"Show Weight"

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Emily, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    So. I have a friend at work who shows/breeds Frenchies. She wants me to show Keeva in conformation, just for fun, and I'd like to do it for handling practice, just to get my feet wet in that world.

    She came to work from a show yesterday, and said, "Oh, I went and saw the Cardis! Keeva needs to put on weight to show in conformation." And then she dashed off and I didn't get a chance to reply.

    Honestly... wtf? I know that Cardis are shown fat - the show Cardis I've touched have not had papable ribs, they were so fat. But WHY? And if you believe a dog is at a healthy weight (notice she didn't say Keeva needs weight in general), wtf would you pack on pounds for the ring, and why would judges favor that? It just seems absurd to me.

    I mean, it doesn't really matter because I'm keeping her at working weight and that's that, but I just... I don't get it. And I'm not trying to offend anyone who shows their dogs - I think it's another fun thing to do with your dog, and I was looking forward to it, even with my fugly sport Corgi, LOL. But I just don't get it.

    I mean, this is Keeva's weight right now:

    [​IMG]


    Her ribs are right beneath the skin, and yes, you can feel her spine and hip bones. But she's ultra muscular and already eats 3/4 lb of meat a day. I think she's very healthy looking, and I guess just find the whole "show weight" notion silly... I dunno. Thoughts?
     
  2. Red.Apricot

    Red.Apricot Active Member

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    I don't understand why obesity is rewarded either, but it is.

    If I tried, I wouldn't be able to put weight on Elsie, though. When she gets more calories, she just runs more.
     
  3. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    Smudge 'needed' more weight for the ring. I refused.
     
  4. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    Show weight is just a nice term for FAT. People don't want to admit their dogs are just fat, so they make up terms like "show weight", when in actuality, they're just rewarding fat dogs.
     
  5. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    I don't get it either. Yet another reason why I could never participate successfully in conformation.
     
  6. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    I won't show a fat dog, and I've never had a problem winning with or finishing a dog. Working weight is show weight for my guys.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    It probably depends on breed somewhat. We had to take weight OFF of Beau to get him in showing condition. He was in the best condition of his life then. (I wish my parents had kept it up cause he's fat now).

    Then again our standard specifically says 'dainty' in it, so that might be part of it.
     
  8. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    I don't know, and I don't get it. It makes me so sad seeing fat dogs trotting around the ring. Not all of them are, fortunately, but enough are to sadden me. It especially makes me sad when I see the fat large breeds. They do not need all that extra weight on their joints. (I know weight is relative to size and a small dog will have a lot of extra weight hurt their joints, but I've just personally known so many rottweilers who've had their elbows, hips, and knees get weak because of it.)

    ETA: I think Keeva looks perfect. I also thinks she needs to come home with me. ;)
     
  9. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    It's pretty well known that lots of conformation dogs are fat. Then you have the other end of the spectrum where some of the Sighthound breeds (Whippets, for example) are kept SUPER skinny.. I know they're supposed to be lean, but some of the dogs I've seen are downright emaciated.

    However, that doesn't mean that just because you keep your dog at a good weight you won't ever place. Sako is far from fat (I'm actually trying to put weight ON him right now because I don't like how lean he is) and he already has his UKC CH and his first AKC point.. and mind you, that AKC point was given when he was up against a MUCH bigger dog. Not all judges like potatoes with legs ;)

    That being said, I personally think she looks a little skinny. Maybe it's just the angle, but she has quite a defined waist for such a young dog (she's under a year, right?). I don't like super lean pups.. and don't think you should be able to easily feel hip bones. A few ribs, yes, but not the hips.
     
  10. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I agree with Kady, honestly for every over weight show dog I see too many skinny-ill muscled dogs in show rings depending on breed and venue.

    I'm very content with a well portioned dog not asked to be exceedingly lean. I worry too many people swing to exaggerations.
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I agree, in that pic she does look too lean. It could be the angle, but she doesn't look muscular just very thin.

    I think its silly to make dogs fat to give them 'substance' either they have it or they don't. Labs should not 'roll' along, they are supposed to be hunting dogs! I also agree that sighthound people often keep their dogs way too thin. Some are hard to keep weight on... but I got into an argument on another board because they were posting very thin dogs and saying that is what they SHOULD look like. Not that is what some end up looking like because they don't find food exciting. (Bounce does not find food exciting unless its handed to her in tiny pieces by a human)

    ETA JRTs doen't seem to be too bad. But this summer after I shaved Dekka I got told by a few confo breeders that Dekka was way too thin. It doesn't take much coat to hide ribs etc. I thought she looked good, on the thin side of good, but good. No hip bones, or spine but a few rib ripples as she moved and lots of muscle definition.
     
  12. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I do think she does look on the skinny side but it's not uncommon in young dogs. Keep feeding her and let her grow up before worrying too much about the ring.
     
  13. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Ziggy tends to look more like Keeva as far as body condition goes, although more muscled. Most of the agility people who are serious about doing performance with their corgis tend to keep them in similar condition as well. Which is to say, they are fairly thin. One of the long time performance Cardi people I know actually told me she would take a little more weight off of Ziggy.

    I think you should show her at what you consider to be proper weight. There are judges who will favor that, even if it isn't the current trend and especially if her muscling is good. Also once she's show groomed, she'll look different anyway. After all behind every show dog is the right shampoos/conditions, the right after bath product and a force dryer ;)


    I am not sure exactly how it became trendy to show some breed fat. I've known people who had to put on/take off 20lbs with show Labs who also did performance (the trend with Labs seems to be to show them almost obese). Such things seem common in breeds that they like to be heavy boned, substantial looking dogs. Coat and extra weight can give the appearance of more substance than there actually is and make substantial dogs look even more substantial. And many of the breeds shown overweight are breeds that tend to be easy to put extra weight onto - Labs, Aussies, Corgis.

    It depends a lot on breed. Belgians at shows are far more likely to be thinner than the average person likes than fat. This isn't due to any sort of trend, it's because Belgians tend to be hard to put extra weight on. Young intact males especially tend to go through what at call a "boney thin" phase. So I don't tend to find young, thin dogs to be at all worrisome - it seems normal to me LOL
    PyrSheps are expected to be shown in working condition as well, per their breed standard:

    "Size - Rough-Faced: males: 15 ½ to 18 ½ inches at the withers, females: 15 to 18 inches. Smooth-Faced: males 15 ½ to 21 inches at the withers, females 15 ½ to 20 ½ inches at the withers. Weight - An absolute minimum of weight is required -- just enough flesh to cover the bones; the ribs should be readily felt. Disqualification - Individuals under the minimum height, or exceeding the maximum height by more than ½ inch. Proportion - In rough faced dogs the body is clearly long (from the point of shoulder to the ischium) in proportion to the height of the dog, whereas Smooth-Faced dogs appear much more square. Substance - The dog in good working condition is lightly boned and sinewy, correctly proportioned and well-balanced, and must never appear overdone." http://www.akc.org/breeds/pyrenean_shepherd/

    Of course, expect for Mals Belgians are hairy enough that you can't tell condition without touching them. Most everyone at the training club thinks this young male Belgian owned by a friend is too thin once they touch him but from a picture you wouldn't be able to guess it. I think he's in excellent condition for his but he has almost no body fat on him, just muscle and bone:
    [​IMG]

    Another friend's young Mal (probably Keeva's age) looks thin to most people, even though the black dog is probably equally boney (although better muscled). She is fairly typical of a Belgian her age though:
    [​IMG]

    Then my mature male Belgian looks fat to most people, especially in his winter coat even. This was taken a day he was almost turned down for lure coursing for being "too heavy". Had to make the roll call person put her hands through his hair and when she did, she was very surprised! He is not as "boney thin" as the younger male (although he was at that age) but he's a lean, muscular dog with very little body fat under the hair:

    [​IMG]

    So I do think one reason Keeva looks so thin to many is that she appears to have what GSD people would call a "close coat", at least right now. Ziggy does as well. A lot of Corgis have a very plushy, very thick almost nordic breed-ish coat and even though it isn't long, that can really change the way they look too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  14. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    ^This. I think she looks like a lot of lanky, healthy young dogs I know.

    Millie is at a pretty healthy weight right now, but I want her to lose a couple pounds. I like to keep my dogs on the very slim side. Underweight, no. Conditioned and trim, yes.

    And kady, I've seen that, too. Greyhounds that have NO tuck-up at all :eek: and those that look like walking skeletons. I know what a healthy grey looks like, of course very trim, absolute minimal fat, and if it were any other breed, emaciated, but then there is the emaciated greyhound. Same with other sighthounds. It's awful.
     
  15. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

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    Yeah at the last AKC show I was at, many of the Sighthounds were just.. gross. My fiance came with me and he was like "WTF is wrong with those dogs??" I had to explain that they were supposed to be nice and lean, but that those dogs IMO were way overboard. Quite a few of the spectators were commenting as well.
     
  16. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    I am going to agree that Keeva looks a tad on the thin side to me. Not underweight, but I don't think it would hurt her to put a little bit more on.
     
  17. Michiyo-Fir

    Michiyo-Fir New Member

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    I think Keeva looks perfectly fine. I've always kept our dogs pretty lean though.

    I think once she grows up she'll fill out perfectly and not seem so thin. Some puppies look like they're being starved while they grow lol.

    I think some of the breeds have show weights that are pretty normal like Paps, Cavs, Chis, GSDs, Aussies.

    Labs and Pugs are my biggest concerns. I know they're supposed to be blockly, not lanky but some of them are obese!! I don't think I could ever buy from a show lab breeder, it can't be healthy at all to keep them like that.
     
  18. misfitz

    misfitz Ruddy Buttinski

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    Grooming Products?

    So I read this:

    In the thread about show weight.

    I'd love to elaborate! What grooming products do you use/like/hate? Especially interested in opinions from owners of fluffy dogs and those who show in conformation. And any recommendations for natural products?

    I'm still shopping around for shampoos...right now I just buy the cheap stuff. :) I groom Sienna at home, but she always looked better when the groomer did it. (I guess that's why they're the professionals LOL.) I'm assuming the dryer makes a huge difference?
     
  19. misfitz

    misfitz Ruddy Buttinski

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    Ack! Sorry that was supposed to start a new thread. I'll post it where it belongs, mods you can delete this one. Oops.
     
  20. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

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    Yeah, me too.

    And since Emily is at a family event I'm just gonna say that Keeva seriously not too thin. She does have widely sprung ribs that I think make her waist in some pictures look deceptively tiny. But her ribs feel like they should feel in an in shape dog and her hip bones do not jut out. She's also insanely muscular for a female puppy. She has such awesome thigh muscles.

    If she is fed anymore (remember, she's on 3/4 pound of raw plus some veggies and so on plus a million treats for training) she just poops more.

    On the topic though, my one and only conformation show I went to made me want to cry. And the sighthounds? Oh my god, it's bad enough when the ACD's barely had a tuck up but when a sighthound has no tuck up it makes me gag.
     

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