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muskydave

Fat Lab Question

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I just lost my Black Lab Buddy at almost 12 to kidney failure. That almost broke my heart. I have a friend that has a 1 year old yellow lab that needs a home, he is AKC, hip cert, looks great on paper. However it's about 20#s overweight and lays around alot. He has a wonderful personality, retrieves well and also seems to quarter ok, but at the same time I don't want to have a lazy dog. Kind of a strange question. Is obesity directly related to his energy level? If he's skinny is he going to be more likely to have the drive to hunt all day? Or is he fat because he's lazy in the 1st place. Just thinking out loud but I have to make a decision in a couple of days. If you have any tests that you use to determine huntability that may help too.

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Im not an expert but id say that the obesity is a direct correlation to the owner and diet. Maybe your buddy was not giving him the excercise he needed and a lil bit to much food. I think it would be very easy to fix, dogs are able to lose weight alot easier than humans for the main reason- they cant get there paws in to the cookie jar. You give the right amount of food and plenty of excercise and you will see him in alot better shape. In my whole life i have never seen a lazy dog, ive seen fat dogs that lay around all day bc its all they can do bc their owner doesnt excercise them or maybe stuck in a cage alday everyday. You will also want to make sure you get him some good food also.

You will also see he his energy level increase with the better shape hes in. Just like you cant run a marathon without being in shape, your dog cant hunt all day without being in shape.

From what you mention above about retrieving and so on, he has all the makings of being a good hunting dog. If you put the time in with him im sure he will be a good hunting partner.

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He's overweight because the owner is most likely not feeding him properly, and probably not getting him enough exercise. I would not personally view a dog as lazy by how the dog is in the home or around the house. If I did I would have the most lazy fat dogs in the world!!

If a dog is not in shape he wont be able to hunt all day....no way around that. Dogs should be exercised and that exercise steadily increased before hunting season to get them in proper shape. Sounds like this dog just needs a proper diet and some exercise. One thing to point out.....I would not confuse drive with an out of shape dog. It's one thing to have an out of shape dog because of the owner.....but that's not to say the dog does or does not have the drive. Two separate things in my mind that you should be able to tell apart by viewing the dog in the field. Also, ask about the parents of the dog to see what their disposition is.

Does the owner exercise the dog now or control it's feeding?

Also...a dog can't have hip certifications at 1 year of age.

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My old lab Magnum was 20# overweight at one point and was on the lazy side, put him on weight control food and increased the excersize amount and once he dropped back down to normal weight(about 105 lbs) he was like a puppy again with plenty, maybe too much energy and in no way lazy. Was kind of funny watching a 9 year old dog that size jump around like a 6 month old pup.

Sorry for your loss.

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Most labs will get overweight if you don't control their food intake. My lab's "summer weight" is around 80 lbs. She would easily put on 20 lbs during the winter months if I let her. During winter I cut her food by adding 1/2 "fit and trim". In the 9 years since I have gotten her, I've learned how to control her weight although if she could talk I'm sure she would claim I'm starving her.

I wouldn't be concerned about a 1 year old lab who is 20# over weight but it will take some dilegence on your part to take and keep the weight off.

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You should be able to get the weight of the dog and get its energy levels up with exercise and good diet. The only negative I could see is if it was overweight its whole development period there is a better chance it could end up with bad hips. I am not saying it will have bad hips, but I have heard it will up the chances if it was overweight during its growing stages.

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If the hips are sound, the #20 extra weight will not negativley impact them in any foreseeable future, hold that weght through lfe and some arthritic change may occur at the later stages of life. But Hemi is correct, no way they can be certified at 12 months... a screening only.

#20 over is not that big of a deal. Most show labs are shown at 15-20 over. They like them bulked up. I have a buddy who would show his dog in the ring and run it in field trials... he would add and take off weight as needed. It had no detrimental effect on the dog.

Also do not equate being calm and stoic in the house with laziness. This could be your biggest blessing in disguise. A dog of calm demeanor in the house seems to be getting to be a rarer bird with every generation of high powered bred dogs. If he is calm in the house but ramped up in the field, you have what a lot of labs lost years ago, and what your goal should be. Get yourself some pigeons or chuckars and see if the dog has the basic drive and desire to pursue birds. See if he has the instint to pick up feathers and carry them. All else can be trained.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Also do not equate being calm and stoic in the house with laziness. This could be your biggest blessing in disguise. A dog of calm demeanor in the house seems to be getting to be a rarer bird with every generation of high powered bred dogs. If he is calm in the house but ramped up in the field, you have what a lot of labs lost years ago, and what your goal should be.

Exactly what I meant to say....but was not very clear on!!!

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He appears to be pretty birdy with scented dummys, I am going to get a few pigeons today and see what he does. He may be more than 20# overweight he looks like a bratwurst. I am corrected on the hip thing, he's "guaranteed" I just spent all morning with him and I like him! Very good listener.

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Also do not equate being calm and stoic in the house with laziness. This could be your biggest blessing in disguise. A dog of calm demeanor in the house seems to be getting to be a rarer bird with every generation of high powered bred dogs. If he is calm in the house but ramped up in the field, you have what a lot of labs lost years ago, and what your goal should be. Get yourself some pigeons or chuckars and see if the dog has the basic drive and desire to pursue birds. See if he has the instint to pick up feathers and carry them. All else can be trained.

Ken

I wish i had a calm lab. My dog is wide open till 9pm at night then its nap-nap time. It takes way more than a 45 minute walk to relieve his energy, its more like 45 minutes of throwing solid 50 yard dummies for him to retrieve, or if we're excersicing in the water its more like 1.5 hours.

anyways...

My dog normally puts on about 10-15 more pounds in the winter months. During spring and summer he trims down to 100-105 pounds and during fall he is just as buff and ripped as can be. this is also when im as buff and ripped as my fat a$$ can be due to running him.

According to the Purina weight chart/scale or whatever, my dog's average score is 6, which is the heavier side of normal. My vet keeps telling me to get him down to a 5 but if he's not a 5 during spring then i say their scale is lopsided. The scale im taking about is, like i said, a weight scoring system based on a 1-10 scale. 1 being [PoorWordUsage] near dead skinny and 10 being worlds fattest dog. 5-6 is supposably ideal. Im not exactly sure on the facts but as i recall Purina did a large dog breed weight study based on the #1 dog at the time which is a lab. this study i believe, occured over a 10 year period. they basically score the dog off its looks and not its abilities.

the excersice and feeding is the biggest thing. i would do as the other guys suggested and get him around some birds or feathers and see if he has any drive. if so i would then get him trimmed down. I dont know about anyone else but come winter time all my dog wants to do is lay in the nice cool snow on a -10 degree day and beg for be to come out and play. In my dogs opinion anything below 30 degrees is a great day to be out. My opinion is very different so i cut is meals down about a 1/4 of the amount and feed him bones to occupy him so i dont have to go out in the freezing cold.

speaking of weather, if you do get him, i would try to shed some of his weight during the transition from winter to spring and from spring to summer and lay off him a bit in the summer. Keep him well hydrated. Summer can be pretty hard on a lab. i usually let him call the shots in the summer months. if he starts to slow i usally stop imediately as to not over work him. the last thing you want is a heat stroke.

anyways enough of my rambles. i best get back to work.

good luck on your decision. if you decide not to take him, i might would be interested. maybe having a calm lab around the house would teach my dog to stop and take things in a little more.

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Thank's guys, I am just letting go of a great dog and it may be a little early on the decision making. You may know what I'm talking about. I have to give him a little time, he may be stoic and calm but I bet he is a little unsure too. I am going to get a few pigeons and we'll see. Keep you posted.

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my old chesapek was always getting over weight until hunting season then would work his tail off, i would not worry about it. if you want to get him to his ideal weight take him to a vet and have them arrange a diet and exersize program, they well be very helpful

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It is sort of tough to decide what to do after so close to losing a good buddy.

Not to steal Kens line but it fits here. "Good Luck" on what you decide.

"hooks"

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