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View Full Version : Average Weight?



mag88
28th December 2008, 05:25 AM
I know what the breed standards for weight for Cavaliers is. However, I have seen dogs on rescue sights at 21 lbs.
What should be an average weight. Can a 21 lb dog be carefully brought down to the 12 lb range? :confused:

Thanks

Karlin
28th December 2008, 11:53 AM
The breed standard is simply a that -- a standard -- used for show dogs really, and while it should be where a cavalier fits in -- kind of (see below!) -- it is truly meaningless in terms of determining a healthy weight for a given dog. This is extremely important to understand or a dog's health could be at serious risk!! A dog is the right weight at whatever the healthy weight is for that individual dog :thmbsup: -- and only in a very very rare situation would it ever be the case that a 21lb dog should actually weigh 12 lb! It would have to be grossly, grossly obese (several years of rescuing cavaliers, and I have never seen a dog that needed to lose half its weight!! About a third is the most, and that has been very rare. Though one of mine was rescued at 18lbs and needed to drop to 12.5!).

The bottom of the breed standard in the US is 13lbs, not 12lbs, so 12 lbs would be underweight for US show dogs anyway. However, very very few cavaliers -- show or pet -- are way down at that bottom end of the scale anyway. I have seen almost none in several years of doing rescue.

If a dog is the right weight for its frame at 21lbs, even at 44 lbs (and I have had rescue cavaliers come in that large! And NOT overweight for their frame at all :) ) then that is its 'correct' weight. Just like people -- there's a huge variation in healthy weights for height, depending on a person's build and whether they have a lot of muscle (which weighs more than fat).

It is actually more common for cavaliers, including show cavaliers, to be up at or just over the breed standard these days -- I just spent a week with breeder friends who pointed out that males are only rarely within breed standard any more; most are up around 20lbs-plus. There is a growing feeling too amongst some researchers and breeders that smaller cavaliers are all else being equal, running more health risks and probably passing along more genetic risk known to be associated with breeding for miniaturisiation (almost all the breeds afflicted with syringomyelia (http://www.smcavalier.com) for example are miniaturised -- toy breeds -- bred for smaller skulls and flatter faces/smaller muzzles than would be normal) and that a larger cavalier would likely be a healthier dog. Thus it is very important to avoid anyone deliberately breeding extra small cavaliers and I expect the norm at some point in the future will be a breed pushing more into the 20s rather than the 12-18lb range that stands now.

Th best way to judge a dog's direct weight is 1) consult with your vet, and never put a dog on a diet simply to meet a brand standard; and 2) look and aim for a healthy waist, but not a thin waist. See http://roycroftcavaliers.com/manualfeeding.htm which has great information and some images of correct weights and waists. :)

Hope that makes sense!

Jan Bell
28th December 2008, 01:12 PM
I was interested to read this, as looking at some of the pictures of delicate Cavaliers on the site I was beginning to think that Rufus was actually a Black & Tan cross Rottweiler! :p

Toby is fairly big for a Cavalier at 22lbs, but very fit at 11 and the vet says not at all overweight. But Rufus is about 25lbs and much bigger than most of the Cavaliers I see around. He was an 'only' puppy though - not sure if that makes any difference or not.

Not that I care about size - healthy and happy is all that matters. They are all adorable. :lotsaluv:

Charleen
28th December 2008, 02:14 PM
I have a 22 pound cavalier that is truly meant to be that weight. He is taller and longer than the breed standard. The least he has weighed was 20 pounds, when he was recovering from his patella surgery.

Every dog is different. I have 2 dogs from the same breeder. A father and son. Luke, the father weighs 20 pounds. While, Jolly the son, weighs 16 pounds. They both eat the same amount of dog food too.

Lani
28th December 2008, 02:53 PM
I have one 19 lb Cavalier and one 14 lb Cavalier. Both are adults & healthy for their size. Currently they also both eat the same amount. I plan to cut Sparky's intake if he gains, but so far he hasn't. I weigh him every few weeks at the vet & he's holding steady at 14 lbs. He has a very hearty appetite and seems to work it all off.

Sparky is a puppy mill rescue so while he's within the breed standard, weight is probably all he was bred to standard! I worry as well about genetic health issues for him, including SM, because of his beginnings & his small size.

Love my Cavaliers
28th December 2008, 03:27 PM
Like one of Charleen's dogs, Oliver has longer legs and is just bigger than most Cavaliers. He weighs in at 26 pounds, but has a beautifully defined waist and is not over weight. On the other extremem, Riley is only 12.5 pounds. Interestingly, she is the one of mine with SM. Maybe there is something to what Karlin says about smaller dogs.

Mindysmom
28th December 2008, 03:29 PM
Mindy is just about 20 lbs. and I think that's a pretty good weight for her. She did nudge up to a high of about 23 lbs in September and she really had no waist. I put her on a diet and increased her exercise. I think 20 lbs. is a pretty healthy weight for her so I'll try and hold her somewhere between 18-20. She is certainly more active being a bit lighter. She is at the top of the breed standard height wise. I did meet a Cav walking who was far taller and broader than Mindy but you should still feel her ribs where you couldn't feel Mindy's at all.

mag88
28th December 2008, 03:32 PM
Thank you so much for the excellent replies...

That now puts things into persective.

Have a great day.:D

hbmama
28th December 2008, 04:23 PM
Our Lucky Star rescue Claire came to us at 21lbs. We, and our vet think she is probably about 2, maybe 3 lbs overweight. We are working on this with excercise, good food proportions and veggie treats instead of cookies.

Dottie is 16lbs and in perfect weight. She is from a show breeder and bred to standard. Her bone structure is more petite than Claire, who is a larger boned Cavalier. Claire also looks heavier because all those years of having puppies has stretched her tummy out and it hangs down more than most. The important thing is just to keep the dog at a good healthy weight for her bone structure. Other than that, size doesn't really matter. Larger is more to love!

Good luck on your search. We adore our rescue girl!

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj149/hbmama3/Puppiesincar019.jpg

MadPip
28th December 2008, 07:13 PM
Maddie is just under the breed standard for height - she was 1 of 3 in the litter, 2 were small and the other (all girls) was substantially bigger height wise and has stayed that way I think. However, she is 15lbs in weight, so in the middle of the breed standard. She's not fat though (in fact I wish I could get a little more weight on her!) but a good 3lbs of that weight has been since she's been doing agility and her legs have good amount of muscle.

Pippin is a lump at 20 1/2 lbs - again not fat, but I think he could easily put the weight on if we didn't keep an eye on him. He's about 2 inches taller than Maddie, and a lot longer as well.

Both are fit and active dogs usually (though Maddie seems to be back to normal now after her tummy upset.), so the advice to not worry about what the books say is very good advice.

merlinsmum
28th December 2008, 07:30 PM
Our Lucky Star rescue Claire came to us at 21lbs. We, and our vet think she is probably about 2, maybe 3 lbs overweight. We are working on this with excercise, good food proportions and veggie treats instead of cookies.

Dottie is 16lbs and in perfect weight. She is from a show breeder and bred to standard. Her bone structure is more petite than Claire, who is a larger boned Cavalier. Claire also looks heavier because all those years of having puppies has stretched her tummy out and it hangs down more than most. The important thing is just to keep the dog at a good healthy weight for her bone structure. Other than that, size doesn't really matter. Larger is more to love!

Good luck on your search. We adore our rescue girl!

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj149/hbmama3/Puppiesincar019.jpg


awwww, what a pretty girl :) (actually both of them :))

Karlin
28th December 2008, 07:42 PM
I should clarify that it is unlikely to be the case that smaller dogs right now are more at risk of SM (indeed not a single researcher has found any direct correlation at all). However, as SM is associated with dogs specifically bred to be small -- there are almost no breeds outside of staffies that I can think of that are not toys breeds that are known to get the malformation and SM -- there is some discussion ongoing that something to do with both the miniaturisation, and the shorter muzzle to flat face -- does something to the skull to make the associated breeds more prone to SM.

This is the current list of affected breeds from Dr Clare Rusbridge:


To date the condition has been also reported in King Charles spaniels, Brussels griffons, Yorkshire terriers, Maltese terriers, Chihuahuas, Miniature dachshunds, Miniature/toy poodles, Bichon Frise, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, Staffordshire bull terriers, a Boston terrier, French bulldogs a Pekingese, a miniature Pinscher

I know a lot of breeders feel males in particular don't have enough 'bone' on them if they are within the breed standard and many won't breed males under 17-18 lbs according to some online discussions I've read (and questions I've put to breeders). This suprirsed me quite a bit as I'd assumed weight was a key element of the breed standardand have said so before; but judges don't seem to care and indeed seem to be rewarding dogs over the standard regularly.

MadPip
28th December 2008, 08:11 PM
That is an interesting list of breeds indeed. My OH has just said he's not surprised about Staffies being in there as they also have a flatter face, even though they're not necessarily bred for being small.

Next to Maddie Pippin looks like a huge boy, but we've met several Cavaliers recently who make him look quite small and not because they're fat, but because they're taller and longer. Not all of them were males either.

I'll have to sort out some photos of the 2 together and post them. That can be my New Year resolution!:jump:

chloe92us
31st December 2008, 04:54 PM
These are the weights of adult dogs posted from another site. 64 Cavalier owners responded (so you can tell most Cavalier owners have more than 1!) All are adult dogs. You can see the huge weight range.

I honestly prefer larger Cavaliers because I have a toddler. The larger ones are more hardy and can take more rough-housing. ( Note: my son is gentle *most* of the time! )

Under 10 lbs 3
10-14 lbs 23
15-18 lbs. 46
19-21 lbs. 14
21-25 lbs. 16
Over 25 lbs. 5

StellaLucyDesi
31st December 2008, 11:42 PM
HI! Stella weighs in at 16/17 lbs. She is petite, but kinda barrel chested. She is in a good weight for her, or so the vet says. :)