I know there are other discussions about weight here on MyCorgi, but I wanted to ask about my particular situation. Our older Corgi, Griffin, a 3 year old fluff, had been recently weighed in at 43.5 pounds. I know this is very large for a Corgi, but I think Griffin is a pretty big one! We took him along with us to his breeder's place when we picked up our puppy Violet, and the breeder suggested that he needed to drop some weight. We promptly put him on a reduced food intake, and our last visit to the vet showed that he's dropped to 38.5 pounds, which I know is still huge for a Corgi. The problem is that now, with the 5 pound weight loss, I can easily feel his ribs, and his pelvic bone is pretty pronounced when you push on it (about 3-4 inches diagonally from his nub). I'm thinking that he might now be a bit underweight, but I'd like to know if anyone has, or has had, a Corgi that appeared proper weight (or maybe slightly underweight) at 38+ pounds. Thanks for any insight!
I can think of a pem that is in that weight range. Pudge. He's a fluffy from Texas.
Also, I think you are going about the weight thing correctly. Try not to judge by the AKC standard if you have a smaller/larger than standard pup. For reference, the flyball team here says that the dog's ribs should feel like your knuckles when your hand is in a fist for a dog athlete, not much more definition than that.
One of mine (Jack) is oversized. He's about 14 inches tall at the withers, so obviously he'll weigh a bit over the standard. He also has a massive chest and neck for his size, so he's a big boy all around.
He got up to 43 pounds, and honestly he was fat. Now I keep him at about 33 or 34, which is probably a little on the thin side. We did agility for awhile, and he's a very active dog who is physically hard on himself so I keep him in agility weight. He'd probably be ok up to about 36 pounds; 38 would be the top end of acceptable weight for him.
With a fluff it's very hard to tell by looking so you have to go by feel, as you are doing. You SHOULD be able to easily feel his ribs. When you use light pressure it should feel similar to the back of your hand. With gentle pressure you should be able to easily count each rib. He should have a noticeable steep drop-off where his rib cage ends and his abdomen begins.
I have found though that ribs are not always the best judge of weight for Corgis. They tend to carry weight along their topline. You can see the spot when you get used to looking, but it's not intuitive and it takes practice. Basically from above, right behind the ribs and before the hips there is a spot that will bulge. A dog can be carrying several extra pounds there and the ribs still look and feel fine. It's different from most dogs. When Jack was at about 38 or 39, the vet tech (who does agility) said he wouldn't take him any lower. His breeder saw him a little later and said "He should lose a pound, maybe two."
If you use gentle pressure on the spine, you should be able to easily count the vertebrae and the spaces between them. They should have a very light layer of flesh/fat over them; they should not be prominent or hit your hand when you pet the dog, but just easy pressure should let you feel them all.
You should also be able to gently feel the structure of the shoulders and pelvis.
Here's a good link. Keep in mind that the majority of pet dogs are overweight or obese, so our eyes have become used to that. When you watch a dog show, the Corgis are good weight but the labs and a couple others are fat to obese.
My Max is a large boned fluffy also....from all the pics I have seen of fluffies they all appear to be larger than a normal coated one. They all have paws 3 times the size. Max came to us weighting 54 lbs and he was shaved. He looked like a pot belly pig with a corgi head. Diet time began. I used Pedigree weight control..always use less than they recommend. In the morning he got either fat free cottage cheese or fat free yogurt mixed with the kibble. Dinner was the same amount of kibble mixed with canned chicken (it's 98% fat free) or tuna in water plus veggies...green beans, carrots, peas (my store brand canned has no salt version). Baby carrots for treats. He dropped the weight in no time. He now runs a steady 37 lbs and my vet is happy with that. Yes it's heavier than a normal corgi but you have to remember they are bigger boned. I have continued that diet for the last 6 years and my other corgi gets fed the same and she has kept her fighting weight at 27-28 lbs. Max will be 11 in June and Katie just turned 9.
Are fluffies really larger or is that anecdotal? Phoebe is a fluffy and she does have big paws but when she was spayed last week the vet said she is the most "svelte" corgi he has ever seen. She is 15.5 # at just over 5 months. I really appreciate your post, Beth, about how to check their weight. Our breeder said you have to keep sizing them up weight- wise and adjust accordingly - it isn't formulaic - just keep checking. She is our first corgi so everything is a learning experience - so different from our other two dogs which were huge livestock guardian dogs.This site is invaluable to me and I so appreciate it and all of you!
I evaluate my dogs' weight at least once a week. It's been a long learning curve! I've had Corgis for nearly 6 years now and it's only within the last year that I'm really comfortable just looking at them and knowing.
I think weight is way more important in Corgis than in many other breeds.
Our Oscar is a big boy and last visit to the vet he weighed in at just under 20 kilo's!. I got read the riot act by my vet by saying"A fat Corgi is not a healthy Cogi Line". So Home we went food reduction diet weight management dried food veg's and told our live in cook Alex "DON'T" feed Oscar when we are not home I dont think this worked!. Sadly Alex passed away last year!. Oscar is due for his 6 monthly check so on the scales he went yesterday! he was 17.5 kilo's not sure what that is in pounds?. I have to agree with you his ribs are more prominant and his his pelvic bone is more pronounced as well and to me he looks skinny!. He has huge paws and everybody who meets Oscar says this he is a big boned Boy!!!.
One I'm not looking forward to the look on my vets face when I pop Oscar on the scales next week but Fiona agrees with me that Oscar is a big boy for his breed he comes from good bloodlines I met his father and mother and they were big dogs for the bred as well!. So Who know's? my vet told me Oscar should be between 12-14 Kilo's I think he will look like a refugee from Ethiopia!!! I worry will he hurt his ribs and pelvic bone with little padding around them? It's a worry isn't it!!
Good luck with it!.
Oscar & Brian
I have seen oversized Corgis...not overweight just big boned and larger frames. I had a rescue that weighed 43# and he should have probably been 35#'s. I always judge mine by their ribs...I have 2 that tend to put on a bit of weight in winter so right now they are getting smaller portions till they get back down to their ideal size. Part of it here in MN is less exercise in winter due to the snow/cold:(
Thank you all for the input. I'm guessing that I will have to use my best judgement and not go strictly by the standard. Like Oscar, if Griffin got down to the breed standard upper weight for males, he'd look/feel like an orphan street Corgi. I understand that for Corgis in particular, a bit underweight might be better in the long run, less strain on the back, but I don't want him miserable, either. I wish I had a good scale at home to weigh him precisely, but my guess is that he has dropped even a bit from the 38.5 pounds he weighed last time he was at the vet.
Thanks again for all of your thoughts...at least I'm not alone in my concerns!
I got a hanging scale at a yard sale -- hangs from a ceiling hook, range is over 50 lbs. -- I can weigh the dogs by putting them in a large fabric shopping bag -- WARNING, if you do this, use an extension so the dog is only inches off the floor, just in case anything goes wrong, as sooner or later it will.
Gwynnie was 21 last I checked. Al used to be 24, but when the breeder saw him, she suggested adding a pound or so. Now he's 26 I think. As Doug Klassen predicted, Al has resisted the extra rations to the best of his ability.
A neighbor has a beautiful corgi who used to be notably larger than Al. First I thought he was overweight, later I thought he's just big-boned. The owner changed diet or something, and now he seems exactly Al's size and looking good.
So it's hard to tell. Maybe a really good idea is to show your dog to as many knowledgeable corgi people as you can find (you might get a different opinion from each, ew).
This is what I would do. Get your dog wet down to the skin, and use this as your guide: