pictures of every winning dog at their annual shows, and you can really see the evolution of the breed over the years.

    9. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by barry581 View Post
      I think as the weight of show dogs has risen over the years, our eyes get used to it and think it's "right". I was looking through some old pics, and Mary Roslin Williams book "The Dual Purpose Labrador" and the "show" Labs from many years past look nothing like these dogs running around the show ring. I went to a show back in the spring and was shocked at how heavy the dogs looked, waddling around the ring. Short legs, ridiculously deep rib cages, incorrect head shape. Not all were like that, there were some very nice looking dogs. The problem was the judges leaned towards placements of the heavy dogs, although on very handsome boy place first in two puppy classes.

      My friends sent me a book on the 100 year anniversary of the Labrador Retriever Club. It showed pictures of every winning dog at their annual shows, and you can really see the evolution of the breed over the years.
      I definitely think I got used to seeing the heavier dogs! And, I was thinking that since my dogs looked like their parents who are owned by experienced breeders and dogs in the conformation rings including those of my friends who show and breed, they were supposed to look like. And maybe they are supposed to look like that. They have the heavy bone to support the weight and all... I guess the question would be whether or not it is healthy and what is best for the dog? In the end, my dogs moved better and clearly felt better without the weight. My dogs didn't waddle and the only people calling them fat were field people who have a different perspective all together. I worked at a vet clinic for a long time when I was younger and obesity was a huge issue, of course, so it was shocking to me to take 30+ and 20+ lbs off of my own dogs when they didn't even look obese and were not at a size where a vet would be all over the owner. Frankly, they don't look that different. They have heavy coats, so I think that keeps them looking "fluffy". When they are wet you can see their back ribs and they both have tucks now -- more like a soft angle from the rib cage back to the groin, not ribby like a greyhound -- which people say conformation Labs should not have. I can feel their ribs under a layer of skin, not fat. It's been an interesting journey and it has not been easy! It took three years to get Sam that weight (serious obesity runs in his family) and about 18 months for Linus.

    10. #7
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      That’s amazing! And they sound very fit. Mulder, who was 24 inches, was best at 82-83lbs ... less than 80 was too skinny for him, more than 85 was too heavy. I can’t imagine what he would have looked like at 100+.

      Congratulations!! I know with Chloe, keeping her at a good weight is always a struggle and she maintains her weight best with grain-free, probably because as you say, corn is good for fattening people and dogs up, as is rice. She is looking like she put on about 5-10 lbs in the last month or so, but she hasn’t - it’s all coat!
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      Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde, CD, BN) 6/4/2015
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      Remembering:
      Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
      Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
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      Labradorks (12-10-2016)

    12. #8
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      Great accomplishment!

      Been a long slow process getting about 8 pounds off Archie. Slow and steady has done it. Know how hard it is to convince a furkid that enough is enough. Oh, those eyes.
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      Labradorks (12-10-2016)

    14. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Annette47 View Post
      That’s amazing! And they sound very fit. Mulder, who was 24 inches, was best at 82-83lbs ... less than 80 was too skinny for him, more than 85 was too heavy. I can’t imagine what he would have looked like at 100+.

      Congratulations!! I know with Chloe, keeping her at a good weight is always a struggle and she maintains her weight best with grain-free, probably because as you say, corn is good for fattening people and dogs up, as is rice. She is looking like she put on about 5-10 lbs in the last month or so, but she hasn’t - it’s all coat!
      Thanks! I was pretty excited to see the scale (first time I've ever said those words!). Sam has smaller bone than Linus and isn't quite as long. Linus' wrists are about as large as mine and I'm considered bigger boned. But Linus also does field work and agility and he swims at my friend's indoor pool when we train together. He is also naturally more muscular and looks bigger/bulkier than Sam. Sam is not very bulky in the muscle department, even when exercising more. I guess it is just a difference in body type. Linus' coat is the same year around, or at least it seems. Sam's definitely changes. Anyway, it's just so weird that how one looks is different than how much one weighs. I guess it's like when magazines show a dozen different women wearing a size ten and how some look very slim while others do not. Bodies are so diverse, even beyond the naked eye!

    15. #10
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      For me, it's always been, does the dog look like the dog could do a days work in the field. If the answer is no, then conformation in not correct.

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