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My working cocker is so thin!!

(11 Posts)
needastrongone Wed 20-Aug-14 08:49:08

I just need to consider if I am missing something smile

He's 10 months. Full of energy when out on his walks, never stops moving and we 'work' them (we have a Springer too) in the sense that we do scent work, use balls, hide treats etc. We also live rurally so they spend a lot of time chasing rabbits through corn fields and forests. Walks are not a gentle stroll in the park smile

You can see his ribs, and pretty much every bloomin' bone smile

We still feed him three times a day, more than the recommended measurements and he's on Millie's Wolfheart kibble. After taking advice from them, I moved him onto the 'working gundog' range, which has a higher proportion of protein in it.

He gets raw bones and chicken wings too.

He's wormed and up to date with all vaccinations. He's happy and gentle and a pleasure to own.


I did meet both his parents, it was difficult to judge mum obviously, given she's just given birth but Dad was slim. Having said that, the breeder was a full time gamekeeper, his dogs were bred to work.

Am I missing anything? I don't really want to reduce the exercise as they both live for their walks.

EasyToEatTiger Wed 20-Aug-14 08:54:42

Our dogs are on the skinny side too. We have used CSJ, this stuff which seemed to do the job. I think we're going to get some more as I can't think that spaghetti is any good for rumblestrips' teeth. They are good for advice too.

moosemama Wed 20-Aug-14 10:13:21

Hi needa, Pip is just the same. He has almost 3 times Lurcherboy's intake spread across three meals a day (at 14 months old) because we couldn't possibly manage to get the quanitity he needs to just maintain weight in in fewer feeds a day without risking bloat. He also gets 2-3 XL kongs with sardines and kibble in on top daily, plus training treats, which are usually high fat such as cubed cheddar and sausages.

Despite all that food he is all bones and if we have a situation where he misses even one meal (eg when we were travelling to our holiday home and needed him to have an empty stomach for the ferry) he drops weight at an alarming rate.

Vet says he isn't too thin, just Lurcher thin but on the slim side even for that. She says it's probably just normal for him and as long as he's full of beans and healthy in every other way there's no need to worry. In fact she said she'd rather see dogs that way than all the obese ones she sees daily in her clinic.

If your little lad's dad was also pretty svelte, it could just be genetic for his line to not carry a lot of weight.

If you want to try and see if you can get some extra weight on him both green tripe and lamb breast are best. We used to lamb breast to help our old lad regain weight after he was seriously ill and it did the trick nicely.

We have the opposite problem with Lurcherboy. As I mentioned before, he has almost a third of Pip's intake and we struggle to keep weight off him. He has always had a tendency to carry a little more weight than your average Lurcher, which we put down to the BC part of his mix, but since he was neutered it's a constant battle, despite plenty of exercise and a good quality, controlled diet.

I suppose dogs are like people to some extent, some people seem to be able to eat what they like and never gain weight, others (ie me) only need to look at a doughnut for the lbs to start accummulating. hmm grin

moosemama Wed 20-Aug-14 10:14:58

After reading the thread about the Secret Lives of Dogs programme, I feel I should qualify that even when he gains a bit, Lurcherboy has never been obese - just heavy - for a Lurcher.

fanoftheinvisibleman Wed 20-Aug-14 11:55:03

My BT is the same, he doesn't have an ounce on him. I can't get him to eat anymore than he does but he is hapy and full of energy so I guess it is just how he is.

needastrongone Wed 20-Aug-14 13:01:14

Thanks smile

That's the thing that worries me moose, he's so scrawny that, if he were to ever become ill, there would be nothing of him to lose iyswim?

Yes, I think you may be right. I think he may just be like this naturally. He's also not been neutered yet (very timid, I am in no rush, and mildly concerned he'll get worse), he may fill out a little with maturity and/or castration.

Thanks for the link tiger. I am really happy with Millie's, it's such good quality kibble, and their advice and customer care is excellent, but their treats are very expensive, so there may be scope there. Trouble is, ddog1 will eat treats at any opportunity, little ddog2 is completely disinterested in treats while out exploring, but will train for food.

Last time the vet saw him (about 3 weeks ago) he remarked that he was 'mmmm...very slim', but he does know us well and knows how much exercise the dogs get. The Springer is only 15kg tops too.

I saw the programme too, some denial going on from owners there I thought.

I think it's just that we are away at the minute, and the whole family are with the dogs 24/7 and we all keep looking at him and just seeing bones smile

NCISaddict Wed 20-Aug-14 17:29:47

My Border Collie is skinny at just over a year, the vet says it's because he is a teenager, looking at the DS's I can see what they mean, all legs with big feet.
Mine also has two off lead walks a day with atm at least six hours of training classes a week. I wish it had the same effect on my

WeAllHaveWings Wed 20-Aug-14 17:45:51

We feed ddog millies too. It's the carbs in gun dog that should fatten him p not the protien which is more for muscle I believe.

What his output like? Have heard a few times if you overfeed it can actually be counterproductive and result in loose stools and not all the goodness being absorbed.

TheCunnyFunt Wed 20-Aug-14 19:41:25

My MIL has an almost 3yo working cocker who is exactly as you describe your dog. He eats big meals but burns it all off virtually straight away. MIL has a huge garden and he runs around it constantly. He doesn't stop, ever. He seems healthy enough just ridiculously thin!

needastrongone Wed 20-Aug-14 20:18:09

Okay, I will stop worrying smile He's rather my special dog, not that I don't love and adore the Springer, but he's kind of DH's and this one is mine.

Understand about the carbs and protein, thanks wings. He needs both smile

Ref poop. Springer goes twice a day and the cocker three times (so, one poop for each meal, so to speak). Both of our dogs get a bit er, looser in the afternoon, which is their big, exciting and long walk. They both tend to go after they have been exercising a while. The vet says this is normal. I can relate, in a former life I was a marathon runner. The term 'runners trots' was well understood in our world. So, I don't think I am overfeeding either, they are too lean, the Springer is just more muscular than the Cocker, who resembles a famine victim sometimes when I look at him sad

NCISaddict Wed 20-Aug-14 20:27:45

Used to get 'runners trots' with our old springer but with this one his poos are all the same, very small and naturally perfectly formed grin
I fed him too much the other day and didn't I know about it, a complete bath was needed.

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