Saturday, January 31, 2009

Murder by Can Opener, Salvation by Restraint

As I have said before: the number one killer and maimer of dogs in this country is the can opener. That is probably true the world over; I believe this photo came from Australia.

A lot of people -- including some veterinarians -- do not really know what the correct weight is for a dog.

Here's the answer: If you cannot easily feel your dog's ribs, it is too fat.

And I don't mean you should have to dig into the flesh to feel those ribs -- you should be able to run your hands down the side of a dog and feel at least three or four of them without even trying.

If you have a smooth-coated adult dog like a pointer or a smooth-coated Jack Russell, you should be able to see at least two or three ribs when the dog breathes deeply after running a short distance.

Rest assured that no one who reads dog-oriented web sites and books is ever going to have a dog that is too thin. People who sign up for canine list-servs, buy books on dogs, and read pet columns in the newspaper are much more likely to feed their dogs to death than they are to run their dogs even a pound or two too light.

How do you get the weight off a fat dog? Simple: stop feeding it so much.

Portion control IS weight control.


Pit bull NM said...

Thanks for taking heed to nat's comment on the slatmill/dogfighter is a generalization that needs to be addressed as it has influenced both legislation and dog owners in a negative way.

In the same vein, if more dog owners were willing to acquire/build treadmills (of any variety), flirtpoles, springpoles, etc., especially when coupled with proper feeding practices, I have a strong suspicion that fewer pet dogs would be shaped like the Jack in this post.

I tend to believe there are two issues holding back these items from working their way into the average dog owner's home:

A) the stigma (and possibly legislation) associated with these items,


B) many feel that only those with high-drive or high-energy dogs will benefit from these items. IMHO, this is not so.

I have an old pit bull that has declined in energy, and when coupled with several structure issues, doesn't need to play hard on a daily basis. I also have an 11mos old pit bull pup that is breed down from some pretty exceptional stock, and seems to have inhereted a strong "work ethic." Long story short, the pup has got an exercise quota that best get met ;-] And while I don't have a treadmill (yet) I do have a springpole that both girls make good use of; clearly, I adjust their time on it and height of the tug according the their situations.

To wrap this up, I feel that many dogs in non-working homes and rescues/foster homes could benefit from these items. Normalizing these practices will require a fair amount of work, but certainly worth it in my way of thinking. (guess I'll just add it to the list of "things to do.") (LOL)


PBurns said...

Excercise is important for ALL dogs ... and ALL people. Probably the best way to get it done is to go running or biking with the dog, but if some humans have tread mills, why not for dogs?

That said, weight control is rarelt about excercise alone. In fact, with humans 85% of weight loss is not due to excercise, but to portion control. Ditto for dogs from what I can see. Exercise is for better shape and better mental health more than weight control.

Do you and Nat want to be brave enough to talk about the rape stand at the slat mill web site? What are your thoughts there?


Pit bull NM said...

Brave enough? Or dumb enough? :-) for portion control vs. exercise and how it influences weight, you'll get no argument out of me....maybe I was trying too hard to show my appreciation and make a useful comment (LOL).

As for the rape rack, I don't have any knowledge of'em beyond what can be found on the internet. I've never bred a litter or witnessed a breeding, but I can tell you that I must be a little more romantic than some when it comes to these matters: if I did have an in-season female that wasn't accepting of a male, well, I'd probably follow her lead on that one.

As for that site on the whole, I find it to be pretty typical of what I'd consider to be someone trying to make money for nothing: the website lacks any level of professionalism and offers items that are readily available, not too mention, easily stored and fabricated.

I'm hesitant to label it as a site that promotes dogfighting, or even romaticizes it - although, I think many would jump at the opportunity to do so, especially because of the title. What does pique my interest is that the site is anonymous. Sure, there's contact info, but not a name. I will say that it certainly doesn't add any polish to the public's perception of pit bull people.

What do you make of the site and it's offerings?


Seahorse said...


This is what comes up when you search for the ownership info for that site:

Real Hydraulics

P.O. box 10854
Fort Irwin, California 92310
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Created on: 27-Dec-06
Expires on: 27-Dec-09
Last Updated on: 02-Oct-08

Administrative Contact:
Real Hydraulics
P.O. box 10854
Fort Irwin, California 92310
United States

Technical Contact:
Real Hydraulics
P.O. box 10854
Fort Irwin, California 92310
United States

Domain servers in listed order:

Registry Status: clientDeleteProhibited
Registry Status: clientRenewProhibited
Registry Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registry Status: clientUpdateProhibited

See Underlying Registry Data
Report Invalid Whois


Seahorse---> a.k.a. "Snoopy" ;)

Debbie said...

Hey, Terrierman, I live one state over from you and do Corgi rescue. We have a 75 pound Corgi mix who is now on the green bean diet. You can see her "before" and a recent photo at

I've been told my dogs are too thin, myself. :) I heartily subscribe to portion control, and have had more than one person remark they didn't know Corgis could be "that thin." lol

Debbie Nosse
Tri-State Corgi Rescue
in WV

Rocambole said...

In everyone's searches, did anyone find dog-powered treadmills that will churn milk, sort corn & beans, etc? Or are those left-over from the 19th century?

The bugaboo in agriculture is energy costs. Here in PA, the Amish are getting into solar panels in a big way both for religious reasons (self-reliance) and to lower their costs (electricity for dairies is a nasty cost).

As a seed saver, I'd LOVE a Pepper-powered bean sorter -- sorting the beans is the most tedious part of keeping the varieties going and since she's bored with not being able to go out much with all the ice around here, it would be nice to get the beans done and exercise her at the same time.

Note to Our Host: After two years, you finally got me to go out there and get a Google Account! I can't believe there are so few hardneck garlic growers out there that I was able to get my first choice of name, though.


Shoshannah said...

I am so tired of random people telling me my perfectly normal 30kg mutt is too thin, as "you can see his ribs!"
Never mind that their own dog is a fat-ball on stilts, with no waist to be seen and no ribs to be felt.
I don't go around telling you your dog is fat (when he is!), so you don't be going around telling me my dog is too thin (which he is not).