Monday, November 14, 2011

Fit Dawgs

A little while ago I decided that Cohen was fat.

Not like "fat fat" but... with a bit more padding on her ribs than I liked. I think it was the result of the combination of using a lot of cheese and hotdogs as training rewards, having bones, kongs etc tossed at her to keep her busy when were were otherwise occupied, and a decrease in the quality and quantity of walks. Unfortunately when families are thrown into turmoil it's the dogs who get the shit end of the stick when it comes to proper attention. 

Being active with Cohen is a key part of our relationship. Sports aren't easy on a dog's body, so I'm super mindful of any additional weight Cohen may be carrying unnecessarily. 

So I decreased her food intake at meals, started using kibble for the bulk of her training treats, and increased her exercise. She was weighed at the vet recently, and came in at 17.2 kilos (38 pounds). I'll have to take her back soon to get another reading.

This is from early on in the stricter diet regimen. Not a lard-ass by any means. 
I'm not being particularly careful about the regimen however. I'm just eyeballing slightly reduced food amounts for meals and periodically placing my hands on her sides to keep tabs on the padding on her ribs. She doesn't seem to notice/care about the reduced amount of food being tossed her way, so I think the difference is nominal.

But just this week after 2-4 weeks of keeping closer tabs on her I've noticed the rib padding has been noticeably reduced. I think in another 2-4 weeks she'll be exactly where I want her. The difference in actual weight will be nominal I'm sure, but in the long run it will have a positive affect on her health.  

I get asked all the time what type of dog Cohen is, and people seem genuinely surprised when I respond that she's pure Aussie. I think partly it's because people think all Aussies are merle, and partly because 98% of Aussies are grossly obese (or at least chunky). I know the breed is more stout than the Border Collie, but I've not quite been able to wrap my head around why so many people think that Aussies should be shaped like ottomans. I also understand that it's tougher to take visual inventory of medium-furred dogs' body condition, but jeez. 

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