or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Pets › Any BIG dog lovers?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Any BIG dog lovers? - Page 2

post #21 of 78
Yes, me. The bigger the better, when it comes to dogs. I got a lab/ACD mix and I was kind of hoping he'd be really tall, but he's more ACD size. He's the best dog in the world, though, so I can't complain at all. And then I got a black lab, because I grew up with one and I wanted one for so many years--long before I wanted children --and he's kinda small too. I call him "shrimpy".

I'm hoping one day to have a big, big dog again. But I love the ones I have, so I'm happy. The only problem with big dogs--well, any dog--is they don't live long enough.
post #22 of 78
mama2toomany--I hate to disagree with your vet, but the pic of your ridgeback in the other thread--he's overweight, by a good 20 lbs at least. The standard for the breed says that males should weight around 95 lbs. The RR can often have back problems and they are almost always related to carrying WAY too much weight (same as with Rotties--good for you livinzoo)

I find a LOT of people with large breed dogs are so focused on getting them big that they let them get fat. You should be able to easily feel his ribs by running your hands across them, you should see a noticable and obvious tuckup and waist and you should be albe to SEE the last 3 ribs. Rolls should NOT exist.

When I did exhibits with the dogs I used to have people say to me all the time--oh, my GSD is WAYYYYY bigger than that one. "Ummmm, could it walk??" Cause this one is already oversized, most often they'd show my pics of these coffee tables with heads, all proud of their HUGE dog, made me want to puke.
post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurel723
? for Joanna-Danes aren't any more destructive as puppies than any other breed, are they? They're bigger, so they do more damage to potentially larger items (and more expensive couch cushions...) bc of the size/strength ratio but they don't have any more drive to tear stuff up than your average bear, do they? (I hope I'm wording that to get my point across....feeling kinda fuzzy this afternoon.....)
No, they're not instinctively more destructive, but they're the biggest dog you've ever seen LONG before any sort of maturity kicks in. I've had puppies break windows, tear screens off porches (she decided that she liked the sound of screens tearing, so she systematically went around the porch and tore off every single one of the top row of screens), eat the entire arm of a couch in an hour, etc. One of mine chewed a hole in the drywall that was easily 3' x 4' when we were gone one time--she just decided it looked like fun. And I know a Dane that dragged a row of cabinets off the wall because he thought there were donuts inside. Once they're about two, they quiet down and never do it again, but until then they can do some really dramatic damage. I think a lot of it is that their noses are at the same height as where a lot of damage is possible (counters, where windows begin, those screens, etc.) so when they get interested they can do some major rearranging.
post #24 of 78
We have a 9 month old St. Bernard that's about 130 pounds now so he has another 50-70 pounds to grow yet. He's a big cuddly bear, I love to kiss his huge nose.
post #25 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
mama2toomany--I hate to disagree with your vet, but the pic of your ridgeback in the other thread--he's overweight, by a good 20 lbs at least. The standard for the breed says that males should weight around 95 lbs. The RR can often have back problems and they are almost always related to carrying WAY too much weight (same as with Rotties--good for you livinzoo)

I find a LOT of people with large breed dogs are so focused on getting them big that they let them get fat. You should be able to easily feel his ribs by running your hands across them, you should see a noticable and obvious tuckup and waist and you should be albe to SEE the last 3 ribs. Rolls should NOT exist.

When I did exhibits with the dogs I used to have people say to me all the time--oh, my GSD is WAYYYYY bigger than that one. "Ummmm, could it walk??" Cause this one is already oversized, most often they'd show my pics of these coffee tables with heads, all proud of their HUGE dog, made me want to puke.
the standard for the breed says it should also be around 27 inches tall... Bear is close to 30... We feed our pets a good diet and do not gorge them... we also excersize and course our dog... So I must disagree with you.
post #26 of 78
A 30-inch dog should be well under 150 lb. My Dane boys, who are built very big and broad, are about 160-170 lbs at 37 inches. That's thirty-SEVEN.

Dogs can easily get very fat on a "normal" diet and without gorging; they just eat too much for their size, that's all. Like Shannon said, if you can SEE his last two ribs when he is standing there, and if you can put your hands on his sides and feel each rib against your palms WITHOUT digging in or pressing, if he's got a lot of tuckup under and a distinct waist when viewed from above, he's the right weight. Here's a couple of pictures of what Ridgebacks are supposed to be, body-weight-wise:
http://www.dogs-life.beautystyle.biz..._ridgeback.jpg
http://www.thaidog.com/atra/rhodesian_ridgeback_2.jpg
post #27 of 78
Our "little" dog (can actually pick him up & carry him) is DH's Staffy Bullx, Pip, who's 54 lbs. Mine average 95-110 lbs, 28-29" for the girls, 120-145 lbs, 30-32" for the boys. Here I'm handling one of my boys, Ruh, (he's an Anatolian Shepherd) at a show this last spring (when I was 7 months preg. - acck! But I wanted to show in Bred By Exhibitor, & besides, he goofs off for anyone else) http://shahbazinanatolianshepherds.c.../rtrotblur.jpg
I like a nice big dog you can really hug, that varmints won't make off with; on the other hand, 100+ lb dogs that dig burrows big enough to get out of sight in *are* kinda hard on yards - & I'm also in the process of spinning 9 lbs of dog hair/wool blend into yarn - & it's 2/3 dog hair!
post #28 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs
A 30-inch dog should be well under 150 lb. My Dane boys, who are built very big and broad, are about 160-170 lbs at 37 inches. That's thirty-SEVEN.

Dogs can easily get very fat on a "normal" diet and without gorging; they just eat too much for their size, that's all. Like Shannon said, if you can SEE his last two ribs when he is standing there, and if you can put your hands on his sides and feel each rib against your palms WITHOUT digging in or pressing, if he's got a lot of tuckup under and a distinct waist when viewed from above, he's the right weight. Here's a couple of pictures of what Ridgebacks are supposed to be, body-weight-wise:
http://www.dogs-life.beautystyle.biz..._ridgeback.jpg
http://www.thaidog.com/atra/rhodesian_ridgeback_2.jpg
What I am saying is that my dogs are in no way over fed... they have a diet prescribed to them from our vet. Bear is a Big Boy but at his age he will most likely be at the weight he is for the rest of his life. His vet is comfortable and he is a happy energetic dog. So we have no worries for Bear. Over all his health is what is important not his size and as per his vet he is a healthy dog.
post #29 of 78
Y'know, after having a dog who has spent his entire life boarderline skinny (alternated between "aren't you feeding him??" and "well, that MIGHT be good enough"), a cat who is OBESE and has remained that way through diet change after diet change and after getting a GERMAN SHEPARD half just to chase him, and then having a dog who, fed EXACTLY like the other two (in terms of quality and appropriateness for breed/size) is "just right" (nice tuck up, can feel ribs, but has good muscle, etc) - I've come to the conclusion that although we can influence our pets' weight, we cannot control it entirely, and like with people, some dogs are just skinny, some cats are just heavy, and some are "just right", and it has at least as much to do with their genetics and disposition as what their owners do or don't do for them.
post #30 of 78
Arwy, you're right that every animal has its own metabolism. However, that just points up the fact that we can't feed some sort of "appropriate amount" for the dog's breed and size and expect it to be perfect.

I feed raw, so I am always thinking in terms of chicken backs, not cups, but for the ten or so adult bitches that I am very familiar with, ranging from 1 year to 9 years, all about 130-140 lb, all the same breed and same pedigree (great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, daughters), the amount fed varies HUGELY. One may need three or four chicken backs a day, one may need one (or even half of one some days). If they were all fed according to breed and size, some would be obese and others would be malnourished.

What we do as pet owners is make decisions for animals who would instinctively eat themselves to death. A dog (or cat) MUST always be hungry; they would die in the wild if they were not motivated to constantly chase prey unless they are stuffed full. So if we have a fat dog or cat, it doesn't matter if a 200-lb animal has to go down to half a cup of kibble a day--we reduce the food and increase the exercise until the animal is at a healthy weight.
post #31 of 78
Ya know, a previous vet kept telling me that my dog sophie was overweight, I put her on diet food and restricted what she ate. I myself was trying to gain weight at the time so it was hard to really excercise her more than I was (daily thirty minute walk). After months of restrictions and diet food and no treats I went back to the vet and asked for bloodwork to test for thyroid problems, the vet said she did not think it was thyroid realted, just that I fed her too much food (I was parctically straving her, well not really but...), I demanded the bloodwork and sure enough she had hypothyroidism. We switched vets and she lost a good 15 lbs in the first six months on meds.
post #32 of 78
I've got a 100 pound chocolate lab. He's a big sweety and REALLY good with dd. There's a pic of him in my sig. I would NEVER get one of those obnoxious yapping punt dogs:
post #33 of 78
And what I'm saying is that metabolism is not as simple as calories in = calories out. Starvation diets for many reset the metabolism so that it takes EVER FEWER calories to maintain the same weight - they can become lethargic and unable/unwilling to move because they're not getting enough calories (energy) in, and their metabolisms are such that they DO NOT mobilize stored energy (fat) instead. There's also the issue that dogs and cats (and humans) can be healthy at different weights. Although statistically the "healthiest" or longest lived pet may have very little body fat (as described in "just right" above) that doesn't mean that EVERY dog or cat is unhealthy if they weigh more, or less, than that.

And even if they are less healthy? So what. If someone thinks their dog is healthy, based on attitude, movement, energy, coat, etc, their vet gives them a good bill of health, and they're all happy, what, really, is the point of harping on weight?
post #34 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn
And what I'm saying is that metabolism is not as simple as calories in = calories out. Starvation diets for many reset the metabolism so that it takes EVER FEWER calories to maintain the same weight - they can become lethargic and unable/unwilling to move because they're not getting enough calories (energy) in, and their metabolisms are such that they DO NOT mobilize stored energy (fat) instead. There's also the issue that dogs and cats (and humans) can be healthy at different weights. Although statistically the "healthiest" or longest lived pet may have very little body fat (as described in "just right" above) that doesn't mean that EVERY dog or cat is unhealthy if they weigh more, or less, than that.

And even if they are less healthy? So what. If someone thinks their dog is healthy, based on attitude, movement, energy, coat, etc, their vet gives them a good bill of health, and they're all happy, what, really, is the point of harping on weight?
well said
post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2toomany
well said
Yes, very well said, Arwyn.
post #36 of 78
mama2toomany, I saw your other thread of pics of your dogs and that puppy is the cutest thing I've ever seen. :
post #37 of 78
Thread Starter 
LOL that would be Ninja... she is a rascal!!! is starting to understand her name.. we have only had her for about 4 days. she is a sweetie though!!!
post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadawg
Yes, very well said, Arwyn.
Yep.
post #39 of 78
Sorry, but I disagree. I'm 20 lb overweight, totally admit it, would like to do something about it but my willpower doesn't match my desire. I don't mind reading "fat is OK and often healthy!" stuff for people because it makes me feel better about myself. I can excuse my lack of exercise and desire to eat muffins with a clearer conscience.

But for dogs, eating is NOT an aesthetic experience, and they don't feel any of the same social, psychological, etc. benefits from accepting their overweight that we do. They are instinctive--see food, eat it. Food is a pleasurable means to an end, and that's it. And WE are responsible to make their decisions for them; they do not decide whether or not to eat. We are responsible to make sure they get enough exercise and eat a species-appropriate diet, and if we do not we are failing them, they are not failing themselves.

When I see an overweight dog, I see a lack of exercise and too much or the wrong kind of food. Both problems that should be solved by humans, and anything else is just an excuse.

Dogs are NOT BUILT to be overweight. They have a long body supported by a long spine. When they are fat, their weight doesn't go down to their feet like ours does--it pulls that spine down. It's STRONGLY associated with injury, arthritis, diabetes, etc.--and, once again, the dog does not care about eating. Only we care about eating. Dogs are not people. So why accept it? Why not do something about it?
post #40 of 78
Because overly focusing on weight issues can impair the relationship between person and dog. If a dog is basically healthy, a little overweight or underweight, but happy, able to do everything s/he wants, the owner enjoys the dog's company, they can do everything they want together, that's a much better situation than one where the owner thinks about the dog primarily in terms of "not good enough" or can't look at hir dog without thinking about food, without thinking that s/he's a failure as an owner, not walking the dog enough, feeding it too much, etc. It can get in the way of the relationship and enjoying each other's company all on the alter of someone else's idea of the ideal dog weight.

If the dog is NOT happy, is in pain, cannot do the things s/he would like to do, doesn't have energy, isn't healthy, that's another matter. To not address diet and weight in that situation would be neglect - when my dog stopped eating to the point he got dangerously thin, I did something about it, tried a hundred new foods until I found something he'd eat and gain weight and have energy on again. My cat is still having problems with mobility, so we're working on diet, restricting access to other food sources (actually, the dog's change in diet has helped quite a bit with that) and encouraging play (which is a fun thing anyway), and very slowly he's regaining mobility. But will he ever be "ideal"? No. And that's ok. I can't force him to exercise, and I can't feed him little enough that he loses weight dramaticly without causing him to be lethargic with lack of energy (which would be counterproductive anyway).

If an ideal weight can be attained and maintained with little effort and little negative impact on the family's happiness and the relationship between human and dog, then it would be neglectful not to do it. But if food and weight becomes a struggle between human and dog, makes it so neither of them is happy and the relationship isn't enjoyable, then choosing to accept the natural variations in pets' weight can be a rational decision that caring, intelligent pet owners can make.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pets
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Pets › Any BIG dog lovers?