How thin is too thin?

Talk about diets, exercise, and disease.
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How thin is too thin?

Postby Noriko525 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:20 pm

In your opinion... how thin is too thin?

I was reading thru the thread about the merle dog and noticed people have alot of different opinions on how a "fit" dog should look. A few people mentioned that the ADBA dog looked too skinny where as others think it looks perfectly healthy.
Here's the thread I'm talking about...

I am wondering this because I am told constantly that Sativa looks way to thin. Sorry they aren't very good pics but here you can see her ribs which constantly show...


Now here is a picture of why she is so thin... she has no fat only muscle.

She's about 19inches at the shoulder and 47lbs at 1 year old and I consider her to be perfectly healthy yet people glare at me sometimes like I am evil and starve my dog. I get the feeling that if for some reason she got lost or something, whoever picked her up would think she's been starving for a few days because of her ribs when it couldnt be further from the truth!

Soo... in everybody's opinion... what is too thin?


Postby HartagoldAST » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:24 pm

Her weight looks fine to me! If someone makes comments about it, ignore them, or tell them the dog is much healthier being thin than fat. Would you call a greyhound "too skinny" because you can see its ribs? (Actually you can often see hip bones, etc- but you are SUPPOSED to on sighthounds. And you are supposed to see at least the last couple of ribs on an APBT.)

Here's my skinny dog pic:


This was a week before she finished her AKC CH, then went straight to a UKC show and got her first leg on her UWP (weight pull title).

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Postby moochesmama » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:25 pm

I think Sativa is perfect!

No really, if you don't have to live up to a standard in the ring (too fat or too thin) I think it's healthier for a dog to be on the light side. The vast majority of pet dogs are grossly overweight....

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Postby Noriko525 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:32 pm

HartagoldAST wrote: And you are supposed to see at least the last couple of ribs on an APBT.)

That is what I thought... so I wonder WHY so many people think that showing ribs are a sign of being underweight?? People are too used seeing fat and overweight dogs is one thing I've heard...

HartagoldAST wrote:Here's my skinny dog pic:

Doodle is one of the most beautiful dogs I have ever seen.

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Postby pblove » Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:33 pm

Many say that you should be able to feel their backbone and feel their ribs, maybe see a first rib or two.
In the first picutre your dog looks thin to me.
You will always get the differing opinons, just like with horses. So many people think a fit race horse looks great, people that do not know what a fit horse is suppsoed to look like think they are skinny.
There is a huge difference between fit and skinny, and a lot of people cannot tell the difference. Or maybe they just have a different opinion of what they think a fit animal should look like?
edit to add, forgot to say,after the first piciure she looks good, so could be angles in pics too?


Postby Chris » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:22 pm

Studies have shown that thin for dogs is much healthier. My vet assures me that we should try to keep Stockey thin. Its even more of a big deal if your dog has flaws like elbows that flare out like so many of our dogs do. Being thin helps prevent strain on the joints.

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Postby ktangell » Fri Jun 10, 2005 10:30 pm

The other day I was looking at the pics you posted of Sativa & the little brindle puppies and I commented to my husband to look at her because I thought she looked really great.


skinny dog

Postby Marilyn » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:26 pm

My dog looks alot like yours. I thought she was too thin, and I started to feed her constantly and make the vet double-check for parasites. She is fine, and I'm sure your dog is too.

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Postby bahamutt99 » Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:54 pm

I think she looks in good shape. Nothing wrong with being fit.

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Postby luvnstuff » Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:33 am

Scooter (and CopperTop too) are both very lean.
And believe me they EAT.. (gez..kibble, meat, treats, ..)
Scooter actually looks to be built alot like your dog. And yea, you can see her ribs and even her hip bones a bit.
I had a heck of a time getting any weight on her when she first came in, she wasnt abused , maybe just crated a bit to much and stressed ?????????? dont know for sure.. But you could see all her bones pretty much? Maybe it was just a lack of muscles ? And too had her checked a few times and we even treated her for parasites just to be sure .

I get alot that she is "too thin" but then I look at the dog of the person saying that to me, and usually is some kind of sausage with legs (ribs where the heck are they?)

Maybe just like some people some dogs just have a higher metabolism?
Maybe dogs that food is left out ALL the time dont have the chance to kick that metabolism into gear. (you should of SEEN the bowl of food at a friends house tonight.. HUGE FULL and two fat dogs.. ugh.. no wonder some dogs look THIN.. that much food would KILL Scooter !!!)

here is the link to her most recent pictures.. you can see her ribs arent so pronounced in these pictures..but when she gets running or panting..egads.. lol. but I think she is healthy , just a bit thin.

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Postby Sarah » Sat Jun 11, 2005 9:07 am

She looks fine. You should be able to see rib on a bully dawg. Most people aren't used to seeing a fit dog. Those Purina weight charts have a lot to answer for, too. (they have a weight chart, seen in many veterinary offices, showing "ideal weight" for dogs which has rib showing as "too thin". Which isn't true in many breeds, including ours)

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Postby elegy » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:50 am

she looks good to me. i get told my dogs are too thin too but they're not. people are just so used to seeing fat dogs that when they see nice fit, lean dogs they think they're too thin.


Postby EagleEye » Sat Jun 11, 2005 1:57 pm

Your dog looks great! IMO she's just right. She has a touch of rib, glossy coat, and nice waist and muscle definition.

I see so many overweight and obese dogs these days -- alot of people seem to think that keeping a dog at an ideal / thin weight is a sign of underfeeeding or neglect. It's much better for a dog to be on the thin side -- it means a longer and more active life. This is especially important to keep at ideal weight if a dog has arthitis (like my Stockey).

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Postby rgyoung777 » Sat Jun 11, 2005 4:10 pm

Sativa looks great to me, Noriko.

I think a lot of people have trouble telling the difference between emaciated dogs and lean dogs. The major difference is that in emaciated dogs, there is almost no muscle tissue left, and you can see bony prominences all over dog's body.

Sativa has excellent muscle tone and mass, and her hips and backbone are well covered with muscle tissue.

I think people just look at the ribs and automatically think a dog is skinny if you can see them. It's far more important to look at the hips, shoulders, back and skull to determine if a dog is too skinny. If you're seeing jutting bone in all of those places when a dog is standing normally, you should be feeding more, but ribs showing under a healthy layer of muscle tissue is fine. Sarah's point about the weight charts is excellent. Not all dogs are supposed to built like the labrador retriever they use in thsoe diagrams. Rib on a bull dog is fine.

Lucy was that lean about a year ago, and I am trying to get her back to that point. She is not overweight, but she is not as lean or toned as I'd like her to be. Great work with Sativa, and kudos to you for having such a healthy, happy looking girl. :)


Postby Phi » Sat Jun 11, 2005 5:22 pm

i think she looks fine . . . maybe she should gain 5 more lbs :tongue:

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