Good body condition for an athletic dog.

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!


disc dog
Barked: Mon Sep 26, '11 6:35pm PST 
Spencer is doing the disc dog thing. Lately when we've seen other dogs in the sport, lots of them are so thin their rib cages are showing. Spencer is skinny, but not that thin. My question is how thin is too thin? I don't know if we should be trying to lose a little weight or if those other dogs are just too thin. My main pic of him is the most current. I'm going to try to start conditioning him a little more so he won't tire out so fast, but want to make sure weight is not an issue.

Feisty- Girl
Barked: Mon Sep 26, '11 8:23pm PST 
Hmm, I’ve noticed the opposite lately- too many chunky sport/performance dogs!

For some dogs showing a little bit of rib is normal, if they have good muscle tone and look healthy otherwise I would not be concerned. For my dogs I aim to easily feel ribs (no layer of fat between skin and ribs,) but not see them. Looking at the pics on his page your pup looks to be at good weight to me. Even if he doesn’t need to lose any weight, working on conditioning is never a bad idea when doing high impact activities.
Shelly (CGC,- JHD-s-g,- JS-N, RS

Hardcore- Corgi-is getting- her own SHEEP!
Barked: Tue Sep 27, '11 9:52pm PST 
Shelly's ribs show, and its fine for her. She's a dual sport dog competing in both agility and herding. People are always telling me how thin she looks and I tell them (as a joke!) its because fat dogs dont move as fast wink I would start getting concerned though when the hip bones start to show.....


The Monster
Barked: Wed Sep 28, '11 6:41am PST 
I've recently decided to reduce Cohen's weight by a pound or so (she's roughly 35lbs). She looks very slim, but recently I've been noticing a bit of extra padding along her ribs. It's tough to see since she has medium length fur, but it can be felt. It's the result of me being preoccupied with a family crisis: she gets out less and is fed more treats to keep her busy.

It may not sound like a lot, but with an active dog I want as much muscle and as little fat as possible so she stays healthy and active for as long as possible.

So, don't sacrifice muscle when making your dog lean, but I wouldn't be surprised if your pup has a bit more padding as is necessary. Of course pets with a little padding are more fun to pat. wink

Edited by author Wed Sep 28, '11 6:53am PST

Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Wed Sep 28, '11 6:55am PST 
Cohen, we had the same issue here awhile back. Tanuk has always been skinny, but then we noticed he had a bit of extra winter "padding." laugh out loud

Actually had him lose 5-10lbs, huge difference. He's in tip top shape now. We have had a couple of "are they supposed to be that skinny" comments, but it's always by poofy people with poofy dogs. I always say he's a highly active performance dog, then I get blank looks. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Tanuk's hip bones have always been somewhat prominent, so that's normal for some dogs. I don't think you should be able to count all of their ribs visibly though.

Barked: Wed Sep 28, '11 6:57am PST 
I love looking at the profiles of the dogs in this thread.

I love love LOVE seeing dogs out and DOING things instead of just picture after picture loafing.

Shelly, you are particularly impressive to me, I've never seen anyone actually work their Corgi - that's pure awesome-ness lol

As far as athletic dogs, most of the bird dogs I meet are overweight by at least 10 lbs. Labs, Spaniels, Pointers....so many look like sausages with stick legs. And that really gets to me. I can't imagine being pushed to be an athlete while being overweight. I can't imagine how much that would literally cause the body to ACHE. Not to mention the damage it does to bones and joints and the stress it puts on the cardivascular system.

Ribby is great as long as great muscle tone elsewhere is present. I'd get worried if the hip bones would start to protrude though.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Wed Sep 28, '11 8:20am PST 
Trigger way to go I admire performance dogs, too.

I never think a dog is overly thin unless I'm really seeing pronounced hip bone structure. Ofcourse, I've been told that's because I used to work with racing greys. There is never an extra ounce of weight kept on those dogs, for obvious reasons. If there is, that means someone isn't doing their job, either not feeding the correct amount, or conditioning/training is slipping...

Awesome Dog
Barked: Wed Sep 28, '11 4:12pm PST 
I'd rather see a bit too much rib than not enough in a performance dog. And some dogs, depending on their build, will always look skinnier than others. Risa put on about 8 lbs of extra weight this winter (YIKES!) and still had a visible tuck behind her ribs. You could still easily feel her ribs too. But she was definitely overweight. Being a sighthound cross, her hips and spine are always pretty visible. A friend of ours has a sighthound cross as well and his ribs and hips are easily seen. But he's well-built; not underfed by any means.

As long as the dog is toned and well-fed, I don't mind seeing a bit of rib. smile Better than being too fat!

disc dog
Barked: Wed Sep 28, '11 4:54pm PST 
Thanks for everyone's input. I think I might cut back his portions just a bit and see how he does. He's always more eager for frisbees than food anyways. I'm just not used to seeing skinny dogs unless they have been neglected, not because they are in good shape. We just finished our big competition of the year, so I really want to focus on getting him in tip top shape and learning new tricks.