View Full Version : I think my Henry is too fat

23rd January 2007, 04:27 AM
Henry is going to be one on Feb 14 (yes, he is my valentine baby), but has always been big for his size. Last wiegh in he was about 21 lbs (eek!), but does noot look obese or anything. He exercises plenty, and eats only 2x a day with some treats in the middle.
I got him from a rescue group, and they said they are not sure if Henry is a pure breed, and that he may have some cocker in him, though Henry i think looks nothing like a cocker. I know that the older breed of cavs can be a bit larger, and am just nervous that he is in danger of obeseity.
If you want to see pictures of him to judge if he is too fat i will be happy to post.
You all are so helpful, and I appreciate your love for your animals! Animals are definately a gift from God to teach us kindness --- I firmly believe it!
- Marisa

23rd January 2007, 04:43 AM
Where did you post the picture??

Our Charley was a purebred Cavalier and he was 26 lbs. in his prime.

He wasn't fat at all, just very tall and quite tall.

If they're not a show dog it really doesn't matter at all, just more to love! :flwr: :flwr:

23rd January 2007, 04:56 AM


23rd January 2007, 06:28 AM
The long shot certainly shows a defined waist so I would not say his overweird. He looks healthy and happy :thmbsup: :D

23rd January 2007, 09:11 AM
from the pictures i think he looks really good, well proportioned.

23rd January 2007, 10:03 AM
The long shot certainly shows a defined waist so I would not say his overweight. He looks healthy and happy :thmbsup: :D

23rd January 2007, 10:51 AM
He is fine and dont take this the wrong way but he may get heavier as he matures. He still has a lot of broadening out to do.

So long as you can see a waist when you look at him from above and you can feel his individual ribs through the covering layer (there must be the covering layer) with the flat of your hand and you could count the ribs using your thumb as you move your hand along the ribs, he is ok.

My Jassy has a thick curly coat and you dont see a waist on him unless he has just had a bath

23rd January 2007, 11:54 AM
First off he isn;t fat or overly heavy -- but he is pretty solid. I'll differ somewhat and also say he definitely could take off a pound or two. That is barely a defined waist -- he isn't fat, but he is on the chunky side and verging on not having a waist at all. That said it is harder to see with a dog lying on the floor -- you really need a view from above when standing. :)

A waist really means *a waist* not a slight indentation, and he looks pretty solid.

Remember that every single extra pound means many extra *miles* of veins a body has to build to push blood through that extra fat. That means your cavalier's heart -- which is already very likely going to acquire a murmur by the time it reaches age 10 -- needs to work extra hard just to push that blood thru those extra miles of veins. A mitral valve, like a door hinge, only has so much life built into it. Extra weight wears out the valve much faster because it has to open and shut many more times than it would for a trim, fit cavalier. We all want to keep ourt dogs around us as long as possible -- that is why it is so important to keep cavaliers at or just under weight.
This is the page I recommend all cavalier owners read regarding feeding and cto see some recommended waist sizes.

(oops adding it now -- forgot it the first time I posted this: www.roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm)

Note that this is considered to be a cavalier with a GOOD waist:


This s a slightly heavier dog but still OK:


23rd January 2007, 12:05 PM
Ps Don't worry about weight of the dog in total; cavaliers often go above (especially) or below standard. The thing is for him to be healthy at whatever weight he is at -- and that he be at a healthy weight for his build.

I wouldn't think he has any cocker in him though could well have something else. His coat would be a bit short for a year old cavalier and he has the nose of possibly another breed and head shape as well -- he looks mostly cavalier but I'd be inclined to think he has something like terrier to hound, eg beagle, if there's a mix in there. A lot of BYB dogs and puppy mill dogs will have another breed creep in from time to time because they will typically exercise lots of breeds together including bitches in heat. :shock: Then they will breed back to a cavalier and so on so the other breed(s) can get quite dilute. He could be all cavalier just off breed standard, or could have another breed. Doesn't really matter as he's special and just himself! :) He has lovely blenheim colouring too.

Some lines of cavalier incorporated springer and cocker and other larger breeds though, according to one old time breeder I spoke to recently in the UK, and they throw back to them now and then with oversize dogs.

Please note there were never 'larger old style dogs' as part of the breed standard -- since the breed was accepted by the Kennel Club in the UK the breed standard once defined has ALWAYS been 12-18 lbs. That's for going on 70 years now. In my experience when breeders talk of 'larger' cavaliers from the past they are *complaining about undersized dogs* -- the increasing tendency for them to be at 12-13 lbs or even smaller in some cases and still accepted to be shown. Some are concerned about the trend towards very compact dogs as well. This is very different from 'large' and 'small' as we would think of it -- eg 'large' meaning larger than breed stabndard. They definitely do not mean cavaliers used routinely to be over 18 lbs in the show ring! They still mean within that 12-18 or 13-18 (US)lb breed standard.