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I am having a heck of a time keeping weight on Jack right now and figuring out what amount of food is right for him. He's still growing, which I know is a huge part of it, but I feel like I get him to the perfect weight (by look/feel) for a couple of days and then he starts to look skinny again. He weighed 63.6 lbs on the vets scale on Monday - so he's certainly not a lightweight at 8.5 months old. We feed him Acana Wild Prairie which has 435 kcals/cup. He gets 1.25 cups at his morning and evening meals (for a total of about 1063 calories). This should be plenty of calories (maybe even too much) by my calculation, but he's pretty active so I imagine he burns a lot of these off. Especially since we've been making a strong effort to get in really good exercise for him everyday. We weren't as good about making a point of it on weekdays for awhile when we were busy with our wedding planning stuff, and I think that's why his teenage/bratty behaviors increased. He has improved almost 100% since we've been doing this, so we want to keep doing it!

So in an attempt to keep his weight regulated, about 2-3 times a week lately (except this week) I've been giving him a frozen kong with peanut butter and kibble in it (which I estimate at about 400 calories). I also have upped his morning feeding to 1.5 cups every other day to see what that does. I just find it so frustrating because last night I could almost see his bottom rib and realized that missing his kongs this week probably did that. (He's getting a kong today. :) )

I've included some wet pictures of him from Sunday at the beach, when I thought he looked perfect - in weight, not cleanliness. In these photos you could easily feel his ribs but not see them and he has a pretty defined waist from the top (the third photo shows it the best). Thoughts on his weight? Does he look too heavy/too skinny in these?

For those of you with really active dogs, how do you keep weight on them? Is there a rule you use, i.e. he did a lot today so I'm giving him X amount of extra calories?
 

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& Sawyer's & Quinn's too!
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He looks perfect in those pictures! Such a handsome face! We have the opposite problem with Sophie - We have to be careful or she'll pack on the pounds! Lucky Jack gets some extra goodies!
 

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Logan & Lacey in R hearts
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Just so you know - he looks GREAT! It's been a while since I have had a young growing dog so I can't offer too many suggestions. But I do know it will start to level off in the next few months. Right now he is still growing, developing muscle-mass, etc, so it is sometimes tough to keep up with the right amount of calories. Just remember, it is always so much better to be on the lean side anyway. It's easier to add a few pounds then try to get take them off.
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I think Jacks looks perfect......he's awfully handsome!!! I have a similar problem with my youngest Lincoln...he's 16 months and weighs 66 pounds. He's much longer than Jack but no matter what I feed him, he just doesn't put on weight. I also give him extra snacks (without the others looking). I can feel his ribs easily but can't see them.....we feed our guys Orijen (Regional Red). He's the one on the left in the picture below......you can see he's quite thin.

 

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Captain JONAthan Toews
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I kind of feel the same way with my Jona, sure Jona is like 5 months younger and still growing but his hips look the same as Jacks in the last picture; like they go in way too much I think, and when I pick him up I can feel his ribs rub up against my arm too easily. He is eating 1,110 cal a day in food plus maybe an extra 70 in treats but for some reason he also looks like he is losing weight?

But I've been a big fan of Jack, he looks really good!
 

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2 goldens and a BMD
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He looks great in the pics. I'd honestly prefer to have a growing dog a little on the lean side that carrying too much weight. I wouldn't want to see him any heavier than he looks in the pics.
 

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Knife Swallower
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He looks great! What a handsome guy - love his expression, too. When Ranger was uber-active (2 hour walks or more every day, rollerblading with me 3 times a week, and hiking 5-8 hours a day on the weekends), I was feeding him EVO red meat with 527 cals/cup to keep the weight on. Not that it was super difficult with Ranger, but I found I was feeding up to 3-4 cups of other foods (Orijen, Go, etc) to maintain his weight - it was killing my wallet! He only got 2 cups of Evo, maybe 2.5 on a hike day and he was a lean 70 lbs.

To answer your other question, I used to give Ranger a little bit of extra food or a kong on a very active day. If we'd been hiking all day, he definitely got an extra half cup of food and/or a stuffed kong. Next week, if I thought he was looking a little plump, I'd just give him the extra food and cut out the kong.
 

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He is gorgeous, and he looks to be in great condition. I would not worry about him gaining weight, since he's still growing and just three or so months past the gawky lanky stage that puppies go through. He will continue to fill out as he gets older and as the hormones seriously kick in full force.
He's not physically fully mature yet. He's beautiful!
 

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Kate
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He looks great! Keep in mind that by the time he's two (or so), you will start to see him bulking up.

Which case, you will be like me and worrying about whether he is too fat because of what the scale says even though he's still trim looking. :)
 

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His body looks a lot like Flora's, and I know she's at a good weight. I think it's actually good to keep them a little thinner... I cut back Flora's food because she weighed in at 64lbs at the vet in March, and I felt that was too heavy for her (she has hip problems). I think she's probably down to 58-60lbs now, and while she does feel a little skinny, I think it's better for her joints.

Your pup looks good! Don't worry about putting weight on him, he'll do that himself, I'm sure. :)
 

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He looks great!

For me it is all about activity. In the winter DH and I are much less active so we cut back on the food because the dogs suffer our wimpy can't go out when it is so cold moods. In the summer they are ACTIVE so we up their food to make sure they do not suffer there either. We fluctuate between 1 cup twice daily to 1.5 daily.

Teddi recently got a bit 'heavy' on TOTW because it was so rich, and we got a bit focused on getting Belle through her ordeal not exercising as much. We cut her back to 1 cup, changed her food to Blue Chicken & Brown Rice, and she looks GREAT again. We plan to walk the dogs to the vet and weigh them once the humidity dips below 90% and temp below 99.

My lab Belle got REALLY skinny after her FCE she lost literally 10 pounds in 10 days. We upped her to a hefty 1.5 twice a day. She was REALLY active up north recently but not sure at home we will be able to maintain her at that activity level. She gained her weight back, I think we may need to cut her a bit. She will never be as active as she was. She has gained the 10 back I am pretty sure. Our vet said to get her back up.

It is a constant adjustment in our house. Our puppy is a bit thinner she is still burning calories growing. She is 8 months. I am reluctant to feed her more she is a lab, but I don't want her too thin either. I can still feel but not see her ribs unless she stretches on the floor. They do tend to 'mature' and fill out between 12-24 months of age, grow "up" the first 12.

Oh we also feed a fair amount of treats at home for a variety of reasons. You need to factor that into food quantities.

Ann
 

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Mary
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Your pup is adorable! His face looks a lot like my boy. Tucker is 10 months old, and when I had him at the vet last month, he was 63 pounds, and the vet said he looked great. I think your pup looks perfect! I also give Tucker a kong on very active days as a little treat. I think you're doing everything perfect. If he starts to gain weight, cut down on his serving amounts. If he stays the same, leave his amounts alone. I'm sure all will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies and compliments!

Laurie, Lincoln's body actually looks similar to Jack's! Lincoln may be a bit longer, but very similar in their skinniness!

Based on all your advice, we'll just keep doing what we're doing and supplement with a little extra on the days he's really active. His body just looks so thin to me, but I'm sure I'm used to seeing overweight and/or more mature goldens. I'm sure once his body matures more he'll look less like a skinny-minny. I've heard that once their chest drops (I think that's the right word) they stop looking so skinny.

I know that a little leaner is always better, but I somewhat worry about impacting his growth if we're keeping him too lean. Is this just a ridiculous concern?
 

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Jack looks great! He's still a growing pup, so don't be too concerned with weight, but as others have mentioned, better to err on the lighter, leaner side - which he is now. Great job!
 

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Knife Swallower
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I think the only way you can cause problems by keeping them too lean, is when they are unhealthily skinny...like ribs/hips showing. Unfortunately, my aunt and uncle got a chesapeake bay retriever and they're a bit show-offy and braggy and look down on others who aren't as active as they are. So they were out to prove to everyone in the family that THEIR dog would be the best trained dog ever.

They kept that poor puppy skinny to the point of starving it. Poor puppy would CRY in hunger but they "didn't want a fat dog" (which was a shot at my family's golden retriever at the time - he was 10 and while not heavy, wasn't in the lean, muscled condition that they wanted THEIR dog. They took their PUPPY running and biking for MILES, all the time bragging that their dog was such a natural athlete - "she's only 4 months old and can keep up on ten mile runs!" Poor thing was a neurotic mess and by the time she was 6, had developed diabetes from lack of good nutrition in her youth and had severe arthritis in her hips/elbows/everywhere. She could hardly walk when she was 8 years old.

So, I'd say your safe even if your dog is a little underweight due to sporadic growth spurts. Ranger was a skinny-minny around 9 months and he filled out after he hit 12 months or so.

I'll say it again...Jack is gorgeous!
 

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Gilmour is the same way. He can eat like a horse and not gain weight.

He is 65 pounds at 18 months (or close to it), he eats 4 cups of California Natural a day. Two in the morning, two at night.

That's a lot of dog food.

Plus snacks.

He does not gain weight. His weight is actually perfect though.

CN is pretty high calorie food too. I think it's upwards of 700c/cup.

Of course G-Man is a major ball of energy and is almost constantly at it from 6am to midnight. He tends to rest most between 11am and 3pm. If I could harness it, I could probably power a small city :)
 
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