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Lunar

Fat border collie?

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Hello,

 

My name is Denise and I have let Mick get too fat.

 

There, I've said it. I've been reading this thread and I finally had to fess up to ease my guilt. I don't know quite how it happened, I've never let it happen before, but I'm working on getting it slowly off him. So see, it's not only non working dogs of pet owners who do this.

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Coming in late on this, but basically, what I wanted to say has been said. I too feel that the dogs pictured are on the stocky side, and that a large percentage of vets don't know what a good weight is. When I worked PT at a grooming shop, I can't begin to tell you all the people that would come in and say, "Yep, the vet says he's in great shape", and in my humble opinion, the dog was overweight.

 

The discussions here on how big a border collie should be, or what is too big for a border collie---perhaps what has been discussed on this particular thread, should provide a clue what is too big & what is not.

 

I like my dogs lean---but have been accused of not feeding them enough by, well, people with fatso's on the end of their leashes---many of those humans resembled their dogs when moving away from me. I currently have 2 dogs which I really have to monitor their weight. My oldest, Pete, will be 15 in November. A few more pounds, he'd be overweight. For the sake of his old joints, I need to lighten him up. Dolly, my epi border collie, is on the chunky side, but I have always been trying to counteract her meds. This dog would eat until she explodes.

 

"he's all muscle", "vet says he's a good weight", "he's just broad chested" --- all that for the most part--translates into "chubby dogs".

 

Now obese, is another matter----none of the dogs here were obese.

 

Vicki

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Maybe I missed it in these posts, but once you spay a bitch, they can put on the extra pounds.

 

High quality dog food is essential in weight programs.

 

And just like humans, don't go by weight alone. Muscle weighs more than fat. So if you have a dog in top condition it may weigh the same as a dog with very little muscle mass, but more fat.

 

I've also been told that a clearly defined spine is good to have in a Border Collie....along with the ribs and hip bones - easily felt, but not poking out.

 

Many dogs are a reflection of the typical American - fat and sassy! I want to smack the next person that comes up to me and says "oh my...your dogs are way too thin! You need to feed them more...here...have some pizza!" Fools. And their dogs are usually 10# over weight and waddling...out of breath. Grrr.... :mad:

 

Buddy is 23" and ranges from 48# to 51# (depending on if we are training in agility or obedience)

Annie - my in-laws dog and the prime source of "Buddy is too thin!" is 17" and 49#. Sigh. "It's all coat!" they say.

And we have seen an increase in Marzipan's weight since we spayed her...so are cutting back on the food.

 

Denise

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Gimmie, How much you need to feed will depend on a number of things, your dog, the food, activity level, etc... I provided references for how much I feed b/c Leah had mentioned less than 2 cups "didn't seem enough". I feed Timberwolf and my dogs get a moderate amount of exercise daily, but that does vary. I feed the amount that will keep each individual dog at their ideal weight, and I reached this through trial and error, much like you describe.

 

-Laura

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I have always thought the 'gain weight after spaying' was a myth. I've spayed a number of rescues and personal dogs and have never seen this happen.

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Originally posted by BigD:

Maybe I missed it in these posts, but once you spay a bitch, they can put on the extra pounds.

I don?t believe dogs put on weight after being neutered. I believe dogs put on weight from being underexercised and overfed. Piper was neutered at 4 months and she is only 25 lbs, and I can touch my fingers together around her waist. I think this myth comes from people spaying their dogs right around the same time that their metabolisms start slowing down a bit with maturity, and people keep feeding the dog like she is a puppy.

 

Leah, I have to agree that the dog you picture is very fat. My Red Dog is 21.5? at the shoulder and at one point he weighed 53 lbs. Then he caught Lepto, and he lost quit a bit of weight. I have taken still further weight off of him and he is now 45 lbs and looking great. He never really looked fat because he has so much coat that I lost track of the fact that his waist had been disappearing.

 

Tweed also got very overweight at one point, and I didn?t notice until someone pointed out that my dog was fat. I took him to the vet and he weighed 52 lbs!! I got his thyroid tested, got endocrine tests done ? nope, just fat. I am fortunate to have vets who like lean dogs, so they said the same thing, but most vets would have said that he looked fine. It was a matter of me feeding them too much (so much for the theory that you can feed any amount you like of the raw diet!). I cut back the portions, and Tweed now weighs about 40 lbs, 20? at the shoulder. However, he is half Aussie and has a wide ribcage and walks like a little red tank. He will never appear as lean as a purebred BC, but he is in awesome shape.

 

Border collies should be very lean, but it is easy to miss it when it?s your dog because you?re used to looking at him every day. However, the stress on the dog?s joints and the affect it has on their energy level is pretty serious stuff. It took a long time to see the weight come off Tweed, about 8 months, but it was worth it. He looks fabulous now.

 

RDM

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My dog is VERY fat :confused: Niki was 50lbs when we adopted her two years ago. Since then I have tried everything to get the weight off of her but to no avail. Like I said earlier in the post they run like heck for hours each day and they get nothing but the weight management food. Niki doesn't even eat all of her food sometimes. I have to pull it up so the other dogs don't eat it. What do I need to do, stop feeding them? :rolleyes:

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Denise,

LOL! I have the same problem with Boy. But then he is retired and likes to spend most of his time in a closet, so lack of exercise is definitely his problem!

 

It's funny you mention working dogs because I almost pointed that out in one of my posts (that the owners of working dogs or sport dogs had a different view of what's fat), but then I remembered being at Dean's trial last fall and talking to another handler about his trial dog, which was rather fat. His excuse? Winter is ocming, they are kennel dogs and so need the extra fat to stay warm.... I don't remember if the poor fat thing made it around the open course well or not.

 

J.

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Julie, I really liked the pictures of your dogs.

 

The flip side of the fat keeping a dog warm in winter, is that it can really contribute to overheating in the summer. Dogs have a hard enough time keeping cool as it is.

 

Gypsy was creeping up in weight. But we have upped our running mileage (about 35 miles per week for me and more her) and the extra weight has come right off.

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Yeah... Oreo has always been on the heavy side. Once in a while we get her down to an acceptable weight, but it comes right back. It's very frustrating. Especially since I'm not the only caregiver for her, and my dad likes sneaking her treats. Like I said, I've started taking her to the dog park to get us both some exercise - it's not enough, but it's a start. The problem I have with her is that she has NO interest in exercise. She doesn't like balls, she doesn't like frisbees (she let one whack her in the head once, was how intently she was watching it :rolleyes: ). I play with her with her toys, but generally that consists of me chasing her in circles. Not very fun. Any ideas?

 

I'm only visiting for a week, so whatever happens needs to be done by my dad. He's a mailman, so he's in VERY good shape himself, but that also means once he gets home he's tired. He spends a lot of time outdoors gardening, and Oreo loves to watch (and sometimes help). If she liked fetch we could do that with her, but she really doesn't like that game. At least with the new puppy they get to run around the back yard together.

 

This fall I'm starting her in agility - way late, I know, but I figure it would be something we could do together and enjoy. She'll never be competitive and probably won't get very far in the 8 months I'll be living here, but... I still want to try it. After I graduate next summer I am moving away, and her full care will be left to my dad. I really do worry about her. He loves her, he dotes on her, but like an over-indulgent grandparent he spoils her too much and lets too many things slide. I'll just have to repeat how unhealthy certain things are for him.

 

I will cut back on her feedings yet again, since we just switched to a high-end dog food (Chicken Soup).

 

So, thank you all for your comments and opinions. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there who battles with an overweight border collie.

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I agree that the dogs posted inthe begining of the thread look rather chubby to me, my borders are athletes, we got them to compete in sports so they are kept in perfect condition, misty in particulare has an amazing structure all around(that dog can stand on her hind legs and walk staright up by herself for about 30 seconds.) well muscled but not chubby in the slightest

 

misty_stacked.jpg

 

happys structure is a little mor elike a greyhound lol big ribcage teeny tummy, right down to the rose ears lol but the tunny tuck etc is obvious

 

1f07b49e28eb0e45c7be4b0cbb9e94b7.jpg

 

if it matters at all, happy is 20 3/4" and 25# misty 18" and also 25#

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Re: the spay = possible weight gain.

 

We spayed her about a month and a half ago. The vet happened to say "it may happen, it may not."

 

We haven't changed anything with her...same food, same exercise routine (after a week off from the spay). About 2 weeks ago, we started to notice a bit more padding on the ribs. And we cut back on the food. Now...she may get a total of 3/4 cup of food a day. (Solid Gold) We have cut back on the treats as well.

 

What could cause this? If all other factors stay the same? Could be some other health issue, but I have heard from others that their bitch put on weight easier after the spay.

 

We were giving crazy puppy 1 full cup of food a day - same type. And it was hard to keep the weight on her.

 

Her activity level has not changed - if anything, it's gone up as she gets older.

 

The vet did say "females can put on weight easier" after a spay. Don't know if that rules out the males.

 

Curious on thoughts as if it's not a spay thing, I would like to figure out why she's putting on pounds easier.

 

Thanks,

 

D

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Originally posted by BigD:

Maybe I missed it in these posts, but once you spay a bitch, they can put on the extra pounds.

I believe this is true.

 

My old (as in aged and retiring), trusted vet told me *in confidence* that spaying can add to weight gain but that most vets won't tell clients that because they'd rather see a fat dog than more unwanted puppies.

 

I agree on both counts but would add that exercise and diet easily counteract the minimal weight gain caused by spaying.

 

Most people simply feed too much and exercise too little.

 

PR

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FWIW ? my just over 2 year olds weigh in at 41lbs (male about 21?) and 32lbs (female about 20?). Both desexed ? female at 7 months, male at 9 months. Exercise is what I would call moderate ? they get about 1+/- cup of kibble, some cooked vegetables, some oatmeal and yoghurt and a little meat ? split into 2 meals per day. I like to keep them lean because they do agility and flyball (as well as obedience, tracking and herding) and I want to keep their joints in good order. If they get lots of training treats on a given day, I cut back on their food to match. I weigh them in at the vets about every 3 or 4 weeks, and otherwise, use the shape method that has been described by others. My previous Border Collie desexed male was a really ?good doer?, and I used to give him lots of vegetables as a filler ? kept him fit enough to still be jumping safely at age 12.

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Lunar,

Any chance your dad could take Oreo on his route with him? Are there rules against that? It would certainly be an easy way to get her more exercise without adding to your dad's work level if he could do it....

 

J.

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Yes, I believe there are rules against that... liability issues. Also why he could never take us kids with him (we so wanted to help daddy out when we were little ).

 

Actually, my dad is retiring in October... so I'm *hoping* that he'll want to continue his walking to stay in in shape and can take Oreo with him. That would be a blessing for both of them.

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Jake really isn't meant to have a Border Collie body. He's half Aussie too, and he's got the Aussie body (the BC part gives him a longer torso). You can feel his ribs, though i know he can still stand to lose weight. The vet said that Jake's about 4 out of 5 when it comes to weight (see? he can stand to lose some!). He stands 25' at the shoulder, and weighs 65lbs. Since BCs and Aussies both have max height of 23' and the max weight I saw was 70lbs, I don't think Jake is dangerously overweight. He's bigger than the big Aussies and BCs, yet he weighs less. Hmm... But I do intend to have him shed at least 5 pounds, so i can have a clear state of mind :rolleyes:

 

And yes, he does have a tummy tuck. its hard to see, though, since he has such long hair on his belly (you can see on that side view of him being wet)

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Spayed bitches get fat if they are overfed.

 

And Denise -- I loved your confession. I should have started my posts on this thread that way. Except I would have a longer list.

 

Annie, Molly, and Bess have all needed some weight reduction at some (or points) points in their lives.

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Bill -

 

Won't all dogs get fat if they are overfed?

 

:rolleyes:

 

I just can't see how little Miss Thin as a Rail starts to put on weight after her spay...so much that we now are cutting her food in half.

 

Is it JUST coincidence? And I would venture to say her activity level has gone UP just a notch.

 

There has to be some sort of connection. AK Dog Doc, where are you???? (I know...taking care of Buddy...)

 

D

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Big D --

 

That was my point.

 

The nutritional needs of *some* bitches decline after spaying.

 

Spaying doesn't make them get fat; feeding in excess of need makes them fat. What sometimes changes with spaying (or neutering males) is the need.

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Won't all dogs get fat if they are overfed?
D, I gess it depends upon what you mean by overfed; we have a couple of dogs that if we provide too much food they tip over their bowls once they are full. Obviously we don't have weight issues with these dogs. (Starr was like this until she had her pups; now she's a "chow hound".) However, we have a couple we must monitor closely and adjust their rations to keep them at a good weight. One of our retirees gets about 1c of food each day; any more and his weight goes up; but if his activity level goes (usually with cooler weather) up we have to up his food a bit or he looses too much.

 

Mark

 

P.S. I confess we let Blue get a bit fat and out of shape this winter.

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jeeze maybe misty and happy are wierd lol dont natter how much you feed those dogs they never gain a poundhappy was alittle too thin it took a long time of feeding her twice as much to get her at least a little closer to a good weight. now my dogs that are not BCs are a differnt story, give Ripley one extra treat that day and he gains weight, we have to feed him an exesivly small amount because he gains weight sooooooo easily. he rean away once the person who found him obviously fed him when he left thin and came back less then an hour later completly round!

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Lunar- tell your dad to try a short 2-3 foot piece of rope. My bc won't chase any toy. she self plays with a soccer ball once in a while, but that is it. she spent the first year of her life in a small pen and no toys, so she doesn't play. But one day I was pulling a rope and she chased it like a cat does. Now it is her new fun toy. I ball it up like a ball and throw it and she chases it and drags it back. We have a good pull and then throw it again. Might work?

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Thanks, I'll try that. =D Her favorite toys are definitely the ones with the ropes in them. She just can't be bothered with balls.

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