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Discussion Starter #1
What kind of weight do all of you like to keep your dogs at that are actively training and trialing? Flip is currently very very lean. I brought him to an agility trial and had some handlers feel him and he was pronounced "perfect weight." Of course according to my mom I am starving the dog and he is too skinny. I am debating at keeping him at his optimum low that he is right now or adding a couple of pounds to fill him out a little.
 
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where the tails wag
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I like my dogs on the lean, but not skinny side. I feel they need a bit extra to be well muscled. I see some dogs who are very thin, they work well but do not have nice muscles or coat.

I guess you could say I love the lean, powerful look :)
 
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the party's crashing us
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I agree with the both of you. I think in field and agility it especially important to be slightly underweight but fed a lot, if that makes sense. Obedience as long as the dog is still driving for food I don't think it makes as big a difference. If the field or agility dog is being starved (fed little food) and underweight than that is just starving the dog. They need to be slightly underweight to reduce risk of injury yet consuming a normal amount of food....that says they are fit and burning a lot of calories. Muscular, athletic, cardio, all that. I see many agility dogs (AND SHOW DOGS) who are underweight but NOT fit. They are fed a pittance and not exercised except to train, which really in the scheme of things, a few laps around the agility course is not exercise.
 

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since I'm at work and bored I will pick a bone here....performance dogs = field dogs. (or herding, depending on your breed, but I digress). Obedience, agility, and tracking are considered companion sports, not performance sports (per AKC).
I think performance dogs should be kept on the lower end of normal, but what weight they carry should be good hard muscle, as Anney said.
The companion sport dogs don't have nearly the same physical demands put on them, and it's probably less important. The closest would be agility, where extra weight would add extra risk for injuries IMO. But by extra weight I mean fat, not more muscle. More muscle should not increase injury risk.
 
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oh I know the difference between performance sports and companion sports, but I still usually hear those dogs competing in companion sports being referred to as performance dogs, so that's what I usually say. Because calling them a "companion dog" makes it sound more like you're referring to a strictly pet dog, and companion sport dog is too wordy for my liking.
 

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Kate
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I have nothing to add other than comment that I find it really difficult to understand "where" your dog should be as far as weight for training in obedience when there are so many different types of goldens running around the obedience ring. And different bone structure on all of them. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Conner and Flip are fed the same amount of food despite there being a 20-25 pound difference between the two. I was worried about weight gain after Flip's neuter, but if anything he's lost a pound or two. Annabel, who is between the two boys, can't keep the weight off no matter how little I feed her. I had her thyroid checked thinking surely something was going on there but she came back normal.
 
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I know you know the difference, like I said, I'm bored so I was nit-picking. Although I do have to quietly chuckle when people with obedience dogs talk about feeding them "performance foods" because the dogs are "performance dogs" and the dogs are hugely overweight....I mean really, walking isn't even aerobic exercise for a golden....


oh I know the difference between performance sports and companion sports, but I still usually hear those dogs competing in companion sports being referred to as performance dogs, so that's what I usually say. Because calling them a "companion dog" makes it sound more like you're referring to a strictly pet dog, and companion sport dog is too wordy for my liking.
 
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When we go to the Vets they usually say you could put a pound or two on her. So, I figure that is about right.
I had to increase her intake at the end summer she was getting too skinny. Today, I noticed that she seems to have gained a bit of weight back, so I think I will cut back a little.
I always seem to be adjusting the amount slightly.
 

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Titan1
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I think any dog needs to be on the thin side if you plan to jump them. Whatever you want to technically call the sport.
 

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Riot's mom
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"Normal" dog people tell me that Riot is skinny, but my vet has told me multiple times that he is at a great weight. The orthopedic vet I went to for his x-rays also said he is in perfect shape. I think, like Anney says, that the dogs should be eating a bunch but staying a little on the lighter side. Riot eats almost 4 cups a day (a lot for his 60#). I have cut back a little now that he has stopped really growing, just to keep his weight steady.

If you are looking for more scientific information, check out this website Scientific Publications

There are various studies that looked at weight as a variable. If you view the abstracts, you may be able to link to the full article. If not, googlescholar has some of the titles for free. Some interesting reading, and part of the reason I have been slowly cutting Riot's food back.
 

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Loving Flyball
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I keep all my dogs thin, even my 11 1/2 year old man dog. I figure it is best for them to be at a healthy weight no matter what they are doing, even if it is just laying around because they are too creeky to do much else. I am concerned with muscle mass in my working dogs, and don't want them to get too soft, so I keep an eye on that as well.
 

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Ozzie is still major hunting - so I think I make both the show dog group and the agility group unhappy. He's a big boned dog- and the show ppl think he needs weight. The agility ppl would take a pound or two off of him. Though I will say he is fairly fit as he bikes 3 miles with me 4-5x a week. Basically, I keep him where he has a waist and I can easily feel but not see ribs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh I definately want to keep him on the lean side, it's just the little bit of difference between right where he couldn't lose any more weight without being considered "too thin" and just a teeny bit more added on so he's not quite so scrawny looking. I guess he's not any thinner than Conner is in proportion to their heights, Conner just has a real thick coat that you don't realize he's thin until you put your hands on him. It's so much more noticeable on Flip since, although he has really nice feathering, there isn't so much coat there on his body.
 

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Kate
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I keep all my dogs thin, even my 11 1/2 year old man dog. I figure it is best for them to be at a healthy weight no matter what they are doing, even if it is just laying around because they are too creeky to do much else. I am concerned with muscle mass in my working dogs, and don't want them to get too soft, so I keep an eye on that as well.
That's part of where I'm confused...?

I went walking with my guy out in the rain today (MISERABLE WEATHER HERE), and with him all wet and moving out at a trot - he doesn't look soft at all.

And looking at him, he's a very compact golden. He reminds me a lot of our Sammy who was an inch shorter and about 10 lbs lighter. His shape is very similar.

But I know his weight is at the higher end for his size. :eek:
 

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where the tails wag
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Conner and Flip are fed the same amount of food despite there being a 20-25 pound difference between the two. I was worried about weight gain after Flip's neuter, but if anything he's lost a pound or two. Annabel, who is between the two boys, can't keep the weight off no matter how little I feed her. I had her thyroid checked thinking surely something was going on there but she came back normal.
My Faelan gets at least twice as much food as either Casey or Towhee. Casey is hypothyroid while Towhee is well within the normal range. Before Casey was neutered (at about 8 years) his weight was not an issue at all - he ate about what Faelan eats now and was a trim 57 -59 pounds, but after about 6 months post neuter he started packing on the pounds. The vet increased his thyroid dosage and I cut back on his food and he is almost to a good weight again. His thyroid lab results had not changed but the lack of sexual hormones demanded a need for additional thyroid meds to maintain a good weight & coat, his lab results now point towards him being hyperthyroid but everything else is good (coat, weight control, heart, skin etc). My vet did work with an endocrinologist who knows goldens while we were tweaking Casey's meds.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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I too think it is in the best interest of the DOG to keep them on the "lighter" side. But to me this does not mean "skinny". Whether they are a performance, show or companion (either interpretation) it is best for them. Lucy is now 11 and retired as my best "companion". Through out her competitive years she weighted between 55 and 57 pounds - other then when pregnant - and last week at the vet she weighed in at 55.3 lbs. :dblthumb2
 

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Loving Flyball
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My best way to explain it is I keep my dogs in the condition I wish I was in! Nobody enjoys being too fat or too thin! I just wish it was easier for me to control MY weight!!
 

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Scout is pretty skinny and I have tried to put a pound or two on her with no success. I was even feeding her satin balls for almost two months straight with no results. She just eats what she wants and will leave the rest. From a conformation stand-point I worry about how scrawny she is, but from a field dog stand-point I think she fine and very athletic. Really, dogs live longer when trim.
 

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Barley & Mira's Mom
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I like my dogs on the thin side, but fit! This would be my preference no matter what we did, I just think it is healthier!

I also generally consider "performance events" most venues outside of conformation. I think that is common terminology used, I don't think I have heard the term "companion events" used. Performance is also the term used by the GRCA: GRNews Performance Issue, the breakdown of the categories for OD/OS and VC/VCX, or the Triathalon Award.
 
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