Tubby Dog Trouble!

petiquetteQ. Sorry to bother you …but one of the dogs we train dog is nine pounds heavier than he should be, the vet is concerned for his well being as he gets older, He has been doing agility since he was very small, I just found out that he was overweight recently. But I don’t understand, shouldnt the agility have helped him not gain weight? or was it just a waste of time?

A. I’m so sorry to hear that your dog is overweight.  Agility does help with weight issues, however, there are some other things to consider in addition to agility exercise, such as diet, walking, or other health issues that the dog may have.

If your dog is overweight, I suggest switching to a low fat treat for training.  Training treats add up fast, especially for a positive trainer! you can subtract it from their lunch, or try carrots, many dogs love them. I have also known a dog that adored lettuce!  One of my dogs enjoys raw potatoes and apples.  Lowering the amount of treats your dog gets to eat may help them get over their best.

In addition to agility, it is important that dogs also work on conditioning to keep lean. Conditioning includes walking, running, and using step obstacles (like a ladder or cavaletti) – though in this case I believe  long walks (or chases after a ball!) would probably work best. Using conditioning obstacles has the added benefit of strengthening shoulder muscles.

As for other health conditions, I can not comment but your vet may be able to work with you to discover why your dog is overweight. I’m sorry you are going through this, it is very difficult and distressing to realize!  I hope all the best for both of you.

~Agility Fusion