Hi all - I know there have been alot of posts about dog weights and the amount to feed them, but I have a bit of a different question.
My Daisy is very small for a lab. She is about 10 months and weighs less than 45 pounds. I can't see her ribs, but when I rub my hand along her side I can feel them with very little pressure. She looks very thin compared to the other labs I see around here (although some of them are likely way overweight). I decided to increase her food (Solid Gold Wolf King) slightly to 1.5 cups twice per day, and all of a sudden her poops became larger and runnier. Before the food increase her poops were small and compact. She gets plenty of exercise and runs like crazy - she's the fastest dog at the dog park and never stops unless we take the ball away.
Anyways, my question is: I have no problem increasing her food intake, but if her poops are runny, is this possibly a sign that she's getting too much? Also, I have heard comments like "she's sooooo skinny" that are starting to worry me. As she is still growing and had a limping issue a few months ago I prefer to keep her lean but want to make sure she's getting enough! Do dogs go through a "teenager" phase where they are just plain skinny? Oh yeah, I also supplement with treats for training, marrow bones and bully sticks.
skinnier dogs live longer. I would ask your vet next time you are in if she is too skinny. If you can't see the ribs but can feel them and she has a ton of energy I would say she is probably about right. You might want to cut the amount you increased the food back toward what you were feeding before. She doesn't look starved to me...
Kelly and Amber
Every dog is different. The 'look' of a Lab very much depends on its lines. Field Labs, who are usually much leaner, look totally different to show type Labs.
Generally if you can feel and not see the ribs and they seem healthy in every other way they are probably just right. Although even the ribs thing is subjective...at some angles it is not at all unusual to see ribs on a fit, lean field dog. You certainly don't want them protruding though.
As for the feeding, the reason she is having runny poops is probably because the Solid Gold is too rich. It might be worth switching her to a different food.
Hmm.. thanks for the advice.
Trickster, if necessary I would consider switching her food. I didn't want to do that right away, as her poops were "perfect" before I increased the amount I was feeding her.
I would go back to how much you were feeding when everything was normal.
She is still young and can be maturing and gaining weight and muscle for up to 2+ years. I wouldn't listen to what other people say since most people are used to seeing behemoth labs that look more like Great Danes than labs that meet the standard.
Adult females should be between 55-70#. She is probabaly just perfect for her size. Our Maddy was about 50# at 10 months...by the time she was 2 she leveled off at about 72# and has remained there. She's almost 5 now!
Thanks for the advice. I will reduce back to what I was feeding before and just monitor her appearance and poops. I agree, I like to keep her lean so maybe she's just fine the way she is.
I know that as a human my ribs show but I am certainly NOT a stick (I am 5ft 6in and weight 135lbs) Sometimes the ribs are more prominent cuz that particular person/animal just doesn't store fat in those areas. Perhaps that is how it is with your pup.
Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />
I agree with what others are saying.
I just looked at the Age X Weight chart I kept on Puff's development and at 10 months age, she was 53 lbs. As you see from my sig (at the bottom) she was close to her adult weight then.
As Trickster said, field line and bench line Labs differ greatly in build. The picture you posted hints at a Lab with strong field line characteristics. (A full side view and top view would provide better evidence.)
In the US, field line Labs tend to be leaner, lankier, leggier, with longer (less blocky) muzzles and thinner tails with more sickle shape; they may also have much thinner double coats.
In the US, bench line Labs tend to be blockier, stockier, have shorter legs and blockier heads, thicker double coats, and thick, straight, "otter-like" tails.
My Puff is very much as you describe your Daisy. Puff is the smallest of all adult Labs we've ever met and, over the last 4+ years at our weekly Saturday LabFests, she's the fastest of the over 50 Labs that have periodically met with us. She is also the most lithe and agile, able to "juke" and change directions at full speed better than any of the others. She also has the thinnest double coat, so much so that some of her ribs are clearly visible when the light and her posture is just right. (Puff was the runt of her litter and weighed 6 lbs. at age 9 weeks to her littermates' 12 lbs.) Puff sheds much less than other Labs we've met.
Soft poops can be a sign of overfeeding. I suggest cutting back to the "old" or former "normal".
BTW & FWIW, at about 8 months, my Puff started skipping some of her 5 cups of daily food (given in 2 meals) and not eating for a day or two. Then, when she resumed, she ate a lesser amount and I gave her daily the new decreased amount.
Then the same thing happened again and again until she stair-stepped her way down to 2 1/2 cups total a day.
(Puff is one of the <10% rare, mutant Labs that self-regulate the amount she eats -- usually.)
This happens because at about this age, about 80-90% of the adult development has been achieved so there is no longer the need to eat so much additional "to grow on."
I'm sure this is true at roughly the same age for all Labs but, since most Labs are gluttons, it may not be obvious.
P.S. I'll look for a link to the "Body Condition System" chart and add it below. This is a much better representation of a "field line" Lab than of a bench line. My Puff is clearly a "5" (ideal).
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
Okay... all this makes sense and according to Bob Pr's link, Daisy is pretty much a "5", maybe [i]ever so slightly[i] leaner in the shot from above, but all in all pretty ideal.
As for the field/bench lines, I do understand the difference, however, Daisy's breeder (CKC Registered) was quite clear that she comes from BENCH lines! I can see the bench line in her in some respects (she's short, has a solid chest and an "otter-like" tail). Her face looks pretty bang on field line however. Anyways, it's not a big deal to me as I have no plans to show her (she is truly a pet to me) and I love her anyways, but it is curious!
The biggest thing for me is to just ignore the comments of "wow she is soooo small, what is she mixed with" and "aren't you worried about how thin she is"?
Thanks for the help!
whoops! Don't know what happened with the italics there!